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Bookings Beat Expectations At Skycity

24 May 2004

Bookings Beat Expectations At Skycity
Auckland Convention Centre

The calendar is filling up fast at the new SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre which opened for business last month. SKYCITY’s General Manager Sales, Kerry Rice says it is already putting Auckland on the map for national and international conferences.

“Interest from the industry is exceeding expectations,” he said.

“We have already secured more than 200 bookings for dinners, conferences and events in the next twelve months with other bookings as far forward as 2007 and delegate numbers ranging in size between 300 and 1500.”

“Up until now, Auckland hasn’t had a dedicated banqueting venue to host functions of more than 600 people. The existence of an international standard facility here allows us to compete for business alongside some of the big Australian cities.”

“Our sales team is working hard to win Australasian convention business and has secured the Australian Pulp and Paper Convention in 2005,” said Mr Rice.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand CEO Alan Trotter said the new facility brings Auckland up to the next level as an international conference destination.

“Auckland has been lacking a custom designed convention centre and this facility sends a signal to conference organisers that New Zealand really takes this market seriously.”

“We’ve had a real issue in the past seating people in one room, on one floor. The banqueting capacity, high studded ceilings and pillarless design of the new facility works really well,” said Mr Trotter.

In the coming months the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre will host the prestigious Financial Planners and Insurance Advisors conference for 700 delegates while the Microsoft Tech Ed conference for 1500 delegates will make full use of the sophisticated on-site IT and audio visual equipment.

The new centre has also received a number of bookings for large evening events such as charity balls and black tie dinners. The first undertaking was hosting the recent Propecia Rally of New Zealand headquarters followed by the New Zealand Property Council awards dinner for 800 guests and the recent Qantas Media Awards events.

The new SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre, situated on Federal Street opposite SKYCITY Auckland, opened for business on Monday 5 April 2004 and offers the largest multi-functional convention facility in central Auckland city with capacity for up to 1200 (banquet function) or 1500 (theatre-style) delegates.

The new convention centre is currently available for evening banqueting functions and will be open for multi-day or major daytime events in late July 2004 when the construction of the SKYCITY Grand Hotel situated directly above will not be disruptive to daytime conference guests.

The $140 million development represents the largest commercial project currently underway in the city. On completion, it will comprise five floors of convention centre and the other 14 levels above will be the new SKYCITY Grand Hotel (scheduled to open in May 2005).


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