Convene 2017 Wrap Up: What the industry is saying

Convene 2017 Wrap Up: What the industry is saying

Convene 2017 saw a wide range of industry players and visitors come together for what was a busy, productive and successful event,

all under the one roof at the new venue of the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, Auckland.

Karyn Spencer, chief operating officer at Vodafone Events centre, says hosting Convene 2017 exceeded expectations.  

‘The day buyers in particular were focused and engaged and open to new possibilities. They seemed really willing to spend the time to hear what the exhibitors had to offer as opposed to ‘just popping in,’ she explains.

Spencer says the post-lunchtime buzz had a really energy to it, and the easy access and free parking was a hit with buyers and exhibitors alike. 

Sonja Herrmann, Jet Park, says Convene was an efficient way for the team to talk to interested buyers, make industry connections and get Jet Park’s name out there.

Herrman says she really loved the change of venue to Vodafone Events Centre in South Auckland.

‘Not only for logistical reasons, but also that the area has so much to offer and it’s great to see this showcased to all that attended,’ she explained. ‘The free parking, hassle-free commute, and great facilities were a real plus.’

‘We enjoyed being a sponsor to the Speaker sessions and it was exciting to have the feel of a new venue to set-up our stand in,’ adds Herrmann.

‘We were really pleased with our video wall on our stand and the breakfast was a great way to connect with industry colleagues and prospective buyers.’ 

Blair Withers, Withers Coachlines, says the event was an opportunity to showcase the best of business.

‘When you’re in the industry, you’re really chasing that new business.

People are always looking for new products, new opportunities, new destinations, for their existing cutsomers. And that what Convene gives you,’ he says.

‘That’s why you come to Convene – to put yourself on show, to put your best foot forward.'

Prue Rogers, director of sales, New Zealand International Conference Centre, says: ‘Convene has been an excellent avenue for the NZICC to connect with the local MICE industry.

‘It was great to connect with so many people and not only give them an update about what is happening with NZICC, but also how we can partner with New Zealand organisations to host their events,’ she says.

‘Locally focused events such as Convene really give us an opportunity to have in-depth conversations with the industry and event organisers about what they need and want from a centre, and its genuinely warming to hear the excitement and support about what the infrastructure will enable for them,’ adds Sarah Burilin, marketing manager, New Zealand International Conference Centre.

‘We love how unique and Pacifica the Vodafone Event Centre is, the artwork throughout the building really gives you a sense of pride of being a New Zealander and an appreciation of just how multicultural diverse Auckland City is,’ Burilin says.

‘I'm looking forward to continuing the relationships that were built and working with such a dynamic local industry of professionals to create truly memorable events and experiences,’ Rogers says.

Jeff Coyle, business development manager at Corporate Cabs, says Convene not only introduced the company to potential new clients but also give Corporate Cabs the opportunity to meet its existing customers.

Coyle says the new location for the event was an excellent choice, not only for the exhibitors but also the event visitors, great amenities and parking.

Coyle says the team is pleased with the response they got at Convene.

‘This is the first time we have had a Corporate Cab set up on display, great comments, and interesting to note is that while our customers know we have large cars, many had never been in one, as they normally book the taxi for other guests or staff.

‘The highlight of Convene for us was meeting and greeting not only our customers but also other trade exhibitors who we look after on a daily basis.,’ he adds.


Alison Smith, director of Conference and Incentives, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand, says one of the great things about Convene is that the clients are quite different from other industry events.

‘It provides the opportunity for businesses like Millennium Hotels and Resorts to expand its database,’ she says. ‘It was an easy show to interact with clients,  the show was really smooth and the organising team made it seem like nothing was ever a problem.’

Smith adds, ‘I believe the venue was fantastic and the ability for clients to park at the front door was a great service to make it easy for the event buyer.’

Jackie Thompson, general manager for Ramada Resort Taipa, says: ‘We had a fantastic day – met up with a few buyers, both those that we did meet were very good leads.

‘So for us, getting the name out there and also a good geography lesson on where we are located.’

Thompson says the best part about the Vodafone Event Centre was its location. ‘It was easy to find, easy to set up, and what I liked most about it was it was close to a shopping centre – for those bits and bobs that were forgotten on setup.,' she explains.

Orshi Miklos, business development manager, MICE, Crown Plaza Hotels & Resorts says at a show like Convene, she always looks for new opportunities with buyers. 

‘I also enjoy the opportunity to catch up and network with clients whom I have not seen in a while and building on these existing relationships,’ she adds.

‘I think the venue looked fantastic and the show build was very nice,’ Miklos says of the Vodafone Events Centre. ‘I did feel at times we had less foot traffic than in previous years however this could have been partially due to the seminars running as well.’

Miklos says being on an IHG stand with another three hotels was certainly advantageous for her team.

‘We had been buzzing for most of the day, and managed to see several buyers whom I had no appointment with as well,’ she explains.  

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