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Taking Business Events ‘Beyond Convention’

Last week at MEETINGS we launched 'Beyond convention' the theme that we will use to internationally market New Zealand as a compelling world class conference and incentive destination.

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'Beyond convention' will provide an umbrella theme for all our business events destination marketing material - positioning New Zealand as a business events destination that goes beyond the ordinary.

We started targeting business events and business travellers in earnest a year ago using our successful 100% Pure New Zealand brand.

'Beyond convention' will take this to the next level.

When developing the creative, we thought about what stands us apart from other destinations around the world. What makes a conference or incentive visit to New Zealand unique?

We identified a need to showcase the diversity and accessibility of our stunning scenery, experiences, venues and infrastructure.  We also wanted to show how kiwis can deliver events professionally and with the trademark kiwi hospitality that will exceed all expectations and go BEYOND the norm.

Using the concept of 'Beyond', marketing will demonstrate what a conference attendee or incentive visitor can do 'Beyond the walls of the standard programme'.

As an example, 'Beyond the meet and greet' may show delegates on a yacht in the Auckland harbour minutes from their inner city conference venue. While still participating in the official activities of a conference programme, they're being done beyond the norm, beyond what would normally be expected.

We will take a portfolio approach to how we lead the destination marketing of the Business Events sector and will focus on the key markets of the US, China, Pan Asia, South Asia and Australia. We expect this marketing to be launched over the next three to six months and will keep you posted on how it is received.

Our support of the Business Events sector fits within our strategic priority to prioritise markets and sectors for growth. Here our objective is to increase the economic contribution of international visitors by attracting more high value visitors and getting them to stay longer.

Research shows that on average, international delegates spend up to three-times more per day than the average international visitor and so it makes sense that we are actively involved in this space.

We are focused on generating quality leads for the business events sector and we do this through the Conference Assistance Programme which we manage on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development.

Over the past year we have leveraged our global platform, resources and channels to the benefit of the sector, with five bids successfully won and a further 10 in development for conferences out to 2020.

Just last week we announced that our bid for the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Symposium 2013 alongside the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) was successful. Held in Christchurch in February, the event will see around 150 international delegates join a further 100 delegates from New Zealand. The win is the second secured for Christchurch, supporting the city's economic re-build.

You can find more information about this and other wins in the Business Events news section, and we hope to announce many more bid wins in the future.

Justin Watson

Director of Trade, PR and Major Events