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Masterclass for US incentive buyers

Thirty North American business events planners were treated to a unique professional development opportunity this month in Pasadena, California courtesy of Tourism New Zealand and destination publication Prevue.

The Global Meeting & Incentive Planning Summit provided senior meeting planners with two days of training programmes led by industry experts, networking opportunities, and one-on-one appointments with several New Zealand companies including destination management firms IDNZ and HQ, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Destination Queenstown, Icebreaker, and Air New Zealand.  

“This was the second year we have collaborated with Prevue to hold this bespoke summit, which is, in essence, a master class for meeting planners. Those attending the event are senior buyers with an average of 19 years’ experience in the sector booking long haul incentive, meeting, and conference programmes. It was a fantastic forum to showcase New Zealand’s new business event offerings and our unique approach to meeting planning. Having New Zealand representatives on the ground in the US to meet face-to-face with meeting planners was an invaluable experience,” says Alexa Bennett, Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events Manager - North America, US.

“New Zealand is an increasingly popular location for business events. We have a very positive profile internationally as a safe destination with superb service, world-leading knowledge hubs, and one-of-a-kind locations that incorporate business facilities, culture, entertainment, and cuisine. With increased air connectivity and direct flights from LA, San Francisco, Houston, Honolulu, and from November this year, Chicago, it has never been easier to organise meetings and incentive travel to New Zealand.” 

Part of the Prevue Visionary Summit Series, the Global Meeting & Incentive Planning Summit combined cultural elements with business, sharing stories, songs, and customs of New Zealand with the group alongside training sessions on navigating the complexity of planning international meetings and incentives including site selection, global meeting security, strategic hotel contracting and negotiating, and long haul travel.

“The inclusion of the cultural element allowed the groups a fascinating glimpse into New Zealand’s culture, which is exactly what incentive winners would want to experience on a trip there. The intrigue of New Zealand as an incentive destination synced perfectly with the session on what attracts qualifiers. The more well-travelled they are, the more it takes to get them excited. New Zealand definitely accomplishes that, and it’s safe, which is a real concern right now,” says Barbara Scofidio, Editor of Prevue.  

Last year Tourism New Zealand won the Gold award for the “convention bureau offering the incentive experience” in the 2017 Prevue Visionary Awards.