New Zealand launches new business events advocates programme

Over the past year New Zealand has played host to everyone from geophysists to private detectives, doctors to journalists, thanks to the support of Tourism New Zealand's (TNZ) business events programme.  

Conference winners with Hon Steven Joyce who presented the awards on the evening

With the launch of a new Business Events advocates programme New Zealand is set to see even more of these valuable delegations visiting our shores.

The programme was announced last night at the inaugural New Zealand Business Events Awards dinner, held by TNZ and partners Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) and Air New Zealand.

The dinner celebrated the success New Zealand has had in the Business Events sectorand acknowledged the contribution of key industry and sector leaders.

Event attendees have won a combined 29 international events representing an estimated 13,500 delegates and injecting approximately NZD$41 million into the New Zealand economy. 

TNZ's International Business Events Manager, Bjoern Spreitzer says, "It's great to see New Zealand successfully bidding for and winning international association conventions.

"Much of this comes down to the influential sector leaders who are putting their hands up to champion their field of expertise to attract key conventions to our shores.

"The advocate programme is about creating lasting relationships with these individuals so that they can continue to bid for international conferences and encourage their colleagues to do so as well," says Bjoern.

TNZ, in partnership with ACB, has developed an advocate programme that will identify and engage thought leaders in their field, as champions for business events.

Advocate programmes are employed broadly by many countries and large cities in the international business events sector.

The programme will see regional programmes being developed throughout the country, with the ACB the first out of the gate, while Tourism New Zealand will manage the overarching national strategy.        

ACB Manager Anna Hayward says the Auckland Advocate Programme - which will be launched in March 2015 - is critical for Auckland and forms part of ACB's overall strategy to encourage more business events to the region.

"The ACB team has worked with some incredibly passionate individuals over the years and is excited to harness their enthusiasm and work with them to lift Auckland's profile on the world stage of international conferencing.

"The Auckland Advocate Programme will use the expertise and support of the ACB and TNZ team to assist sector leaders to attract and deliver world class conferences," says Anna.

Air New Zealand Chief Commercial and Sales Officer Cam Wallace also welcomes the announcement of the advocate programme.

"The business events market is an important means of driving visitor arrivals to New Zealand over the shoulder season." 

"This initiative is a great addition to work already being done by the tourism industry. Earlier this year, Air New Zealand launched a Conference Support Programme which aims to grow the number of conference bids won for New Zealand by working in partnership with conference organisers," says Cam.

TNZ has significantly increased its efforts in the Business Events sector and in the last financial year has bid for 39 international events and has secured seven. The total economic value of these wins to New Zealand is NZD$15.6 million.

Read more about Tourism New Zealand's work to grow the value of Business Events to New Zealand here.

Contact Georgina Maguire, Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand | phone +64 21 478 659

Contact Mark Wardle, Destination Communications Executive, ATEED | phone +64 21 534 494


  • Tourism New Zealand manage the Conference Assistance Programme which provides support for anyone considering hosting an international conference in New Zealand.
  • Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) is part of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED).
  • Auckland's business events industry is going from strength to strength with seven bid wins since July 2014 that are expected to generate an estimated tourism spend value of $6.3 million.
  • The launch of the Auckland Advocate Programme in March 2015 is just one initiative that will help Auckland to grow its business events sector. The programme will support the new Auckland Business Events Plan (BEP) which was launched by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) in August 2013.
  • Auckland's BEP aims to increase the value of the conventions sector to a $430 million industry by 2023 and help develop Auckland's world-class business events sector over the next decade.