March 15, 2023 | By Bronwen Largier

With more than three months to go until New Zealand’s flagship business events trade show MEETINGS in June, to be held in Wellington for the first time, 200 stands have been bought on the floor and hosted buyer interest is at a record high.

The exhibition, owned and run by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), has so far locked in 18 new exhibitors who have bought into the show for the opportunities it presents.

Hamilton Gardens, a 54ha park in Waikato, is one of them.

“With a major new development project kicking off, and reconfiguration of our indoor spaces due to be completed in time to host 2024 events, we are excited to develop relationships with business events industry professionals and put our Waikato gem firmly on the consideration list,” said Ali Bartleet, Business Development Lead for Hamilton’s Visitor Destinations.

New local exhibitor, Wellington Zoo, is looking to feed event profits back into its wildlife agenda.

“We are excited to expand our client base and reach a broader audience, while promoting our sustainability initiatives as a Carbon Zero Zoo. And, as a not-for-profit organisation, all proceeds from our events go back into caring for the animals and our conservation work,” said Wellington Zoo’s Vanessa Langford.

BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins highlighted the corresponding interest from hosted buyers to attend MEETINGS in New Zealand’s capital, where the city’s new, next-gen convention centre, Tākina, will host the event in its opening month.

“The Hosted Buyer programme was launched in early February and the response is tracking at the highest level ever. We are delighted with industry enthusiasm for the programme and the eagerness of buyers wanting to experience Wellington and everything New Zealand has to offer this sector,” she said.

Hosted buyer applications, many of which come from Australia, will close on April 19, before day buyer registrations open on April 26.

Hosted buyers receive complimentary return flights – except for airline taxes – accommodation and entry into all MEETINGS social functions.

Hosted buyer applications can be made through the MEETINGS website.

MEETINGS takes place on June 21 and 22.