Over 230 leading business event organisers from Australia, North America, Singapore and New Zealand have been confirmed as fully hosted buyers for the first MEETINGS exhibition in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington this June.
Organised by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), the two-day trade exhibition, educational and networking event features 224 stands from 19 regions across New Zealand filling two levels at the new Tākina – Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre.
BEIA Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says the response to the MEETINGS 2023 programme has been phenomenal: “Now, more than ever, it is important to bring buyers to New Zealand to educate them on our destination and show them our country is back open and ready for their business,” she says.
“BEIA has been working with Tourism New Zealand, Business Events Wellington, and Air New Zealand to target key decision-makers. We have filled all our available hosted buyer spots in record time and day buyer registration is now open with chances for domestic event organisers to win travel to Wellington for MEETINGS,” she says.
Tourism New Zealand will be hosting eight high-end senior incentive and meetings planners from North America who will visit Auckland, and Queenstown before and after MEETINGS in Wellington.
“MEETINGS will demonstrate our ability to deliver well-designed and seamlessly executed five-star incentive programs that meet the world-class expectations of our North American buyers. They will be able to experience first-hand New Zealand's luxury accommodation, high-end transfer options, function venues, dining experiences and the unique, wow factor activities on offer here,” she says.
BEIA will also host two international buyers and one media representative from Singapore. These influential buyers will visit Auckland and Christchurch prior to heading to Wellington for MEETINGS 2023.
With 100 hosted or semi-hosted buyers flying in from Australia, 86 are key decision-makers who have not attended MEETINGS before or have not been hosted since 2018. Over 130 hosted buyers from across New Zealand will attend this year, with 47 per cent hosted at MEETINGS for the first time.
“It's a massive vote of confidence for our sector, for the new venue, our host city and for the MEETINGS programme this year,” Hopkins says.
Fully hosted buyers have both their air travel and four nights' accommodation included. Air New Zealand has again partnered with MEETINGS to facilitate flights for buyers and 26 Wellington hotels are hosting accommodation.
“MEETINGS is a collaboration. BEIA cannot put the event on without the extraordinary support of our partners and we are thrilled not only to have our friends at Air New Zealand on board, but also, and for the first time, the Wellington hotel collective. It's this unified approach that lies at the heart of our event,” she says.
Day buyers who register before 17 May will be in with a chance to win their flights and travel expenses to MEETINGS plus coveted social function tickets in one of three prize draws.
“The day buyer programme is free of charge, and ideal for anyone responsible for organising meetings and events wanting to attend without pre-scheduled appointments. Even if you can only spare half a day, it is worth visiting MEETINGS to make business connections and professional development opportunities. At no other time can you meet such a diverse range of destinations, venues, products and services under one roof,” she says.
“We are keen to welcome not only Wellington locals for the day, but also event planners from around the country. They can pack a lot in during their visit, and be among the first to experience the new Tākina venue, and meet with their choice of 19 different regions and all of the country's leading business event suppliers. Exhibitors range from new convention venues, to hotels, and luxury lodges, to activity providers, caterers, speakers, designers, and production experts,” Hopkins says.
Day buyers are hosted to lunch and refreshments throughout the day, and an educational programme at the Tourism New Zealand Knowledge and Destination Hub highlighting valuable updates on what's new across the country, as well as insightful knowledge sessions.
MEETINGS 2023 is being held on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 June in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Registrations are now open for day buyer positions.
The event is free to attend, and everyone who registers prior to 17 May has a chance to win travel to Wellington and MEETINGS social event tickets.
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