Exhibitors and buyers are lining up to be part of New Zealand’s premier business events showcase, MEETINGS 2023 run by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) on 21 and 22 June in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington.
Over 200 stands have been booked, including 18 exhibitors who will take part in the first MEETINGS to be held Wellington at the brand new Tākina – Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre.
MEETINGS, now in its 27th year, is New Zealand’s leading platform for connecting influential domestic and Australian buyers and media with key regions, venues, accommodation, production and event design companies, and activities.
BEIA Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says the huge support for MEETINGS from exhibitors and buyers reflects the strength of New Zealand’s reputation as a world-class business events destination and the rebound of business events’ confidence.
“The Hosted Buyer programme was launched in early February and the response is tracking at the highest level ever. We are delighted with industry enthusiasm for the programme and the eagerness of buyers wanting to experience Wellington and everything New Zealand has to offer this sector,” she says.
The 18 new exhibitors this year represent accommodation providers, venues, event management companies, tour companies and activities. With complementary products and services, many new exhibitors are choosing to share a stand and an appointment stream.
Among them is first-time exhibitor, Wellington Zoo. Close to the city centre, with diverse venue spaces including the award-winning Kamala’s, the zoo gives visitors a rare opportunity to connect with native and exotic wildlife.
Vanessa Langford from Wellington Zoo Trust says attending MEETINGS and reaching the business events sector is an important part of their business plan.
“We are excited to expand our client base and reach a broader audience, while promoting our sustainability initiatives as a Carbon Zero Zoo. And, as a not-for-profit organisation, all proceeds from our events go back into caring for the animals and our conservation work,” she says.
Hamilton Gardens in Waikato is also new to MEETINGS this year. The internationally acclaimed 54-hectare park tells the stories of gardens throughout the ages and combines an award-winning visitor destination with renovated venue hire spaces.
Ali Bartleet, Business Development Lead for Hamilton’s Visitor Destinations says MEETINGS is the perfect opportunity to raise the profile of the venue hire offering at Hamilton Gardens.
“With a major new development project kicking off, and reconfiguration of our indoor spaces due to be completed in time to host 2024 events, we are excited to develop relationships with business events industry professionals and put our Waikato gem firmly on the consideration list,” she says.
Kinross winery, Queenstown CEO Nicky Sygrove says MEETINGS has a reputation as such a great place to connect and reconnect with so many industry faces.
“We knew we needed to be part of this event. The fastest way forward for us all is to share knowledge and band together. Kinross will be promoting our new cellar door that immerses guests in our world of wine here in Central Otago. We look forward to showcasing the range of visitor activities we can offer groups visiting Queenstown – from dining and wine tastings through to incredible ‘cork and fork’ full immersion experiences,” she says.
MEETINGS is free to attend for event planners as a Hosted Buyer or Day Buyer. The Hosted Buyer programme allows buyers to meet a choice of exhibitors from across New Zealand all under one roof as part of a pre-scheduled appointment diary. Australian and regional regional domestic buyers will be fully hosted for their trip to New Zealand with the support of airline partner Air New Zealand and supporting hotels in Wellington. Limited spaces are available on the MEETINGS 2023 Hosted Buyer programme until applications close on Wednesday 19 April. Day Buyer registrations open in Wednesday 26th April.