In collaboration with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which offers courses to become a Certified International Convention Specialist (CICS) or a Certified International Convention Executive (CICE), New Zealand will hold a three-day in-person intensive training event next September. Participants will be able to complete either course within the three days and can then sit a final exam in-person in New Zealand or online.
The CICS course is a junior qualification for those starting out in the industry, while the CICE is for those with more experience.
“New Zealand’s business events industry is maturing,” said Tourism New Zealand’s general manager of New Zealand and business events, Bjoern Spreitzer.
“We want to support the sustainable growth of our industry and help educate and develop the best business events professionals in our region.
“Encouraging professional development ensures the expertise of our people is recognised at a global level and helps to elevate New Zealand’s event standards.”
The intensive will also be open to event professionals located outside of New Zealand, which could prompt some Australian attendance.
Tourism New Zealand announced the ICCASkills Hub at the Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) national conference, currently taking place in Marlborough, as the first element of New Zealand’s inaugural Business Events Week.
“This is wonderful news,” said ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath, who is in New Zealand for the BEIA conference.
“When we first announced the collaboration between ICCASkills and Tourism New Zealand last year, both parties shared every confidence that it would prove successful. Our renewal agreement confirms this and is evidence of how innovative and impactful ICCASkills has been in New Zealand.
“Through two courses…ICCASkills champions real-world learning and growth irrespective of age or experience. Positive feedback about the know-how and effectiveness of our expert instructors again shows the tangible value of attending courses designed for our industry, by our industry.
“We salute TNZ for their foresight and ongoing commitment to a programme that will grow and grow.”
Last year Tourism New Zealand began a scholarship program, opening up 10 places to New Zealand event professionals to take part in one of the ICCASkills courses online, sharing the cost with each successful applicant’s employer. The national tourism marketing agency will continue that program this year.
“ICCASkills has been a highlight for me and my professional development in recent years,” said Jessica Carlson, director of meetings and events for Accor New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia, and one of the first scholarship graduates through the Tourism New Zealand program.
“The opportunity to learn from the high calibre of Instructors along with the networking and insights shared between the other students was invaluable. It allowed me to gain understanding and knowledge from across the entire ecosystem of business events, outside of my day-to-day role and experience.
“It has opened my eyes to exactly the size, scale and value of the industry we work in.”
This article was updated on Thursday September 21, 2023, to reflect that participants will be able to complete either course in full within the three-day intensive and will not need to complete outstanding study modules online.