Ōtautahi Christchurch is playing host to the who’s who of Australasia’s business events industry for MEETINGS 2022, from today (Wednesday 15 June) at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.
MEETINGS was officially opened last night by New Zealand’s Minister for Tourism and Economic Development, Stuart Nash. The two-day annual event is being held in Christchurch for the first time in 14 years.
BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins says MEETINGS will be a landmark event for New Zealand’s business events industry with a record number of buyers and exhibitors.
“MEETINGS is the single most important event in the industry’s calendar. This two-day event alone generates millions of dollars of business for an industry previously worth NZ$1.5 billion each year,” Hopkins said yesterday.
“Across two days of connecting, reconnecting, and doing business, we are giving real business opportunities to buyers and vendors, introducing new products, new regions, and showcasing new purpose-built infrastructure throughout the country.”
Over 100 hosted buyers from Australia arrived in New Zealand over the weekend to take part in tours of five different regions – Auckland, Wellington, Marlborough, Queenstown, and host city Christchurch. They are set to join over 300 New Zealand buyers for pre-scheduled appointments with exhibitors from 18 regions on 211 different stands.
“From the moment they arrive, MEETINGS visitors will experience our Te Ao Māori values and culture and understand what sets Aotearoa New Zealand apart as a business events destination,” Hopkins said.
Sustainability goals will be top of mind for MEETINGS organisers, exhibitors, and buyers this year.
Megan Crum, Head of ChristchurchNZ Business Events says as the host city, Christchurch is leading the way in sustainability initiatives.
“Christchurch is aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and has a goal of net-zero emissions by 2045,” she said.
“The city is walkable making for a smaller delegate carbon footprint, and transport options include electric car shares, e-scooters and e-bikes, and electric public buses to and from the airport. The city’s key venues have sustainability at their core.”
At MEETINGS, ChristchurchNZ is showcasing two sustainability options that organisers can use for their clients’ events.
“The Christchurch Foundation’s Tūī Corridor project is one example of how conferences can give back to greater Ōtautahi Christchurch by helping plant native tree seedlings to encourage tūī birds back into the city. The Foundation works with event organisers to develop a bespoke legacy program for each event,” Crum said.
“With a range of tactile workshops and experiences, Bead and Proceed is a social enterprise educating people on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They have curated an inspiring activity perfect for conferences, summits, and events.”
MEETINGS Day buyer registration is still open. Free registration includes airport transfers, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day, plus valuable professional development and knowledge sessions.
Edited by Peter Needham