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MEETINGS delivers epic cultural experience with Matariki dinner spectacle

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MEETINGS delivers epic cultural experience with Matariki dinner spectacle
Rotorua had an extra opportunity to show off in a big way during MEETINGS on Wednesday evening.

Hosting New Zealand’s largest business events trade show for only its second time ever, Rotorua has pulled out all the stops to deliver a unique experience for MEETINGS attendees, including a sizeable number of international buyers.

Often a quiet night for many within the busyness of the MEETINGS program, hosted buyers, suppliers and exhibitors went airside at Rotorua Airport on Wednesday night to celebrate Matariki – the Māori new year – with a dinner and a drone show which has not yet had its first major public outing.

The night was hosted by Cian Elyse White, the founding festival director of ARONUI, an Indigenous arts festival set to take place next week in Rotorua. The drone show, which told the story of Matariki with 160 drones in spectacular fashion, is part of the upcoming festival. The evening also included a more detailed – and very lively – explanation of Matariki over dinner by performer Mataia Keepa.

“What a unique opportunity to celebrate Matariki, a pivotal occasion in the New Zealand calendar that marks the Māori New Year,” said BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins.

“Our week has been filled with cultural richness, spectacular experiences and meaningful connections.

“Matariki symbolises new beginnings and shared hopes for the future and serves as a powerful reminder of the symbiotic bonds within our industry as a whole.

“This MEETINGS has stood out for its breadth of product, the educational opportunities, and the total immersion into Māori culture we have all experienced. The warmth of welcome – manaakitanga – from our host city Rotorua and the entire community ensured everyone attending was cared for and left with great memories.”

Rotorua is currently in the visitor economy spotlight, hosting MEETINGS this year and New Zealand’s largest tourism trade event, TRENZ, next May.

“MEETINGS 2024 is one of the first major tourism conferences for our region post-COVID, signalling a fresh era of success for the Rotorua visitor economy,” said Rotorua’s brand and marketing manager, Haydn Marriner.

“Rotorua is considered a ‘hot’ destination, with the RotoruaNZ business events team successfully securing $10 million over their targets for the past three years, with more year-on-year growth projected to come as a result of MEETINGS 2024.”

MEETINGS delivers epic cultural experience with Matariki dinner spectacle

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