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Big May for Christchurch highlights off-peak impact of business events

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Big May for Christchurch highlights off-peak impact of business events
The first of New Zealand’s major cities to get a convention centre will be reaping the benefits next month.

Te Pae Christchurch will host 8,255 delegates in May, including 2,650 international attendees, for a variety of events including the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress 2024, the Institute of Directors NZ Conference, and the MotorSport NZ Conference.

With peak season summer visitors firmly in the rear view mirror, the impact of these delegates will be felt across the centre’s supply chain and the city’s visitor economy.

The venue has 222 suppliers in the local Canterbury region and makes 85 per cent of its purchases from local suppliers.

The centre is also having a positive effect on the city’s hotels, including Christchurch’s largest property, Crowne Plaza Christchurch, which is located next door to Te Pae Christchurch.   

“With the convention centre open, we now see certain weeks in April and May performing as strongly as our peak summer periods used to,” said Reinier Eulink, general manager of Crowne Plaza Christchurch.

“From what we see first-hand, these new conference visitors also spend their time outside the hotel experiencing the city’s shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.”

Accor, which has five hotels in Christchurch, echoes this sentiment.

“The opening of Te Pae Christchurch has led to a more consistent level of demand over the year, addressing our winter periods with obvious flow-on effects to even out the boom-and-bust cycle of years past and drive confidence for the market to increase investment into the city,” said general manager of Accor Hotels, Bradley Conder.

Also in May, Venues Ōtautahi, which operates the likes of Christchurch Town Hall and the 4,000m2 Wolfbrook Arena, is expecting nearly 29,000 attendees to business related events and exhibitions. Events on the cards include a career and caravan expo as well as the Tactical Medicine New Zealand conference and the Carbon and Energy Professionals conference.

“Christchurch is proving to be a living classroom for conference goers, with a wealth of expertise and experience to share in sectors like agri-tech, health-tech, aerospace and geotechnical with international researchers and practitioners in these fields,” said head of business events at ChristchurchNZ, Megan Crum.

“When a conference comes to Christchurch, it brings global leaders in that field into our community.”

Te Pae Christchurch will celebrate two years of operation at the start of May and according to the centre’s general manager Ross Steele, business has been exceptional.

“This year has been as solid as our first year, which we thought was extraordinary, particularly for a brand new building,” he told micenet for our New Zealand feature in our February magazine.

“You normally ramp up over three years, and I think we just hit our straps in year one and it’s been like that ever since.”

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