Hospitality Business Magazine

Stellar line up for ‘For Industry, By Industry’ HNZ conference 2023

One of the driving forces behind Australia’s biggest hospitality and accommodation empire will open Hospitality New Zealand’s conference and trade show in Auckland later this month.

Sam Egerton is General Manager of New Projects for Merivale Group, which owns 104 restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels across Australia, most of them in Greater Sydney.

He heads a programme of speakers and sessions designed to inform, educate and entertain operators from across the hospitality sector.

This year the theme is ‘For Industry, By Industry’, and will feature motivational and subject speakers, expert sessions and panels that cover consumer trends, compliance, Chat GPT, and the serious workforce issues that are confronting the industry.

Outgoing Hospitality NZ Chief Executive, Julie White says she’s delighted they have been able to attract Sam Egerton to open the conference.

“It doesn’t get any bigger than Merivale in hospitality in our part of the world. They’ve built an amazing business and they’ve done that by being true innovators.

“Hearing from one of the guys at the forefront of that about how they’ve gone about it and how they see the future, will be a real treat for conference delegates.”

Tickets for the two-day event, which offers a huge selection of hospitality and accommodation trade exhibitors and networking opportunities, are now available. It will be held at the Pullman Hotel on June 27-28.

A first this year is a dedicated workforce summit, on day 2, where the industry, including officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, will explore and discuss key workforce issues and intergenerational comms. 

Panels include Consumer Food & Beverage Trends, Sustainability in the industry, and the Educational Landscape, while breakout sessions include Compliance Trends in Gaming, growth mindsets and Courageous Conversations for Leaders.

A trade show with 60+ hospitality and accommodation industry suppliers will allow exhibitors to showcase the latest in sector developments and technology.

Also part of the event are the 25th Lion Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence. These celebrate the success, achievements and resilience of people in 20 categories from across the sector.

The Leader of the Year People’s Award categories will be announced at a social event on the 27th of June, the evening of Day 1. These include Leader of the Year in Hospitality, Accommodation, Future Leader of the Year, Chef of the Year, and Supplier of the Year.

The conference will conclude with a gala dinner on the 28th where the winners of the Awards for Excellence will be announced, followed by the overall Supreme winner. The People’s Choice Award, chosen from the finalists list, will also be announced then.

Sam Egerton

Sam will be talking about new openings, nuggets of gold, consumer trends, driving guest experiences, and technology advancements.

He is originally from Christchurch. He moved to Sydney in the mid-2000s and has been working for the Merivale Group for the past 12 years. He has been Merivale’s Bars Manager, during which time he fine-tuned the art of bar backing in their venues. As General Manager of the New Projects Team, he builds new teams and venues across the country. Most recently he oversaw the re-opening of Allianz Stadium and took the helm of the Sydney Cricket Ground, integrating Merivale’s approach to quality products, and delivering exceptional guest experiences into the stadium world.

Other speakers at the HNZ23 Hospitality and Accommodation Conference are:

Kevin Biggar: A motivational speaker, he will be the first speaker. He talks about how people can take on demanding challenges in their life and business, and how to improve teamwork, lift mental toughness, boost performance, and get the most out of themselves and their team.

Melissa Muirhead: The founder of The Great Work Lab, which works with businesses on culture and leadership, will wind up day 1. She has spent more than 20 years in corporate roles in New Zealand and overseas and is a trained and experienced Executive Coach.

Ashley Fell: The social researcher, TEDx speaker, and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle will kick off day 2. As a trends analyst and media commentator, she advises on how to achieve cut-through in message-saturated times. She is an expert in how to communicate across generational barriers.

Dan Te Whenua Walker: Dan Te Whenua Walker is the Global Co-Chair of Indigenous at Microsoft and an experienced leader in business and relationship development with an extensive background in the IT and tech sector. He has a particular passion for how tech can be utilised for Māori and Pasifika economic development. Dan will be a highlight feature in the afternoon of Day 2.

Check out the programme here