Hospitality Business Magazine

Major MEETINGS event opens with visitors arriving early

Australia and New Zealand’s top business events professionals are heading to Christchurch next week for New Zealand’s largest-ever business events tradeshow, MEETINGS 2022.
The two-day event on 15 and 16 June at New Zealand’s first next-generation venue, Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, is a sell-out with 211 stands from 18 New Zealand regions. Over 500 buyers, including 110 from Australia, will be attending the flagship event.

On Tuesday 14 June, 650 guests will be welcomed to Christchurch Town Hall for a cultural ceremony to commemorate the first MEETINGS held in the city for 14 years.
ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events, Megan Crum says MEETINGS visitors will discover why Christchurch is an epic conference destination.
“New Zealand’s second-largest city is connected to the world through Christchurch Airport. The central city’s new infrastructure and beautiful heritage buildings full of restaurants, bars and shops set beside the river, and green spaces, and our manaakitanga – the welcome and hospitality visitors receive – all add up to making Ōtautahi Christchurch the obvious choice for business events,” she says.
“Our venues are world-class, flexible, and ultra-modern, and our hotels and accommodation are conveniently close to both venues and hospitality, none more than 10 minutes from each other in our pedestrian and cycle-friendly city.
“Ōtautahi Christchurch has been rebuilt and reimagined, with space for any and all business events. Our collaborative business events community, including the ChristchurchNZ team are geared up to ensure the success of every event.
“From the moment our guests arrive at our international airport, they will be warmly greeted at the MEETINGS Welcome Lounge, just 20 minutes from our exciting and compact central city where they will be staying in 15 hotels close to Te Pae,” Megan Crum says.
“A bonus for business events visitors is our location at the heart of the South Island, with a myriad of bucket-list activities and destinations on the doorstep.”
Prior to MEETINGS, ChristchurchNZ is hosting a weekend famil for seven Australian buyers, and on 14 June, 80 hosted buyers will experience the city for a day packed with activities and hospitality.
The ChristchurchNZ stand at MEETINGS will be the first space to greet guests as they arrive at Te Pae Christchurch, with 24 exhibitors from across the Canterbury region on show.
Christchurch Airport Coffee Lounge is set up to be a place to relax and network throughout the day at MEETINGS, with special tastings from local producers a highlight of the event. 
MEETINGS Day buyer registration is still open online and a $100 air travel rebate is on offer for visiting buyers. Free registration includes airport transfers, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day, plus valuable professional development and knowledge sessions.

BEIA Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says MEETINGS 2022 is setting records, and sending a powerful signal that the New Zealand business events sector is open and focusing on the future.

“The strong level of interest in MEETINGS is telling us that confidence in the sector is strong and both buyers and exhibitors have drawn a line in the sand around Covid. The perspective is very much about the future and what that can deliver,” she says.
“The MEETINGS message is New Zealand is already welcoming international events back, and there has never been a more important time for the industry to reconnect, with both domestic and international buyers.”
Over 50 Australian hosted buyers will arrive on Friday 10 June for weekend familiarisation tours of Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, Marlborough, and Queenstown. After MEETINGS, a group will also visit Rotorua. During MEETINGS, buyers will be hosted at 15 hotels close to Te Pae Christchurch.
“In this spectacular venue in the new city of Ōtautahi Christchurch, we will be harnessing the power of face-to-face meetings. Te Pae Christchurch’s state-of-the-art exhibition halls, auditorium, and meeting rooms will be buzzing with activity, and creative energy from around New Zealand and across the Tasman,” Hopkins says.
MEETINGS Event Director Jen Henshaw says the extensive local business events supplier network means Christchurch can deliver every support service.
“We have exceptional collaboration and support from the huge range of suppliers that bring an event together. Everything from audio visual, entertainment, to design and theming is on hand in Christchurch,” Henshaw says.
A range of professional development sessions are also part of MEETINGS. They include the Tourism New Zealand Regional Showcase and Knowledge Sessions, Celebrity Speakers Showcase, Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) Masterclass, and a breakfast to celebrate the BE Mentoring programme, which saw 23 event professionals from around New Zealand mentor 23 younger colleagues in the industry.