NZ sees light as it lifts event capacity limits

NEW ZEALAND’S business events industry is ready and waiting to welcome back visitors following this week’s announcement by the government to end event-capacity restriction, says the country’s convention bureau chief.

Lisa Hopkins

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) CEO Lisa Hopkins said meetings and incentives were projected to make a strong comeback off the back of the announcement.

“For the first time since mid-August 2021, the business events industry can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that New Zealand is moving from Red to Orange level,” she said.

“This announcement by Minister for Covid Response, Chris Hipkins, coupled with the opening of air borders without the need to self-isolate for Australian visitors was highly anticipated and welcomed by the business events sector industry.

“With confirmation of a move to the Orange setting of the Covid Protection Framework and borders reopening, we are very much open to hosting large business events.

“There is pent-up demand from Australian, international, and domestic event organisers with a robust booking pipeline waiting in the wings.

“Business events are critical to New Zealand’s recovery. The desire to meet face-to-face has never been stronger, and the return of in-person meetings and events, and people travelling for business events has never been more important. This will bring a positive impact right across our economy and our communities.

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“Our high-quality business visitors travel across New Zealand to meet customers, close sales, or attend a conference, and often stay a few days afterwards to experience a little piece of paradise somewhere in our country. They bring much-needed support to our accommodation, retail, and hospitality sectors.”

“BEIA’s annual trade show, MEETINGS set for June 2022 has attracted registrations from hundreds of Australian and New Zealand event managers and professional conference organisers already. They will be ready to book future business with 200 exhibitors from 18 regions of New Zealand at the new Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre on 15 and 16 June.

“There is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting, which is proven to lead to more fruitful business opportunities and can help power New Zealand’s recovery,” Hopkins says.

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