July 27, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Business Events Industry Aotearoa’s (BEIA) flagship business events trade show – the largest in New Zealand – MEETINGS, held last month in Auckland saw $74 million in event business provisionally secured on the show floor, in a year that continues to be disrupted by the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

Nearly 800 people met during the two days of the show, which connected 150 buyers from 18 regions across New Zealand with almost 450 buyers, including 45 from Australia and 400 from New Zealand.

BEIA Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins said the economic injection also reflected the uptick in domestic buyers looking at local destinations and more business opportunities staying on shore.

“New exhibitors, new regions, along with three new international convention centres in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland provided buyers with an impressive selection of products and services.”

“The demand to meet in New Zealand shows the future of travel, particularly relating to vaccines and travel passports, is just as critical to business events as it is to other visitor economy sectors,” Hopkins said.

Australian buyers hailed the “incredible diversification” of New Zealand and praised the smooth running of the event, which was back after being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Hopkins says with the majority of business booked at MEETINGS being for 2022, the current pause of the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand would not massively impact the success of connections made at the show.

“Business transacted at MEETINGS was primarily focused on 2022 and beyond.

“There was a very small number for Q4, however I do understand these are being reviewed,” said Hopkins.

“Full credit to the New Zealand’s business events industry for their willingness to be flexible and accommodating when it comes to this ever-shifting landscape and supporting customers through this.”