Meeting Newz March / April 2021

Zoom Elevation Masterclass from Sam Mellor, Founder, Virtual Event Elves HIGH SATISFACTION HIGH ENERGY Conferenz MD, Steve Scott, was thrilled with the response to the show and voted the event ‘high energy’. “This is the outcome of planning put into place in June/July last year, when the event was supposed to take place in October. We had planned it to be a bit smaller – right- sized for COVID times – but even so the plans and thoughts we were crafting had to change,” he says. “We brought the event to this venue because we wanted to contain it to keep energy levels up. So we planned this but, actually, with the amount of support we got from partners and attendees, we could have reinstituted last year’s plans to hold it at Spark Arena. “Certainty in the market has only come this year. The blips didn’t undermine the confidence of the exhibitors and sponsors. Exhibitors have been very positive and attendees have seen it as a great opportunity for personal development – the two-day ticket option was the most popular. “We are really looking forward to 2022 and can start preparing for it from a very confident position. It will also be in March,” he concludes. FEEDBACK FROM THE FLOOR Exhibitors and delegates echoed Scott’s satisfaction with the event. Even though Wednesday was a little slower than the opening day, interest and enquiries into product was pleasing. One exhibitor, while delighted that the event was going ahead, didn’t have too great an expectation, but was gratified with the response she got from buyers. “Interest was so high and genuine that it encouraged me to take a further step back to re-look at how I can add even more value to my product,” she says. Her sentiment was echoed by several buyers who also said they were now aware of howmuch extra value they could add to their clients’ requests. The show attracted exhibitors from as far south as Invercargill. “We have secured number of opportunities and have enjoyed the networking and format of the event,” says Adam Reinsfield from Invercargill’s Transport World. Rachel Clifford fromWayfare was a first time exhibitor. “I was new to the show and really had no expectation, as I had nothing previous to judge any interest by. But I was pleasantly surprised and have had lots of enquiries for both Christchurch and Queenstown. It’s been worth my while.” Personal development was a big part of the event with live stream addresses from international guests, John Shaw former executive assistant to the CEO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Ann Hiatt, former chief of staff at Google and executive assistant to Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. Both presentations were empowering from Hiatt’s first job, which was as a junior assistant to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos when the company was yet to turn a profit and where she learned to be fearless, and Shaw’s rescue from abusive parents by his grandparents who had searched for him for years, and his inadvertent employment within the Nashville music industry. He is now executive business administrator to the board of directors at Microsoft. SPEAKERS FULFILL NEED FOR INFORMATION AND INSPIRATION ANN HIATT – Former chief of staff at Google, EA to the EC and assistant to Jeff Bezos Reggie Love had his future mapped out as a professional athlete until a serious injury put paid to that. Also interested in politics, he volunteered to help out at the office of then Senator Obama who had just made his famous keynote speech at the DNC Convention. That speech generated mail by the truckload and Obama’s chief of staff asked for someone to take over the task of sorting it. Love thought ‘what the heck’ and put up his hand. The point of the story, says Love’s friend Ann Hiatt, opening keynote speaker at the Office, PA & Event Planner Show, is that such tasks are often dismissed as basic, invisible and thankless. But Love could see [ E XH I B I T I ONS / TRADE SHOWS It was a busy two days at the Cordis Hotel Auckland when the 2021 Office, PA and Event Planner Show (OPEPS) was finally held after COVID delays on 23 and 24 March. Sally Bunce and Tara Daly, InfrastructureNZ and Wendy Desiles, Business Events Marlborough Adam Reinsfield and Karen Witham, Great South By JaneWarwick [30] meeting newz [march april] 2021

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