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$16 Million Convention Success for New Zealand

$16 Million Convention Success for New Zealand

In the last month, specialised bidding advice and funding have assisted in winning the rights to host six conventions with a combined worth of $16 million dollars to the New Zealand economy. The Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), a joint initiative between the government’s Inter Agency Events Group (IAEG) and Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) provided the professional backing necessary to beat off the competition. The CAP programme has been on a real winning streak over the last month.

The conventions won include:

• 43rd International Paediatric Oncology Congress 2011, Auckland, 1,700 attendees, $6.3m direct spend

• International Symposium for Adapted Physical Activity 2011, Christchurch, 750 attendees, $2.5m direct spend

• Models 2011, Wellington, A computer science modelling conference, 350 attendees, worth $1.4m direct spend

• Global Competitiveness – Implementing Lean Thinking in NZ, Auckland 2010 – Implementing Lean Thinking within 700 attendees, worth $1.025m direct spend

In addition to these, in 2010 Auckland will also host an economic development conference of 500 attendees with an estimated spend of $1.7M and Wellington can expect 600 attendees to an information technology conference worth $2.9m.

“Winning bids for high yielding conventions and conferences like these is a real coup for New Zealand,” said Alan Trotter, Chief Executive of Conventions New Zealand. The return on investment in bids for events is very high. Not only are the economic rewards obvious, but the knowledge transfer also pays dividends for our scientific, medical and academic communities, as well as for our other professional disciplines. They also help us to raise the bar in our own professional capability as hosts.”

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Over the last three years the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), an IAEG and CINZ initiative, has attracted conferences worth a total of $125 million in direct spend to the country. Conferences are not business as usual. They generate new money that would otherwise not enter the country and help to shift visitation from the traditional tourism season to the low and shoulder seasons making better use of our infrastructure and injecting much needed cash into businesses during these periods.

CAP provides expertise and funding to organisations to assist with bids that offer real economic benefits for New Zealand. Jenny Gosney, Southern Regional Manager for the Halberg Trust said that the help provided by CAP was critical to winning the rights to host the International Symposium for Adapted Physical Activity.

“If it was not for the support we received we would not have had the expertise to put together such a professional bid. Financial support from the programme not only made it possible to present the bid in Italy, but also ensured the support material was of the highest quality.”

The Conference Assistance Programme has an annual budget of $511,000 and uses a rigorous process to identify the benefits to New Zealand of supporting bids for high yield events.

“The programme is an example of government working with industry, academia and community groups to achieve economic, educational and social gains,” said Mr Trotter.

The IAEG is represented by the following organisations: Conventions and Incentives New Zealand, Ministry of Tourism, Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand Major Events, SPARC and several other government departments.

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