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Wellington lures conference out of United Kingdom

Wellington will host the 2019 iMean (Interaction and Meaning) conference marking the first time the linguistics event will be held out of the United Kingdom.

The event will bring around 250 delegates to the capital and is expected to deliver over $700k to the economy plus individual delegate spend.

The conference win was the result of years of work by Victoria University with funding and support from Tourism New Zealand and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA).

“The group did a fantastic job promoting Wellington as the ideal destination and gained the confidence of the conference organisers to hold it outside the UK for the first time”, says Lisa Gardiner, Business Events Manager, Tourism New Zealand.

“Wellington is an excellent business events location.  It has good conference facilities and is vibrant, diverse and inclusive. I have no doubt the delegates will have a fantastic time.”

Tourism New Zealand works with groups across the country to encourage and support them to bid for conferences to be held in New Zealand.

Winning Wellington

“New Zealand is performing extremely well internationally as an attractive and unique business events destination. The estimated value from all conferences bid for and won in last financial year is an impressive $39.7 million.”

Jessica Beyeler from Business Events Wellington says “We have been working really closely with Victoria University about the benefits of bidding on international conferences for several years. Securing an international conference boosts the profile of the Professors and the rankings of the University, which in turn attracts international PhD students and showcases Wellington’s intellectual capital. “

“iMean organisers tell us that potential delegates are excited that Wellington, New Zealand is the first international destination for the conference. They are already asking about Wellington’s many attractions including Weta Workshop, Te Papa, Cuba Street and Wellington’s vibrant cafe culture, as well as planning pre and post conference itineraries.”

Meredith Marra, Head of the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University started talking to the iMean organisers about bringing their conference to New Zealand in 2015 and secured the win in Bristol recently.

“The conference will bring enormous research benefits to New Zealand, giving us national exposure and recognition for our work in the linguistics field. It also secures New Zealand’s position within the field internationally and highlights the leading role we play.”

Victoria University has a long held relationship with iMean and Emeritus Professor Janet Holmes from Victoria was a key note speaker at their first conference.

“Victoria University specialises in linguistics and is particularly known for ‘workplace discourse’ research which looks at the role language plays in creating different kinds of work environments.”

“International linguistics specialists are really interested in this area. We know employers are increasingly recognising the role of effective communication in creating desirable work environments to help attract top staff.”

The conference has been arranged to occur just before Easter 2019 to encourage attendees to bring their families with them and couple the business visit with a family holiday.

Statistics show that an international conference attendee has a high probability at returning to the destination country in a personal capacity once they have visited for the first time. The economic impact of an international conference for the city is significant too as they stay on average 6 nights in New Zealand (4.2 nights in the host region and 1.8 elsewhere), spending an average $2,009 per person.*

Wellington currently holds 21% market share of all business events held in New Zealand**

Key facts 

A number of conferences will be held across the country over the coming years benefiting many regions, these include Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington Christchurch and Dunedin.

Tourism New Zealand had a target to assist 60 conference bids a year. In the in 2015/16 financial year 71 international bids were achieved with 72% success rate. The target was also exceeded in the previous financial year.

The Tourism New Zealand bid team is focused on promoting New Zealand as a compelling business events destination in the core markets of Australia, China, South East Asia, USA and the Global Association market. 

Tourism New Zealand offers strategic marketing and bid assistance to internationally-affiliated organisations seeking to host a conference of more than 200 international delegates in New Zealand.  Assistance includes providing a financial feasibility study of the conference, bid presentation costs, international travel assistance, preparing professional documents and presentations to set bids apart and marketing strategies to improve an organisations chance of winning a bid. 

*Reference MBIE CDS data 2016

** Reference MBIE CAS data 2016