Hosted by the Rotorua Convention Bureau, the function was part of the evening programme for Meetings 2011 held in Rotorua, June 21-23. Christchurch was due to host the Meetings tradeshow, but the February earthquake meant that was no longer feasible so Rotorua stepped in to help at short notice.
Many of the guests attending the ‘Out of the Blue’ function used “amazing” to describe their overall impression of the venue, setting and food; waxing lyrical about the six-course degustation menu, the beautifully dressed historic Spanish Mission-style venue and the great brassy sound of the 9-piece big band.
‘Amazing’ sums up the Meetings 2011 ‘Out of the Blue’
function hosted by Rotorua Convention Bureau
at Blue Baths, Rotorua on 22 June 2011
The general feeling among buyers – even those who had previously been to Rotorua (and in some instances the Blue Baths) – was one of surprise; surprise at Rotorua’s ability to host such an upmarket function at short notice, the maturity of the offering, and the level of effort, team work and cordiality shown to guests by Rotorua.
Lee Picken, Hamilton-based project director for ForumPoint2, said the Convention Bureau and the Blue Baths did a fabulous job of promoting Rotorua through the function.
“Staging an event like this tells the world that Rotorua is serious about the C&I industry,” said Lee Picken. She said she has since spoken to several Australian buyers who believe that Rotorua has ‘grown up’ as a conference venue.
Sharon Auld, Sydney-based Australian manager for Conventions & Incentives New Zealand, the convenors of the annual Meetings tradeshow, was also “amazed” at New Zealand’s ability to surprise her. She said the ‘Out of the Blue’ function was a huge effort yet so personalised; something she says her Australian buyers recognise and value.
Blue Baths managing director Jo Romanes said she was delighted the Baths were chosen to host the Rotorua Convention Bureau function for Meetings buyers and exhibitors, seeing it as their “moment to shine” whilst giving guests an authentic Rotorua experience.
While few guests noticed that the band played under a covered marquee on a platform constructed over the outdoor swimming pool especially for the occasion, those who did felt it further underlined Rotorua’s commitment to the C&I market.