MEETINGS, owned and organised by association Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), prompted $157 million in events locked in, a significantly higher result than the $107 million result in 2022. The 2023 figure is also well over double what the last pre-pandemic show in 2019 lined up – around $62 million in business events.
BEIA’s chief executive Lisa Hopkins believes the strong result is driven by New Zealand’s new business events infrastructure – including three new next-generation convention centres – alongside better air connectivity and the diverse visitor offerings across New Zealand’s regions.
“We are securing strong advance bookings for the next five years,” said Hopkins.
“That means more doctors, scientists, technology experts, and innovative industry leaders coming to our shores to meet, bringing their global knowledge and collaborating with our experts.
“Not only are conference delegates stimulating the economy, but they are also supporting our culture, our environment, and our society.
“Local retailers, accommodation and hospitality providers, educational institutions, and communities all feel the boost when a conference is in town,” she said.
MEETINGS 2023 was the largest ever iteration of the event, which has been running for more than a quarter of a century, with 224 stands representing 19 regions of New Zealand and more than 400 buyers, including 100 from Australia and 10 from further afield.
BEIA’s focus is now on its first Business Events Week, which kicks off on September 18.
“In a month’s time, BEIA will be hosting New Zealand’s inaugural Business Events Week, starting with BEIA’s annual conference in Marlborough on 18 September,” said Hopkins.
“The week is designed to elevate the importance of business events to New Zealand.
“Business events are more than just economic contributors, they also heavily influence positive outcomes for society, communities, and create long-term legacies. The week will feature several different forums as we work with influencers to consider the broader role of business events.”