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Billion Dollar Industry in Town

Tuesday 19 July 2005

Billion Dollar Industry in Town

The convention and incentive industry is worth more than $1 billion to New Zealand’s economy annually and the country’s leading convention hotels, venues and activity operators will be signing up millions of dollars worth of business over the next few days.

“Hundreds of local and international buyers - from Australia and as far afield as India, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong - will be at the MEETINGS 2005 tradeshow in Auckland with exhibitors looking to secure millions of dollars worth of business,” says Sally Bary, MEETINGS 2005 organiser.

The annual tradeshow - held by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) - is the country’s only conference and incentives industry tradeshow and begins tomorrow at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre with more than 160 exhibitors.

“This annual event is chance for buyers and exhibitors to meet face to face and update themselves on New Zealand’s convention product and services. It is a valuable two days for the C&I industry with recent events securing more than $10 million worth of business during the tradeshow itself, with a further $10 million plus after the show, once leads are followed up,” Ms Bary says.

The government has recognised the value of the convention industry and has entered into a funding agreement with CINZ to help it increase the number of international conventions coming to New Zealand. As a result of this initiative CINZ has already placed five bids with one success to date and four other decisions pending.

“The successful bid so far is for an international medical conference for 2,500 delegates and will result in similar money being injected into the economy as the recent International Bar Association (IBA) conference, around the $20 million mark,” says Alan Trotter, CINZ CEO.

“It is fantastic that the Government has recognised the economic value of the industry to New Zealand and now they can see the investment is beginning to pay off.”

The IBA conference highlighted the value of the conference market to the national economy with each of the 2,500 delegates spending on average $773 per day during the conference.

“The international airfares need to be added to this figure as well, which shows the significant value of the conference industry to New Zealand. This daily delegate spend is more than five times the average daily spend of international tourists to the country,” Mr Trotter says.

MEETINGS 2005 will also highlight Auckland city’s exciting range of venues to both exhibitors and buyers, says Ms Bary. “Tonight the welcome function will be held at The Pavilion at Britomart and tomorrow night convention bureaux from around the country will host dinners at various venues around the city. Thursday is the final day of appointments with the tradeshow culminating with a Gala Party at the Auckland Convention Centre at The Edge.”

Some of the Auckland day buyers are also getting the chance to experience one of Auckland’s most historic and stunning venues, St Matthews in the City. “Auckland day buyers have the opportunity to be treated to lunch in St Matthews in the City hosted by MCK (Millennium Copthorne Kingsgate) Hotels, which is a great way of showcasing the venue as well as learning more about the MCK product,” Ms Bary says.

The tradeshow culminates with a Gala Party at the purpose designed convention wing of the Auckland Convention Centre at THE EDGE®. The dinner will be held in the Lower NZI area and will showcase the recently upgraded space in the Aotea Centre.

“The space has been totally transformed from a blank canvas to the latest, hippest club around! Club 37o - the concept of the theme coming from the latitude of Auckland - promises to be fast paced, modern and edgy. It’s a chance to let your hair down, throw off that jacket, sip on a cocktail and enjoy a kaleidoscopic effect of music and lights, dancing and multimedia,” says Grace Tsang, Auckland Convention Centre at The Edge, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Last year MEETINGS was held out of Auckland for the first time in Christchurch and will be back in Christchurch in 2006. This is the ninth consecutive year the tradeshow has been held.

ENDS

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