More than 180 exhibitors will be on show at the two-day exhibition, including several newcomers to the business events industry.

The county’s leading business expo will take place for the first time at the Auckland ASB Showgrounds on June 18 and 19. The new, larger venue has given event organiser, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), the opportunity to expand the exhibition.

The show will be staged across two pavilions, showcasing 18 regions across New Zealand, as well as more than 30 new exhibitors.

First-time exhibitors, like Wanaka-based Peak Functions and Auckland-based Team Up Events, hope to capitalise on the event’s reputation as the country’s leading business expo to drum up new business.

“MEETINGS was identified very early on as a must-attend event to showcase our business and the services we provide to the events industry,” Team Up Events managing director, Stu Robertson, said.

“Our industry is very much about relationships and so often it’s the people that make the difference. The opportunity to meet and network with new clients, industry members, and everyone associated with the showcase will be fantastic,” Mr Robertson said.

Peak Functions, Wanaka’s newest conference and function venue, is also excited by the opportunities exhibiting at MEETINGS will bring.

“We have a fabulous purpose-built venue in one of the most idyllic destinations in New Zealand and MEETINGS 2014 will be a fantastic stage to showcase our product,” marketing manager, Mandy Enoka, said.

MEETINGS event manager, Jeanette Stanton, said she is thrilled to have so many new exhibitors taking part in MEETINGS.

“With this year’s event also attracting a record number of hosted international buyers, it is shaping up to be the best and biggest MEETINGS yet.’’

Thirty-seven incentive organisers from greater China, Japan, North America, South East Asia, and Singapore will attend the first day of MEETINGS before departing on a four-day famil throughout various New Zealand locations.

ACB goes the extra mile

The Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) will be on-hand to assist hosted buyers attending MEETINGS, with a dedicated team stationed at the airport to greet delegates arriving from Australia and within New Zealand.

ACB will also host an exclusive hosted buyers’ dinner at the nearby Ellerslie Event Centre.

The bureau will run an optional famil program around Auckland prior to the show (June 17) to showcase a range of venues and activities from the region.

ACB manager, Anna Hayward, said hosting the annual event in Auckland means the bureau has the ideal platform from which to showcase the region.

“MEETINGS is the foremost gathering for business events in the country, so hosting it in our region is an amazing opportunity.

“Having hosted the event in Auckland for three years we also have the opportunity to keep things fresh, offer something new and constantly improve and excite. Our well-established accommodation, activity and service providers also love to rise to this challenge.

“This year we have a special stand (stand 214) where you can interact with the best of Auckland… We are very fortunate at ACB – we have such an incredibly diverse region where delegates and buyers can experience everything from urban sophistication to natural wonders.

“Our new ‘Best of both worlds’ branding is all about this fantastic diversity and we hope it will really resonate with visitors to MEETINGS this year.”