May 25, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Over 460 hosted and day buyers and media will meet in Auckland next week for the first time in two years as Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) gears up to deliver New Zealand’s flagship business events trade show, MEETINGS.

This contingent includes 66 Australian buyers and media – this publication included – taking advantage of the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble which opened last month.

There will be 149 exhibitors from 18 New Zealand regions meeting with buyers on June 2 and 3 at ASB Showgrounds in Auckland.

“Over the past year, domestic business has sustained the sector, using the opportunity to experience and explore New Zealand,” says BEIA Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins, who has flagged the event as a turning point for the industry.

“We are now getting overwhelming feedback from Australian buyers who tell us they can’t wait to bring their corporate, incentive travel, and multi-day conference business to New Zealand.

“They see us as a safe, accessible international destination with a diverse and unique range of experiences to offer their clients.

“As well as delivering much-needed high-value tourism and hospitality business, the event is also a chance for people to meet at networking opportunities throughout the week.

“Our industry is all about the power of face-to-face connection. We know the value of participating in conversations over lunch, catching up for dinner or using breaks for ad hoc discussions,” says Hopkins.

The event will open with a welcome function at Weta Workshop Unleashed in the SkyCity precinct and conclude with a black tie gala dinner at the Cordis Hotel, which will celebrate the event’s first quarter century.

In 2019, the event drove $62 million worth of business on the show floor. MEETINGS is also being bookended by famils to Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.