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New Zealanders join Asia Pacific business events leaders

Tourism New Zealand is heralding new opportunities for associations, academia and professional conference organisers to work together to promote New Zealand as a business events destination favoured by Asia Pacific organisations.

In partnership with the Professional Conference Management Association, Tourism New Zealand led a New Zealand delegation to the Singapore MICE Forum held 24-25 July. The Forum is the largest meeting, of the Business Events industry in the Asia Pacific and was attended by 400 senior level delegates from 20+ countries. The Forum included a comprehensive education programme with 82 presenters.

The Tourism New Zealand delegation at SMF 2018

“The Singapore MICE Forum was an opportunity to extend the international knowledge base of New Zealanders involved in conferencing, and at the same time showcase New Zealand as a business events destination in the buoyant Asia Pacific market,” says Lisa Gardiner, Tourism New Zealand’s Global Manager of Business Events.

“New Zealand has a strong reputation for its world-leading knowledge hubs and it was fantastic to have our partners attend the forum and fly the flag of these knowledge hubs. It gave them a chance to see what is involved in international conference bidding and what attracts organisers to a destination, which is valuable information for conference bids.”   

Tourism New Zealand has worked extensively with New Zealand associations and  universities for the past seven years, educating academics on the Tourism New Zealand Conference Assistance Programme and providing support to institutions that choose to bid for and host international conferences. In the FY18 financial year Tourism New Zealand alongside industry partners and academics bid for and won $49.4m of conference business, spanning a range of sectors including medical science, science ecology and environment, and commerce.

The delegates were recipients of Professional Conference Management Association Scholarships and included: Kim Mundell (Health Informatics New Zealand), Leanne Fescer (New Zealand Veterinary Association), Maria Jones (Victoria University of Wellington), Christine McGonigal (University of Auckland), and conference organisers Stephen Noble (The Conference Company), and Tracey Thomas (Conference Innovators). Jan Tonkin (The Conference Company) and Steve Armitage (ATEED) joined Tourism New Zealand at the forum.

“With more than 30 countries represented at the forum, it was very enlightening to learn first-hand some of the global trends and challenges affecting the international events and conference industries,” says Maria Jones, Associate Director, Engagement and Alumni at Victoria University of Wellington.

In the year to June 2018, New Zealand welcomed more than 70,000 international visitors who travelled here specifically to attend a convention and/or conference (up 5.2% on the year prior).