New Zealand’s only national tradeshow for the business events industry has been dubbed a triumph for the capital, celebrating many milestones and winning praise from attendees, organisers and media.
Held in Wellington for the first time in the show’s 27-year history, MEETINGS 2023 was the largest ever, welcoming over 1,000 business events professionals, 224 exhibitor stands, and more than 400 buyers from around New Zealand, Australia and beyond.
Business Events Wellington collaborated closely with industry partners from around the city and region to offer buyers and media first-hand insights into Wellington’s unique and diverse range of venues, attractions and suppliers.
Business Events Wellington manager Irette Ferreira says this year’s show marked a significant moment in the city’s future, hosting buyers and industry friends in Wellington.
“We have had an incredible week. Every hotel, venue, supplier and experience in the city has come together to make MEETINGS 2023 a success. This week shows just how tight-knit Wellington’s industry is and what a client can expect when hosting a conference or event in the capital,” says Ferreira.
MEETINGS 2023 kicked off on Tuesday night with an evening welcome function at National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa, emceed by presenter Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’I and catered by Tākina Events’ executive chef showcasing the flavours of the region.
The following two days of exhibiting took place at the newly opened Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Wellington regional stand saw a record 20 stand partners participating and a full line-up of engaging demonstrations from local experts (including House of Dumplings, Greytown Honey, Southward Distillery, Wellington Chocolate Factory, Olivo and Moy Hall), a “Wellington General Store” featuring locally sourced products, alongside live art demonstrations from Wētā Workshop.
To round out the week, a celebration evening was hosted at Venue Wellington’s Shed 6, featuring the quintessential tastes, sights and sounds of Wellington in one spectacular evening.
“MEETINGS 2023 was an outstanding success thanks in no small part to the team at Business Events Wellington and Tākina Events. The venue itself was maximised with all rooms and meeting space used,” says Lisa Hopkins, Chief Executive of Business Events Industry Aotearoa.
Tākina has been cleverly designed to be flexible, the spaces light and airy. Most importantly, we found the staff at the venue to be exceptional and obliging. They were critical to the overarching success of the event,” says Hopkins.
MEETINGS 2023 by the numbers
- First time in Wellington in the event’s 27-year history
- First large exhibition at Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre
- Over 1,000 delegates including more than 400 buyers
- 100 Australian hosted buyers, 10 international buyers
- 224 exhibitor stands representing 19 regions
- 30 Australian media and buyers hosted on weekend famil
- 140 hosted buyers on the Wellington host city day famil
- 20 Wellington exhibitors, including 3 newcomers
- 3 official venues
- 21 hotels
For some buyers, their week began the previous Saturday for a comprehensive two-and-a-half-day familiarisation programme.
International buyers were treated to a unique look at New Zealand Parliament with a progressive dinner and a panel discussion hosted at the InterContinental Wellington discussing the role business events play in the city’s strategy. The expertly curated itineraries also included a dumpling masterclass by the House of Dumplings at TRYP by Wyndham, a hands-on workshop by The Wellington Chocolate Factory, and iconic Wellington attractions including Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne and Wellington Cable Car.
The day prior to MEETINGS, another 140 hosted buyers experienced Wellington’s manaakitanga (hospitality) at iconic Wellington attractions including Boomrock, Te Wharewaka o Pōneke, Wellington Apothecary and Te Papa, culinary delights including Whistling Sisters, Mojo Coffee and Noble Rot Wine Bar, and accommodation providers Mövenpick Wellington, QT Wellington, InterContinental Wellington and Sofitel Wellington.
Photo gallery by Smoke Photo + Video