Meetings 2012 is shaping up to be the most diverse showcase yet of New Zealand’s business tourism sector with an unprecedented number of small, independent businesses and many of the smaller regions are also looking to boost their presence so they can take advantage of the networking opportunities the event offers.
Held annually, Meetings brings together under one roof hundreds of the finest destinations, venues, products and service providers in New Zealand and connects them with top conference and event organisers from Australasia and beyond.
This year more than 170 exhibitors from throughout the country will be taking part in the two-day expo – on June 13 and 14 at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland – while overseas buyers will be coming from as far afield as China and the United States.
“Each year Meetings seems to go from strength to strength and that’s reflected in the increasing levels of interest we’re getting from exhibitors and from buyers,” says CINZ chief executive Alan Trotter.
“Those in the industry recognise this is a must attend event because it brings all the players together under one roof and provides an invaluable opportunity for people to network and make new business connections.”
To help independent exhibitors get a foot in the door at Meetings organisers are making ‘pods’ available for the first time. A new stand concept for smaller exhibitors, the pods will provide a cost-effective way for newcomers to Meetings to showcase themselves.
“We feel it is important that Meetings is accessible to everyone – no matter how big or small their business. Often its small businesses who are the hidden gems of our industry and we want to give them a cost-effective opportunity to promote themselves and to grow,” Trotter said.
Hosted buyers at Meetings will again enjoy complimentary return international or domestic air travel, thanks to this year’s principal sponsor Air New Zealand. Ground transport in Auckland will be provided courtesy of sponsor Johnston’s Coachlines, and the hosted buyers will stay at some of Auckland City’s finest hotels.
A comprehensive social programme which showcases Auckland’s waterfront is being put together for the buyers. And the Auckland Convention Bureau is offering a full day familarisation programme for those able to stay an extra night so they can sample the region’s highlights.
A special programme for day buyers will include an exclusive luncheon hosted by Millennium Hotels and Resorts at the historic St Matthew in the City.
Back by popular demand this year will be the breakfast speaker showcase, sponsored by Celebrity Speakers, which will give hosted buyers, day buyers and exhibitors the opportunity to hear from some of New Zealand’s newest speaker talent.
“Auckland is going to put on a great show for us and we’re confident this year’s event will build on the success of last year’s event in Rotorua, which generated in excess of $32m worth of business leads for our industry,” said Trotter.
“New Zealand is a dream destination for conferences, conventions and incentive travel because of our diversity and our ability to deliver amazing experiences at cost-effective prices. At no other time is the strength of our diversity more clear to see than at Meetings when our industry comes together under roof to sell New Zealand as a destination.”
*Applications for hosted buyers wanting to attend Meetings close on April 6, 2012. Applications can be made online now by clicking here.