The Welcome Function was hosted at Auckland Town Hall last night.

New Zealand’s largest business events showcase, MEETINGS, has officially kicked off in Auckland today (May 30).

Over 190 exhibitors and 500 buyers will be engaged in 6,000 meetings during the two days of pre-scheduled appointments and social networking events.

Commenting on the event, CINZ Chief Executive, Sue Sullivan said: “MEETINGS is New Zealand’s top event for connecting influential domestic, Australian and international buyers with 19 regions and New Zealand’s top event facilities, accommodation, off-site venues and activities.

“MEETINGS is an important showcase for New Zealand’s unique culture of manaakitanga (warm hospitality). Sensational events like last night’s welcome are a chance for us to put the spotlight on our exceptional venues, food, styling, and entertainment.

“Our show floor, and our networking events are packed with incredible ideas, latest trends and magical experiences these buyers can take back to their clients. From luxury lodges, heli-touring and sailing options, to styling and technology experts, and brand-new convention centres and exhibition venues, they all come together to create the New Zealand experience for our visiting buyers.

“We are seeing strong interest in New Zealand as a place to host exceptional conferences, incentives and events. Australian event organisers who toured our regions this week, have all been impressed by the diverse and unique experiences they can take back to offer their clients.

“New Zealand buyers have travelled from all over the country to meet here, along with a significant number of local Auckland event organisers coming in each day,” she says.

New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Kelvin Davis will join industry leaders to tour MEETINGS on Thursday 31 May.

An artist’s impression of the Convention Centre.

Meanwhile, Te Pae has been revealed as the official name for the Christchurch Convention Centre.

Opening in 2020, Te Pae will be capable of hosting up to 2000 delegates for a variety of national and international events. It will include a 1400-delegate auditorium, a 200-booth exhibition hall, banquet hall and 24 meeting rooms overlooking the picturesque Victoria Square and Ōtākaro/Avon River.

General Manager, Keith Beal said Te Pae (pronounced te pie) references a gathering place.
“The name is a unique yet simple way for domestic and international visitors to identify this premium, purpose-built convention and exhibition venue.”
“We have worked with local cultural advisers, Matapopore on a name that reflects not only what this facility is, but also what makes it different from any other.”
“The exterior design of Te Pae has been derived from the Ngāi Tahu creation story of the Southern Alps in New Zealand’s South Island. The 429,000 individual panels that make up the façade will resemble the colours and curves of Canterbury’s iconic braided rivers that flow down from the mountains.”
These features have been carried through to the branding to reinforce the importance of the surrounding area to the quality of visitor experience.
“Prior to 2011, Christchurch was New Zealand’s business events capital, hosting 24 per cent of all conferences on a per-delegate-day basis. We are seeing that demand returning with international organisers telling us they are excited by an attractive, safe, compact city and the opportunity to experience New Zealand’s bucket list destinations,” Beal said.
Several prestigious events have been confirmed for 2021, including the five-day Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists (FAOBMB) conference, the first time New Zealand has hosted this triennial event for 900 leading biochemists. The same year the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) International Biology Symposium will bring 350 of the world’s top Antarctic scientists to Christchurch.