September 21, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The first of New Zealand’s three new purpose-built convention centres Te Pae Christchurch hosted its 100th event over the weekend, after less than six months in business, while the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC), which is expected to complete construction in 2025, has taken on two new sales team members.

Te Pae’s milestone event

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre’s 100th event was open to the public, with Christchurch City Council’s Take Charge Expo showcasing more than 50 electric vehicles to nearly 9,000 visitors last Saturday.

“We’re delighted that our milestone 100th event was one that supported our city and the community, particularly given that Te Pae Christchurch was built as a regeneration project for Ōtautahi Christchurch,” said Te Pae’s general manager Ross Steele.

“It’s been fantastic to attract and host so many events that we can see are having a direct and positive impact on businesses across the city.”

Over 40,000 people have attended events at Te Pae Christchurch and business at the venue has generated 42,000 room nights and nearly NZ$30 million in economic value for the city. Thirty-six of the events held to date have been multi-day conferences, including two that were international, six events were exhibitions, 30 were banquets and 27 were meetings or seminars.

“Business to date has absolutely exceeded our expectations,” said Steele.

“While some of this can be attributed to the impacts of COVID condensing this year’s event schedule, it also speaks to the interest and pent-up desire for Ōtautahi Christchurch as a destination for business events.”

Alana Bicknell and Eloise Barnes have joined the NZICC

NZICC takes on new staff in Auckland

In New Zealand’s largest city, as the final instalment in the hattrick of convention centres makes progress towards competition in 2025, the NZICC has taken on two new staff in its sales team.

Coming over from New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment where she was a programme director, Alana Bicknell is taking on the role of international sales manager for NZICC. Bicknell has more than 15 years’ experience in business events and hospitality, with previous roles at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Venues Wellington.

Meanwhile Eloise Barnes is NZICC’s new business development and research executive, moving over from Auckland Convention Bureau, where she managed funding for the bureau’s business events subvention program. Barnes will work with academic and industry leaders across New Zealand to identify bidding opportunities to bring international business events to Auckland.

Bicknell and Barnes join NZICC’s long-time sales and marketing representatives, director of sales and marketing Prue Daly, who has been with the organisation nearly six years, and Australian sales manager Brooke Campbell, who has been with NZICC for just on five years.