Patience is a virtue in the world of conferences and incentives and playing the waiting game has paid off for the Events & Venues Rotorua (E&V) sales and marketing team as they prepare to host a major Australian conference in August for 350 delegates.
E&V sales and marketing manager Brett Jeffery says the business was finally secured last month when the two Sydney-based executives, Sue Thomson, national professional development manager for the Australasian College of Health Service Management, and Linda McKay of Health Informatics, spent three days in Rotorua on a familiarisation initiated and put together by E&V taking advantage of the newly launched direct Sydney to Rotorua flights.
Conference organisers experiencing the thrill of Rotorua as part of a recent E&V famil program
The Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) has never held an annual conference in New Zealand so Jeffery considers it is quite a coup for Rotorua to secure this piece of business. He says it only happened because Rotorua has finally got the last piece of the puzzle in place; trans-Tasman air services.
Jeffery said the famil offered the potential client an opportunity to check out venues and associated products, and also gave the E & V team the chance to build a relationship with the two women. He said the E&V team listened to their needs and came up with a programme to make an impact.
“We sold them on the destination, we sold them on the Energy Events Centre and we could also offer a strong social programme, but what really clinched the deal was the ability to fly direct into Rotorua from Sydney.”
Securing conference and incentive (C & I) business for Rotorua is hugely important to the city due to several factors, says Jeffery. It brings business to the city during the traditional tourism off-season and also offers higher economic returns than regular holidaying (FIT) visitors. On average the per day FIT visitor spend is $285 whilst the average per day C & I visitor spend is almost double that at $530. As a consequence, the ACHSM conference could have economic benefits in excess of $600,000 for Rotorua.
Next year’s three-day programme will include a gala dinner at the Energy Events Centre, where the conference sessions will be held, plus two off-site evening functions. The two women were impressed with the wide range of activities that were suitable for inclusion in the social programme, and it looks likely that Tamaki Heritage Experiences, Agrodome, Agroventures and Skyline will be part of the final programme.
Others local businesses to benefit from the ACHSM conference next year will be the Millennium and Sudima Hotels, and Rotorua-based international motivational speaker Ngahihi Bidios, who will speak at the conference.