Wellington recently welcomed two international groups to experience everything the city has to offer event planners, including a sneak peek at the new Tākina conference and exhibition centre before its opening in June.
One group of international business events media and buyers arrived as part of a larger New Zealand fam organised by Tourism New Zealand following the AIME tradeshow in Australia; shortly followed by another group of Australian associations and international media.
Business Events Wellington’s Irette Ferreira shared: “Opportunities to get these influential events decision-makers and influencers on the ground in Wellington are extremely valuable. They not only see the variety and versatility of our venues and events infrastructure in person but get a sense of the vibrancy of our city and how easy and appealing it is to hold events here.”
The action-packed itineraries included a showcase of Wellington’s foodie credentials, from a dinner of Māori cuisine at award-winning restaurant Hiakai to dinner on the stage of the St James Theatre; a meal behind the scenes of national museum Te Papa Tongarewa; gin-making at Southward Gin; and breakfast at urban ecosanctuary Zealandia. The city’s walkability was highlighted in a tour of some local hotspots, with guests learning to make a flat white, and making their own chocolate at Wellington Chocolate Factory.
Visitors also took in some of the capital city’s landmarks, seeing New Zealand’s founding documents including te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) at the National Library Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, and a visit to New Zealand’s Parliament, as well as joining one of the first-ever tours of new venue Tākina.
The groups also had the opportunity to meet and engage with local city advocates, reinforcing the accessibility of key national figures and thought leaders in the capital. This included Wellington City’s mayor, Tory Whanau; former mayor and chair of Te Papa Tongarewa, Fran Wilde, and chief executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Paul Atkins.
“I was pleasantly surprised on my recent visit to Wellington. The variety of venues and social options for conferences such as ours are plentiful and I’m incredibly excited about hosting our 2024 Annual Scientific Meeting in the city and at Tākina,” said Helen Vertoudakis, senior executive from the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases.
“This was my first visit to Wellington and what a delight it was. The versatility, knowledge and ease of access across the city are magnificent. The opportunity to meet with local industry ambassadors certainly showcased the depth of support that Business Events Wellington can offer,” added Rodney Cox, events director of International Gas Union.