The ICCA Best Marketing Award 2023 (sponsored by The Meetings Show) was awarded to Tourism New Zealand during the last day of the 62nd ICCA Congress in Bangkok. TNZ competed with ‘If You Seek’, a campaign promoting extraordinary and unique business events, giving delegates and visitors something that is far from generic.
The finalists were present at the 62nd annual ICCA Congress 2023, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 12 to 15 November, with New Zealand beating off competition from Destination Canada, France Convention Bureau, in partnership with LinkeUs - Word of MICE , and Uppsala Convention Bureau. Event attendance exceeded 650 delegates representing over 40 countries.
The NZ campaign shows how creativity, heart and storytelling can weave captivating and emotive campaigns that go way beyond the obvious, the theme for the Best Marketing Awards 2023. Using the natural attractions in and around Aotearoa – and highlighting the many opportunities available for delegates - effortlessly shows how business events can be the portal into something far more profound. The video resulted in 2.3 million views, increased visitor spend and stays, +17 sustainability awareness for travellers, a 11% increase in regional tourism, and 90 international conference bids worth NZ$135m in 2024.
ICCA brought together the global meetings and conventions industry to connect, share ideas and inspire action. Award nominees were asked to give an eight-minute presentation detailing a recent, notable marketing campaign. Judges and attendees then voted on the program they felt best aligned with the award criteria.
ICCA CEO, Senthil Gopinath: “It’s a huge achievement to win this award and the judges faced a difficult choice. But everyone was captivated by the storytelling of how TNZ takes the delegate out of the meeting space and into the heart and soul of the community. The idea of being somewhere that speaks to you from the outside is so evocative, and quite moving. This concept was brought to life visually, at trade shows across the world, and here in the Congress hall.”
One of the finalists, Destination Canada, took part with its destination marketing programme to launch its nationwide Business Events Sustainability Plan. The Plan, the first national programme of its kind, aims to improve the economic, socio-cultural and environmental sustainability practices of business events organised in Canada, reinforcing a strategy for Canada's broader regenerative tourism ecosystem. Destination Canada's Business Events Sustainability Plan was also recognised by IMEX with the EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award.
“Our sector’s commitment to meaningful, long-term transformation really matters,” said Virginie De Visscher, Executive Director, Business Events Canada. “Our plan supports destinations inspiring and driving change — helping them take concrete action to be better stewards of sustainable business events and create an environment of change within their destinations. This recognition is appreciated and confirms that our efforts are making a difference. We are proud to be amongst the finalists, and we congratulate New Zealand on their well-earned award.”
ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath and Tourism New Zealand Business Events Bid Manager Leonie Ashford celebrate the renewal of the ICCASkills partnership.
New Zealand will continue its successful work in supporting the professional development of the Business Events industry by hosting an in-person ICCASkills Training in 2024.
Business Events professionals from around the Asia Pacific region can apply to take part in the three-day intensive in-person ICCASkills training event held in New Zealand in September 2024. Under a hybrid model, they could then complete the training certification online.
Tourism New Zealand will also continue its ICCASkills scholarship programme, offering New Zealand business events professionals the chance to undertake the certification, sharing costs with the scholarship recipient’s employer.
Tourism New Zealand General Manager NZ & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says: “New Zealand’s Business Events industry is maturing. 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 announcement follows Tourism New Zealand’s inaugural scholarship with ICCASkills, which saw seven New Zealand business events professionals undertaking ICCASkills certification online this year.
One successful graduate was Jessica Carlson, Director of Meetings & Events, Accor New Zealand, Fiji & French Polynesia. She says: “ICCASkills has been a highlight for me and my professional development in recent years. “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.”
Established by ICCA, ICCASkills is the only globally recognised professional accreditation for every sector of the business events industry. The in-depth curriculum has been developed by industry experts, including business leaders, academics and ICCA members, and is delivered through on-site and online learning environments.
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