Claudelands’ profile is on the rise and the venue is now considered a strong contender in the New Zealand market.
The two-year-old venue has hosted around 250 events each year since opening, with a substantial portion (more than half) being business events – from small meetings to gala dinners of 1200, conferences of 1500 and a convention for 6000.
The venue experienced its busiest month to date in October hosting three major conferences including Core Education’s U Learn conference that saw a record 1500 conference delegates in the venue, as well as Water New Zealand’s and the Library & Information Association of New Zealand’s annual conferences. The U Learn conference for teachers also included a banquet dinner for around 1200 delegates in the adjacent Claudelands Arena, the largest seated dinner held in the venue to date.
Claudelands is a major contributor to the region’s booming convention activity, as highlighted by the recent Convention Activity Survey data, released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The research data confirmed that the Waikato’s share of the national conference market grew strongly from nine per cent to 11 percent in the year to June 2013, outpacing its regional competitors. Claudelands is proving an important strategic investment for Hamilton. Conferences and exhibitions held in the facility have reflected the region’s national standing in fields which include dairying and agribusiness, medical, health sciences and education, horticulture, high-quality food production and science and technology.
“It is fair to say that the region has not been a natural or perhaps first choice destination in a general tourism sense, although I note that is changing,” says Hamilton City’s Event Facilities director of business development, Murray Jeffrey.
“Hamilton is now recognised as a serious proposition for conferences and delegates and Claudelands is proving a source of surprise and delight to both organisers and attendees.”
Claudelands’ size, flexibility and scalability has been a major drawcard and is a primary reason for conference organisers returning to Claudelands.
Carl Ashby, organising committee chairman of the New Zealand Concrete Industry Conference, said they chose Claudelands over other venues as “it is arguably one of the best facilities in New Zealand”. m