Demand for business events in New Zealand soars

MEETINGS 2022 in Christchurch last month broke records for attendance, and for the value of business it generated

An independent survey commissioned by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) post-MEETINGS 2022 revealed that NZ$107.5 million (US$68 million) worth of business was provisionally secured during the two days – a 45.3 per cent increase on MEETINGS 2021.

Moreover, after attending MEETINGS, 79 per cent of all buyers said they were booking business as a result of the event, while 21 per cent were still considering options, such as final destination choices.

MEETINGS 2022 in Christchurch last month broke records for attendance, and for the value of business it generated

BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins, said the numbers reflect the skyrocketing popularity of Aotearoa New Zealand as a business events destination and show the huge demand for face-to-face meetings in inspirational settings.

“This is an extraordinary result and speaks highly to the quality of the exhibitors and buyers who travelled from around New Zealand and Australia to Christchurch.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is wowing event organisers with cutting-edge new infrastructure across the country, air connectivity which continues to expand every month, incredibly diverse regional character, strong cultural values, and innovative sustainability practices,” she added.

The two-day MEETINGS event held in mid-June connected exhibitors from 18 New Zealand regions on 211 stands with over 100 hosted buyers from Australia and another 110 hosted buyers form New Zealand. As well, 160 domestic day buyers and 25 media attended the show.

Hosted buyers who were surveyed recorded a 233 per cent increase in the number of delegates expected to attend a business event in the coming year.

“While the daily rate per delegate is down by 14 per cent since 2021, this is offset by the volume which is considerably higher.”

Day buyers from across New Zealand recorded a significant increase in the daily delegate spend – now NZ$566.90 per day, up from NZ$293 last year.

“In the post-event survey, every region came away with a hosted buyer eager to do business. While Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown were high on the list, regional hotspots Waikato, Dunedin, Rotorua, Marlborough, Bay of Plenty, Central Otago, and Hawkes Bay were also popular. It was great to see good interest in Southland, Taranaki, Kaikōura, Mackenzie, Northland, Nelson, Taupo, Wanaka, Manawatu, and Fiordland too,” elaborated Hopkins.

One Australian buyer, Paula Rowntree from the Australian Psychological Society, said she was looking to bring their next international conference to either Christchurch or Wellington. “New Zealand has a breadth of venues, suppliers, and experiences to enhance any conference, meeting, or incentive,” she said.

Michael Jones, from the Informing Science Institute in Australia, said MEETINGS 2022 helped to put him in touch with key suppliers in New Zealand’s tourism and events industry, enabling him to design and plan his conference with ease and convenience.

“The ability to meet all of these valuable people and businesses in the space of just two days saved me weeks of work and expanded my knowledge of what could be done and showed me possibilities in New Zealand I would never have conceived of on my own,” he said.

MEETINGS 2023 will be held on June 21 and 22 at Tākina Wellington Conference and Exhibition Centre.

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