Waikato Showcase ©Barker Photography Waikato Showcase ©Barker Photography

The Waikato was put under the spotlight last week as part of the Business Events Waikato Showcase held at Claudelands Arena.

A group of 12 PCOs were treated to a three-day Waikato welcoming, hosted by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism NZ business events manager Amanda Graham. The group explored a range of the best conference venues, business event spaces and services the Waikato region has on offer.

Day one of the three-day jaunt kicked off with lunch at the Sudima Hotel Hamilton and an activation session led by Joanna Hall, sales & event manager and Julia Edward, sales & event executive from Team Up Events. Then it was time to get down to business, with event organisers, PCOs and buyers coming together to meet with the wide array of operators exhibiting at the showcase.

The showcase included over 50 exhibitors, including Hobbiton Movie Set, Discover Waitomo, Distinction Hamilton Hotel and many more, as well as guest speakers from Essential Talent including Duncan Garner and Rob Hamil along with a Tourism NZ panel discussion about the Waikato. The showcase ended with drinks, canapes and entertainment from Looking for Alaska and Lyrica. The day was wrapped with a tour and dinner event at the Good George Brewery.

Buyers say that the close proximity to Auckland and Auckland Airport, great conference facilities and unique venues for social functions are a huge draw card. They love the way our operators work together to enhance the delegate experience,’ says Graham.

Day two saw the group of 12 take a tour of a bunch of venues in Hamilton including Distinction Hamilton, Zealong Tea and The Verandah. The group of buyers were lucky enough to head off to Waitomo and choose between The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co or Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Caves before being treated to a four course wine paired dinner at Claudelands in a surprise area of the venue.

The weekend wrapped up with a site visit and breakfast at the Novotel and Ibis Tainui Hamilton, followed by a quick tour of Skycity Hamilton before heading off for a post-famil at Hobbiton with a banquet feast.

Stay tuned for full coverage of the Business Events Waikato Showcase and famil in the upcoming October-November Meeting Newz magazine.

The group of 12 included Trish Bowell, Avenues Event Management; Neil Maitland, Conference Brokers Ltd; Heidi Buchmann, Soltius NZ Ltd; Ali Copeman, akB Conference Management; Tiffany Henderson, ILANZ; Shelley Haring, OnCue Conferences; Gabrielle O’Brien, NZ Law Society; Jean Barr, Top Achievers Sales Training; Lauren Keen, Lizzy Tankard, Promote Ltd and Mackenzie Smith, Icon Conference & Event Management. 

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