Oysters Go Down a Treat at Jade Stadium
Oysters Go Down a Treat at Jade
MEETINGS 2006 Function Serves Up Robbie Dean and Oysters
19 July 2006: Clevedon rock oysters were at first cautiously welcomed, then happily devoured by guests at a function at Jade Stadium in Christchurch last night.
The New Zealand grown oysters were served up kilpatrick, mornay and natural style – amid a barrage of quips from guests about where the oysters came from, if they were local and whether they were safe to eat. The interrogation line follows a recent bout of food poisoning at Auckland’s Eden Park after guests ate imported Korean oysters.
“It’s quite ironic that Christchurch in the South Island can serve Clevedon oysters when Auckland – with Clevedon on its doorstep – serves up imported Korean oysters. It just shows that the South Island knows how to get it right,” says Alan Trotter, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) CEO.
Mr Trotter was speaking from Jade Stadium at the welcome function for MEETINGS 2006, New Zealand’s annual convention & incentive (C&I) tradeshow that promotes the country exclusively as a C&I destination. It is being held over the next two days at the Christchurch Convention Centre.
More than 450 hosted buyers and exhibitors from New Zealand, Australia and Asia attended the Jade Stadium welcome function and were led upstairs through the players’ showers and changing rooms – complete with ‘rugby players’ in the showers, on the massage table and throwing rugby balls around. Crusaders coach Robbie Deans was the guest speaker for the evening, welcoming the large contingent to Christchurch and wishing everyone the best for the show.
“The oyster stand was the first food station as guests walked into the function, and it quickly became a talking point,” Mr Trotter says. “Everyone was a bit cautious to begin with, but not for long.
“The welcome function is a great ice-breaker for the show and it proved its worth with the Spencer on Byron Hotel on Auckland’s North Shore and the neighbouring North Harbour Stadium, well on their way to securing some of the first business of the show after striking up a conversation with an Australian buyer. That’s what the show is all about, networking and facilitating new business,” he says.
The convention and incentive industry injects more than $1 billion dollars a year into the New Zealand economy and more than 160 of the country’s finest suppliers of venues, products and services are exhibiting at the tradeshow.
“This year we’re celebrating 10 years of the MEETINGS tradeshow, which has gone from strength to strength since its inception. The beauty of the show is that it’s all under one roof, making it a one-stop shop, so to speak, for prospective buyers,” Mr Trotter says.
MEETINGS 2006 is expected to generate more than $35 million worth of C&I business for New Zealand. MEETINGS 2007 will be held in Auckland at the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre on July 25 and 26.