Build it and they will come- whilst this often used saying doesn’t always prove accurate, it has in the case of Rotorua’s Energy Events Centre (EEC).
Opening in early 2007 and built at a cost of $28 million, the 8255 square metres the EEC has a capacity to host in excess of 5600 guests for cocktails and 4000 theatre-style.
The centre was designed to cater for conferences, exhibitions, functions and gala dinners as well as large scale cultural and sports events – and has delivered on all those expectations. A success story from the very first Learning at Schools conference for 1000 delegates the month it opened, the past four years have seen the EEC play host to some huge functions including two international Tourism Rendezvous New Zealand (TRENZ) tradeshows.
The Energy Events Centre will be on showcase next month at MEETINGS
“International conference delegates offer an even better return for Rotorua,” says Jeffery, “and we are finally ‘on the map’ with this type of international conferencing,” he said, adding that from having no international conference business in 2010, Events & Venues has secured seven confirmed international conferences for the EEC over the next two years, worth in excess of $3.4m to Rotorua this year alone.
Jeffery added that Events & Venues have also secured four other international conferences for 2012 and 2013.
Events & Venues has seen a significant increase in the level of international conference enquiry over the past six months. It is something Jeffery attributes to several things; the EEC gaining some real traction as a recognised venue in the international conference and incentive arena, platinum membership of CINZ (the New Zealand conference and incentive industry’s national body) and Events & Venues strong networks with international hotel chains.
“Our platinum CINZ membership generates leads for us to follow up on plus they also lend a hand with international marketing assistance, both of which are invaluable. Our strong hotel connections also provide a channel that feeds us possible international leads,” says Jeffery.
He says event organisers and professional conference organisers are beginning to realise that Rotorua is a credible venue for an international conference. He adds that while the direct Tran Tasman flights may not have actually been a viable option for some of the international delegates (due to connections and timing), the fact that the city has an international capable airport lends further weight to Rotorua’s credibility.