July 28, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Provisional business secured at New Zealand’s flagship business events trade show MEETINGS was up 45.3 per cent in 2022, according to an independent survey commissioned by the event’s organisers, Business Events Industry Aotearoa.

Over three quarters – 79 per cent – of buyers said they were booking business as a result of attending the show.

The business figure of NZ$107.5 million in business was significantly up on the NZ$74 million reportedly secured as a result of MEETINGS 2021.

“This is an extraordinary result and speaks highly to the quality of the exhibitors and buyers who travelled from around New Zealand and Australia to Christchurch,” said BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is wowing event organisers with cutting-edge new infrastructure across the country, air connectivity which continues to expand every month, incredibly diverse regional character, strong cultural values, and innovative sustainability practices.

“The whole sector was out in force at New Zealand’s stunning new venue Te Pae Christchurch. MEETINGS exhibitors showed buyers first-hand why we have all the key ingredients for successful conferences, meetings, tradeshows, and incentive travel,” she said.

Other insights gleaned from the survey included a drop in the per delegate spend from hosted buyers – who came to the show from across Australia and New Zealand – which was remedied by a 233 per cent increase in delegate numbers. Conversely there was a significant increase in the daily delegate spend amongst day buyers from within New Zealand who attended the event, almost doubling from NZ$293 last year to NZ$566.90 this year.

“While the daily rate per delegate is down by 14 per cent since 2021, this is offset by the volume which is considerably higher,” said Hopkins of hosted buyer delegate spends.

“In the post-event survey, every region came away with a hosted buyer eager to do business. While Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown were high on the list, regional hotspots Waikato, Dunedin, Rotorua, Marlborough, Bay of Plenty, Central Otago, and Hawkes Bay were also popular. It was great to see good interest in Southland, Taranaki, Kaikōura, Mackenzie, Northland, Nelson, Taupo, Wanaka, Manawatu, and Fiordland too,” she said.

Australian hosted buyers confirmed the value of the show to their event-shaping processes.

“The ability to meet all of these valuable people and businesses in the space of just two days saved me weeks of work and expanded my knowledge of what could be done and showed me possibilities in New Zealand I would never have conceived of on my own,” said Michael Jones, from the Informing Science Institute in Australia.

MEETINGS is heading to another new convention centre in 2023, with Tākina Wellington Conference and Exhibition Centre set to host the event in Wellington on June 21 and 22 next year, as one of its first events.