CINZ chief executive weighs in on new $10m events fund

While she had hoped for "more targeted" funding, Lisa Hopkins welcomes the opportunity to support the industry and its people.

The New Zealand Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector as part of its 2020 Budget, following talks between industry and government.

Designed to help businesses impacted by COVID-19, the Domestic Events Fund is open to existing events that are considered regionally or nationally significant, where support is needed to re-start or re-scale the event, or where supporting the event will help retain event organisers and suppliers.

In announcing the fund, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford said while it won’t save every event, the fund aims to support events “that provide the greatest flow-on benefit to regional economies”.

Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) chief executive Lisa Hopkins said the funding comes as a result of talks with the government to develop a strategy for the event sector’s survival.

“This means members of CINZ and its fellow event-related associations will be able to apply for funding,” she said.

“Critically, this money will have a downstream effect to support the event eco-system as one of its key objectives is to enable event organisers to provide suppliers with immediate financial assistance.”

Suppliers “paramount” in the fund’s creation

Hopkins welcomed the financial support for the the industry.

Lisa Hopkins, CINZ chief executive

“While we had hoped for more targeted business funding for the industry, we welcome any opportunity to support business events and the people who work in it,” she said.

“We know it takes an army to create a successful event and we need great venues, technicians, caterers, event stylists, entertainers, accommodation, transportation and other organisations to work in unison to make that happen.

“CINZ is committed to ensuring this new fund is distributed through the wider event supply chain and to our members.”

On whether there needs to be additional support for new events, Hopkins said supporting suppliers was “paramount” in the creation of the Domestic Events Fund.

“The purpose of this fund is not for event creation, but event retention on events with a track record for delivery success and broad industry or regional impact,” she says.

CINZ strengthens partnerships with TNZ and PCMA

As the business events recovery continues in New Zealand, CINZ has strengthened a number of industry partnerships.

CINZ has entered an agreement with the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) to together support and professionally develop the New Zealand business events community’s skills and capacity through education.

“Through our new alliance we recognise the unique qualities and services each of us offer to our respective membership bases, and how a collaborative approach can support not only each other but the business events community,” said Karen Bolinger, PCMA managing director for APAC.

CINZ has also renewed its agreement with Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) to promote business events to New Zealand.

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