New Zealand’s strong presence at AIME represents significant opportunities for the local business events market.

Fresh from the AIME exhibition held in Melbourne in February, Auckland Conventions Venues & Events director, Mohamed Mansour, says New Zealand is continuing to attract an increasing number of events and conventions each year.

“It was fantastic to see how many leading kiwi tourism, hospitality and events organisations were present at AIME – the New Zealand stand boasted some great brands including Air NZ, Tourism NZ and leading conference venues,” Mr Mansour said.

“Based on the conversations and feedback we had it was evident that our country has much to offer the market. Increasingly, New Zealand’s unique landscape, strong events experience and expertise, and fantastic infrastructure is becoming a big drawcard for event organisers.”

The Auckland Conventions Venues & Events team attended the expo to promote its unique portfolio of landmark Auckland venues, while also taking the opportunity to network and gain valuable industry insight.

Mr Mansour said the Auckland Conventions Venues & Events team had a strong enquiry rate about hosting events and conventions in Auckland.

“I believe Auckland is now able to compete with business events destinations such as Melbourne. It is increasingly becoming recognised as one of the world’s most vibrant cities.”

Mr Mansour says Auckland’s infrastructure, which is a key consideration when planning international events, has significantly improved following the Rugby World Cup 2011.

“This massive event firmly positioned Auckland on the international stage as a world-class destination. We proved we have the infrastructure and systems in place to support large-scale events. We not only demonstrated efficiency, but also creativity through a broad variety of promotional and innovative events. Our whole country got behind the event.

“Right now, Auckland is buzzing! We have just hosted the Cricket World Cup and now have the Volvo yachts on our shores. In 2015, Auckland Conventions will be playing host to a range of international events at our venues, including the 2015 Amazon Web Summit for Asia-Pacific.”

The growth in the number of conferences in New Zealand saw a rise from 4900 conferences in 2013 compared to 5200 for the year ended September 2014. Of these, 31 per cent of one-day conferences were held in Auckland (reference: CAS Survey Year to Sept 2014 report).

Wellington might

The business year is officially in full swing and to start things off with a bang, Wellington has been giving Australian event organisers a taste of what they can expect for their upcoming conferences.

Helloworld’s retail network support and events manager, Sandy Osborne, and conference and events coordinator, Melissa Cue, arrived in Wellington from Sydney in early February to make final arrangements for the upcoming helloworld’s Owners Managers Conference (OMC), which will take place in the TSB Bank Arena and Shed 6 in November.

“Our famil really gave us a feel for the way the city works, and the way the Wellington operators collaborate with one another. This has really assured us that we’ve made the right decision to bring helloworld’s OMC to Wellington,” Ms Osborne said.

Also here to scope out the capital were the organisers of The 47th Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Scientific Congress (RANZCO). RANZCO is also set to take place in the TSB Bank Arena and Shed 6 in November. Together, the two conferences are forecast to bring over 1200 delegates to the city.