Meeting Newz Septeber / October 2022

Connect ing the bus iness events indust r y for over 30 years The Conference, Incentive & Exhibition Magazine SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 Hawke’s Bay Auckland End of year celebrations Mackay

Contents meeting newz is registered as a magazine and is published by Tourism Media Group Ltd, 4/1 Montrose Terrace, Mairangi Bay, PO Box 65343, Mairangi Bay, Auckland, 0754 Website: Publisher: Tourism Media Group Ltd. email: Advertising: Terry Holt Phone: 021 042 8232 email: Advertising: Paul Hailes Phone: 021 217 3628 email: Contributors: Jane Warwick, Stu Freeman, Shannon Williams, Anabel Darby, Debbie Armatage, Brad Foster Design & Production: Gary Covich email: Printing: Centurion Print ISSN 1172- 5893 (Print) ISSN 2703-1942 (Online) [NOTE F ROM THE PUBL I SHE RS Front cover: Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts & Event Centre The announcement made in September by the government to end the Covid-19 Protection Framework, or traffic light system, was long overdue but a welcome one for the industry. The ability for people to plan ahead without restrictions will surely come as a relief and create some momentum and business as we head towards the end of the year. Meeting Newz recently attended a conference in Blenheim for AuSAE (which you can read more about on page 20). It was a pleasure to be in a business events environment without masks or distancing and it was also good to see people who felt more comfortable wearing masks doing so without feeling any pressure not to wear them. The Marlborough region turned it on for the conference and shows the strength in the regions for business events. We get © Tourism Media Group. All rights reserved For any enquiries regarding the upcoming features please contact Terry: or Paul: November December 2022 • Manawatu/Palmerston North • Taranaki/New Plymouth • Whanganui • Australia • Company Profiles • Sustainability January February 2023 • Bay of Islands • Northland/Whangarei • Queenstown • Southern Lakes • Australia • AIME Preview • PCOA Review March April 2023 • Central Otago • Dunedin • Hamilton • Waikato • Australia • Pacific update • AIME Review May June 2023 • Invercargill • Southland & Fiordland • Wairarapa • Wellington • West Coast • MEETINGS Preview Magazine Note from the publishers... Features Cover Story Hawke’s Bay 10 Auckland 28 End of Year Celebrations 42 Mackay Australia 44 Regular Features News 4 People on the Move 18 Social Scene 26 & 27 Industry Insights AuSAE LINC Conference 20 St John Column 22 Office PA & Events Planner Show 24 BEIA Column 48 Coast Group Profile Series 50 to experience the Hawke’s Bay next for the BEIA conference in October where issues critical to the sector’s success will be discussed. The Queen's state funeral service was steeped in tradition and pageantry and wonderful recognition of Her Majesty’s dedication and life of service for over 70 years. She carried out roughly 21,000 engagements and visited over 100 countries as head of state – regardless of whatever one’s position on the monarchy is, these are just extraordinary numbers. Our cover story in this issue focuses on the mighty Hawke’s Bay which has new facilities and familiar favourites throughout the region. Further north we visit greater Auckland which has new and refurbished hotels and exciting plans ahead. Across the Tasman we visit the Mackay region of Queensland. Our annual end of year celebrations and events feature is unmasked with hints and tips for event planners from industry experts. We have our regular industry news, events, people on the move and social happenings; and of course updates from our key partners. You will find also find our second edition of the Pacific Business Events Magazine enclosed so you can start planning your offshore events as well. Put the coffee on and enjoy the read. Paul, Terry and Gary July August 2023 • Bay of Plenty • Taupo • Rotorua • Australia • MEETINGS Review • Incentives September October 2023 • Christchurch & Canterbury • Marlborough • Nelson Tasman • Australia • End of year celebrations and events • Pacific Business Events Magazine Features subject to change GOFOR GREENLIGHTS Upcoming Meeting Newz 2022/23 features [2] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

[I NDUSTRY NEWS +64 3 443 0017 CONFERENCE & EVENTS at the water’s edge Looking for a space for your next conference or event? Edgewater has a range of lake view rooms, catering options and full on-site coordination Contact the Events Team at Edgewater for a personalized quote Experts on workforce training, sustainability, and future strategies are set to share their insights with Business Events Industry Aotearoa’s (BEIA) members at Ignite the Future conference in early October. BEIA’s annual conference will be held in Hawke’s Bay at Napier Conference Centre from 4 to 6 October, and opened on Wednesday 5 October by Minister for Tourism and Economic Development, Hon Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre has reached a significant milestone, hosting 100 events in the four and a half months since its first conference in May. The 100th event was the Take Charge Christchurch Expo hosted by the Christchurch City Council. The free public expo featured more than 50 electric battery vehicles in and around the centre, and attracted close to 9,000 visitors. Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre general manager Ross Steele says given the support from the Ōtautahi Christchurch community since the centre began operations, it was only fitting the 100th event was for the public. Stuart Nash who is also MP for Napier. BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins says the conference kicks off with an interactive workshop on the big issues facing the sector, and BEIA’s strategy for the way forward. “As we face limited staffing resources, added pressure on venues, and shorter lead times, Covid has made us think differently. Industry experts will give perspectives on the three most challenging subjects for our sector right now – people training and professional development, sustainability initiatives, and customer expectations. “Our industry members can take a deep dive into the subjects critical to our sector’s success going forward, and there will be plenty of chance for feedback,” she says. One of New Zealand’s most well-respected and recognisable names, media presenter Hilary Barry will start day two with her take on the ultimate storytelling, sponsored by Celebrity Speakers. The new space at Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts and Event Centre is the venue for a Great Gatsby-themed dinner - Deco, Diamonds, and Decadence - on 6 October, with Outstanding Contributor Awards for 2021 and 2022 to be presented. “We’re delighted that our milestone 100th event was one that supported our city and the community, particularly given that Te Pae Christchurch was built as a regeneration project for Ōtautahi Christchurch,” Steele says. “It’s been fantastic to attract and host so many events that we can see are having a direct and positive impact on businesses across the city.” Of the 100 events so far, Te Pae Christchurch has hosted 36 multi-day conferences, including two international events; 30 banquets, 27 meetings and seminars, six exhibitions and one live entertainment event. Big issues on the agenda for BEIA Te Pae reaches significant milestone Hilary Barry BioTechNZ and NZTech are launching New Zealand’s first Life Sciences Summit in a bid to grow the country’s biotech sector. Wellington is named host of the event in a multi-year contract between signatories BioTechNZ, WellingtonNZ, and Business Events Wellington, and supported by conference organiser Brightstar and Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team. The first conference will take place 22-23 March 2023 at Shed 6, a waterfront venue. From 2024 onwards, the conference will be based at Wellington’s new convention centre, Tākina, with the aim of growing the event year on year to attract wider domestic and international audiences. “Our objective is to bring New Zealand’s biotechnology and life sciences industries together across the sectors, including agricultural, environmental, industrial and human health,” says BioTechNZ executive director Zahra Champion. “Having this breadth of participants highlights New Zealand’s capability, and promotes research and commercial opportunities to solve the biggest challenges on the planet. “New Zealand ranks fourth in the world for innovation potential in biotech. Our vibrant sector is small but growing with 211 companies and $2.7 billion in revenue. Globally, biotechnology is expected to be worth $1.1 trillion by 2025, so it makes sense that we explore all possible opportunities. “There has never been a more important time to elevate the science of making our world more resilient through sustainably transforming the food system, protecting our environment, and facilitating breakthroughs in health, green energy and biobased manufacturing.” Wellington to host New Zealand’s first Life Sciences Summit [4] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

[I NDUSTRY NEWS HIND Management has appointed Brad McGlynn to the role of hotel manager at Sudima Kaikōura. McGlynn brings to the role extensive experience managing some iconic New Zealand hotels, including Chateau Tongariro. He was most recently hotel manager for Sudima Christchurch City. Set to open in October 2022, the Kaikōura hotel will be the seventh Sudima Hotels location. “It is always a privilege to be given the responsibility of opening a new hotel, and this hotel will be very special with its prime location on the shores of Kaikōura,” says McGlynn. “What’s not to love about this place? The views are spectacular with rugged coast, dramatic mountains seemingly rising Go with Tourism – an initiative that specialises in growing New Zealand's tourism and hospitality workforce – has been awarded $2 million from the International Visitor and Conservation Levy (IVL) to continue its efforts in tackling the industry’s current skills shortage. The funding was announced by Tourism Minister, Stuart Nash who emphasised the connection between delivering a world-class visitor experience and mounting pressure on tourism and hospitality workers to meet growing tourist demand. “Like any industry, success depends on those working within it. This means New Zealand owned and operated Habitat Hotels & Apartments has purchased Hotel DeBrett Auckland. Originally opened as Auckland’s first hotel in 1841 and named The Commercial Hotel, Hotel DeBrett is located on High Street, surrounded by laneways and eateries and is within easy access to Britomart, Queen Street and the waterfront. The hotel is described as being vibrant and designed with style with restaurant, bar and atrium, and the Corner Bar. Each of the guest suites have a distinct personality with a mix of retro furniture and New Zealand art. Hotel DeBrett joins Ohtel as its other Auckland property under the sister brand Village Accommodation Group. from the sea and incredible wildlife including a range of seabirds, seals, dolphins, and whales right on our doorstep. “As the largest accommodation provider in Kaikōura, we have opened the door for our international inbound and wholesale operators to attract longer stays for larger travelling groups and offer a standard of accommodation which will appeal to a wider range of travellers.” Although McGlynn has worked across the hotel industry, he says of his attraction to the Sudima Hotels Group that it is a “well respected award-winning hotel company. The team is extremely supportive, they are great communicators and led by an excellent owner. A very fortunate opportunity came investing in our people and deepening the talent pool. This investment [in Go with Tourism] will be vital in building the tourism workforce back up.” The $2 million investment will cover a 12-month period from October 2022. It enables Go with Tourism to expand upon current workstreams that connect jobseekers with employers, promote study and career opportunities to youth, and challenge industry perceptions. Go with Tourism programme director, Heidi Gillingham says that attracting workers into tourism and hospitality is the top priority for the year ahead. “The next 12 months’ Go with Tourism Expo 2022 Brad McGlynn and Les Morgan Go with Tourism awarded $2 million to build NZ TourismWorkforce Manager appointed for Sudima Kaikōura Newowner for Hotel DeBrett Auckland up to join and the rest is history.” The hotel features 120 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, pool and gym, conference rooms, and special features to meet guest needs while in the region such as dive gear and bike storage facilities. worth of talent attraction is what we have been gearing up for since we launched in 2019. We have built a good reputation, partnered with thousands of businesses and established ourselves in classrooms around New Zealand; now, with this funding, the industry can be assured that a dedicated and well-prepared team will lead the way in tackling workforce challenges and doing our utmost to fill tourism and hospitality roles in both the short and long term.” [6] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

TAURANGA’S COMPLETE PACKAGE ENTERTAINMENT | EXHIBITIONS | CONFERENCES | MEETINGS Trustpower Baypark is a premier venue located in New Zealand’s fastest growing city with the country’s favourite Mount holiday beach right on its doorstep. Tauranga and the surrounding areas offer delegates a destination providing top quality facilities in a relaxed atmostphere. “Premier Venue, Stunning Location” • State of the art conference and meeting rooms • Flexible venues for 10 – 4,400 delegates • Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) • In-house catering and audio visual services • Complete marketing/promotional services

Business events are back but it’s not all sunshine and roses for Australian event planners, with European and US programmes particularly not likely to head Down Under in large numbers for some time yet. Following a June sales trip to the United States, director of sales at one of the country’s most successful destination management companies, ID Events Australia, Karen Livermore, says the clients she spoke to said they were still playing catch-up with business they had planned during the pandemic period. “They may have been coming to Australia in 2023 but because they’ve postponed their programmes in 2020 and 2021, that 2023 Australian programme is now more likely to be in 2024 or 2025,” she explains. She says that ID Events Australia has been running events, mostly in Sydney, and does have programmes on the books now until the end of the year and into 2023, “but the volume of work we’re engaged in is still 50 per cent of what we were being asked to quote on pre-pandemic. “There also remains some reservations about travelling long-haul. The clients I spoke to [US based] are preferring North America, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Just in case [there are further outbreaks].” Director of destination management at Ovation DMC in Sydney, Sonja Söderbom, believes international clients are feeling more confident in travelling internationally and they have the enquiries to prove it. She and her team are preparing to hit the ground running over the next three months with back to back programmes around the country. “Enquiries are coming from all over the world, but we are seeing a lot of interest out of the USA and Asia, specifically Singapore and Hong Kong, who have short lead times, with opportunities and programmes travelling in 2022,” she says. “We are seeing a focus on single destination incentive programmes with Sydney and Melbourne being the most popular currently, however programme requests into 2023 are considering dual destinations such as Sydney and Cairns.” Delegate numbers for these events are also strong, averaging between 150 and 300 people. “Budgets in some cases are actually higher as clients want to provide memorable moments and special touches because it’s the first time they have brought their clients or staff together in some time.” Venue operators beware The upturn in business combined with the lack of venue staff is causing serious complications for many planners. And as ID Events’ Karen Livermore explains, it’s not just lower staff numbers in venues that is the problem, it’s staff with little to no experience. “It’s a re-education process for us with catering companies, transport companies, and a lot of venues,” she explains. “You ask for inbound rates or rates that are wholesale and they don’t even get it. We’re talking to squeaky voiced children who seem like they’re just out of school. “We brainstorm a client proposal, we come up with out of the box creative ideas and then we go to the venue and say this is what we want to do and they say they’re going to have to check [whether we can]. They’re young and they’re simply order takers.” She cites one example where they contacted an historic venue in Sydney where instead of having a lunch in the main restaurant they wanted to have it in the boiler room that provided the kind of ambience that suited the group and was something a little less ordinary. Additionally, she wanted the group to arrive at the venue by boat. “It totally confused them and they weren’t sure whether we could do it. You feel like you’re dealing with government employees and we really don’t have the time to educate these people. “The business is coming back but we don’t feel like we’re getting the support that we need.” Associations back but numbers lower in some sectors Following two years of no face-to-face meetings, the association sector is seeing a keenness to both meet and replenish balance sheets which have been negatively affected by the inability to run events, says executive chair of The Association Specialists, Francis Child, and managing director Nell Harrison. The Association Specialists currently has approximately 75 national associations under management and another 15 they work with in a pure event management capacity. “Conferences are happening again and the second half of 2022 and 2023 will be strong performers for the for purpose sector,” they say. “There are, however, still sector specific challenges, particularly with medical and health related events and others where shortages of staff are restricting attendees’ ability to get leave to participate. “Numbers attending face-to-face in these sectors are therefore lower than preCovid at this stage, both domestically and internationally in particular.” Child and Harrison say that in addition, sector specific uncertainty is leading to later decisions by delegates to register which in turn complicates decision-making in regard to venues, accommodation and travel commitments. “To minimise risk and maximise returns associations have been leaning towards locations where their membership support is strongest, particularly the eastern seaboard cities. However, this is being mitigated somewhat by financial incentives on offer in various locations. We would expect the normal rotational cycle to come back by 2024 assuming no major disruptions between now and then.” International convention and incentive postponements over the past two years could have a knock-on effect for Australian planners. AUSTRALIA AT THE BACKOF THE QUEUE FOR INTERNATIONAL EVENTS [I NDUSTRY I SSUE S Karen Livermore, ID Events Australia Sonja Söderbom, Ovation DMC By Brad Foster [8] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

When you come to Rotorua, chances are you’ll meet some of our original hosts from way back. They’re among the best advocates for Rotorua – they love this place and they love sharing what makes our city awesome. It won’t take long for you to see, hear and feel their passion, enthusiasm, sincerity and warmth, and it won’t be long before you realise Rotorua offers a deeper experience than anywhere else in Aotearoa. Deb Wootton spent several years in Australia promoting Rotorua as a business events destination. The more she talked about it, the more she started to appreciate her hometown and soon returned to Rotorua. For me, it’s all about the people she says. I love the people and I love being around my tribe again. People I went to school with, and people that I have worked with in the industry for a really long time. We know what it takes to deliver truly creative, memorable and unique events. Let us look after you for your next event Let’s talk The warmth and open-hearted nature of the Rotorua community is something Lynley Martin holds very close to her heart and she can’t picture living anywhere else. Where everyone is treated as whānau (family), regardless of where they’re from or how long they’re here for. It’s the manaakitanga (hospitality) of this place that’s special, she says. If anybody needs anything, needs a hand, or needs advice I’m always happy to help. It’s just part of who we are. Lynley Martin, Skyline Rotorua Deb Wootton, Activities & Events Unlimited, Higher Perspective Conference & Events, Right Turn Agency

[COVE R STORY: HAWKE ' S BAY HAWKE’S BAY Heather Matthews, trade marketing and sales manager with Hawke’s Bay Business Events, says that enquiries around conferences, meetings, and incentives have ramped up significantly in the past six months. “Similar to the rest of the country, since the orange light setting came into effect, the main challenge has been trying to squeeze two or three years of activity into the next 12 months. So we are incredibly fortunate to have new facilities now available in Hawke’s Bay.” She points to the recent opening on the Municipal Building at Toitoi in Hastings as a flexible and significant development that BE organisers can consider. REGIONS, NEW FACILITIES, FAMILIAR FAVOURITES TO THE FORE Photo: Hawke's Bay Tourism Educating business events organisers on the wider offerings in Hawke’s Bay is one of the key objectives of the region’s marketers heading into 2023 and beyond. [10] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

incorporates some 50 specific foody events. A winter version of F.A.W.C! is held each June over four weekends. Next year a new event, Harvest, will join the calendar on 1 April. This will involve up to 18 vineyards and around 10 accompanying restaurants in a one day harvest celebration. Luxury accommodation and restaurant providers such as Wallingford and The Manse hold their own special truffle related events through June to late July and these too can be incorporated into corporate gatherings. Away from F&B, Saxton also highlights new cultural offerings that organisers can look at folding into their programmes. Ngā Ara Tipuna is a partnership between Tamatea Hapū, Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea and Central Hawke's Bay District Council and is described as a ‘story telling trail’. COVE R STORY: HAWKE ' S BAY] Delegates can visit the site of Pukekaihau Pā, once a thriving Māori settlement. Groups and individuals can also use their mobile phones to take a driving tour of other sites of cultural and natural significance around Waipukurau and Takapau. Back in the game Saxton says the region has seen a steady return of business events and feels the successful New Zealand Event Association’s July conference was somewhat symbolic as the country progressed out of restrictions. “The conference was fantastic because it was one of the early signals that Hawke’s Bay is back in the game. I attended the gala function – it was a well staged and professional show and the excitement and enthusiasm were palpable.” Black Barn Retreat Euchre Lodge Photo: Hazel Redmond Tipi Marquees at Meadowood House “One of the silver linings of Covid and having to postpone the Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) conference is that we are now able to showcase this new facility – it was only partially opened two years ago.” Mathews says the high profile conference’s gala dinner will be held in the Assembly Hall at Toitoi. “We are also emphasising the regional and corporate retreat offerings we have in Hawke’s Bay. In addition to the well known operators such as The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and Craggy Range there is an extensive range of vineyard, coastal and rural offerings.” Matthews highlights operators such as Black Barn Retreats, Meadowood House, Kiwiesque and Lawn Road Retreat to name a few. “We are hearing from these suppliers that team building or social activities are part of most business event programmes now and incentives are also showing growth for Hawke’s Bay. After two years of being unable to bring their teams together this is obviously a major priority now for both larger corporates and SMEs.” Matthews says connectivity s another big advantage for Hawke’s Bay, with direct flights from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. “We have more than 250 flights a week, providing easy connections, and come November, Hawke’s Bay will be at its preCovid flight schedule.” Where the growers are Hamish Saxton, chief executive officer at Hawke’s Bay Tourism, says food and beverage based experiences are seen as a way to differentiate the region. “We have about 35 cellar doors and a large variety of high quality restaurants and venues to match that. “We can incorporate this into a business event but at the same time these food and beverage experiences lend themselves to enticing people to have a longer stay – either pre or post.” He says business events hosted by associations and companies related to wine, horticulture and other food and beverage sectors are a perfect fit for Hawke’s Bay. “What better place for growers to hold a conference than an area that is famous for growing?” Saxton points to the region’s own regular events that can be used to leverage meetings, incentives and corporate retreats. For example F.A.W.C! (Food and Wine Classic) Hawke’s Bay is being held from 4 to 13 November. The summer celebration meeting newz [sept oct] 2022 [11]

Offering a luxury lodge with eight bedrooms, living rooms, lap pool, spa pool and expansive outdoor space; plus a vineyard villa, Kiwiesque has a minimum of twonight stays for residential get-togethers. The whole complex can accommodate between 23 and 28 people depending on sleeping arrangements. Hosts Justine and Bayden Wilson say the complex is gaining popularity with groups who use it for team building and meetings The complex has up to nine bedrooms available, each with an ensuite, and last year added a meeting room (behind the house) and extended dining facilities to cater for groups. Because the meeting venue is completely separate from the rest of the property, the business side of the stay can be conducted while also taking time to relax and to explore the region. It is walking distance to Linden Estate Winery and two kilometres from Zeelandt Brewery – both popular off-site venues for groups. “Groups can organise their own caterer or we can help them arrange that,” says Justine. The Wilsons add that the venue attracts completely independent of all leisure and social activities. Owner and host Pen Cropper says the retreat recently catered for a group from an international business with its head office in New Zealand – bringing together delegates from around the world. Another group from around New Zealand combined a strategic planning session with team building, something that is easy to do at the property. “We have 20 acres of land here, close to Craggy Range and other wineries, Cape Kidnappers Golf Club, the Farmers’ Market, and other attractions but we’re also centrally loated within easy reach of Hastings, Havelock North and Napier.” Lawn Road Retreat has a range of team building activities on-site, such as tennis, outdoor table tennis, petanque and volleyball, plus games like cornhole, giant jenga, kubb and more. There is also a large hot tub which can take 14 to 16 people. A number of breakout areas are available too, including a sunroom, lounges and outdoor seating and dining choices. PRIVACY IN A VINEYARD SETTING LAWN ROAD RETREAT Kiwiesque Luxury Vineyard Accommodation provides a secluded and private environment for corporate events, while offering a gateway to vineyards, other attractions and dining areas around the Esk Valley and beyond. A new conveniently located option in Hawke’s Bay, Lawn Road Retreat, is seeing considerable interest and traction from the corporate sector. Kiwiesque Luxury Vineyard [COVE R STORY: HAWKE ' S BAY both small businesses and management groups from larger organisations. “We’ve got the ideal venue for weddings, family reunions, wellness retreats, business functions and other corporate events. We find that once groups come here they often come back, we have a lot of repeat business.” [12] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

Location, location, location! PANORAMI C V I EWS ARE ALL PART OF THE EXPERI ENCE ON OFFER Napier Conferences & Events operates from the Napier War Memorial Centre on Marine Parade, where guests can enjoy the sweep of the bay from Cape Kidnappers to Mahia Peninsula. With Napier’s Art Deco architecture on your doorstep, specially designed multi-purpose spaces plus a talented team, your next event is sure to exceed expectations. For a meeting venue with a difference book today! Napier War Memorial Centre 48 Marine Parade, Napier +64 6 835 9001

STRONG YEAR AHEAD FOR HIGH PROFILE SEA FRONT VENUE Napier Conferences & Events The venue has a high profile in the events industry this year – having already hosted the New Zealand Events Association (NZEA) Conference in July and looking forward to the Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) Conference early October. However, its success extends beyond that, with substantial business booked form a wide range of sectors. Conferences and events manager Jacqui D’Ath says a conscious decision was made to focus on total in-house service delivery. “We really are a one-stop-shop now, with no need for an organiser to liaise with various service providers. We have modern high quality AV equipment and our own technical staff as well as high quality inhouse catering. “One of the goals of myself and the team has been to put the Napier War Memorial Centre up with the best of regional venues in New Zealand and we are achieving that.” D’Ath says the approach is clearly resonating with the market. “We started to get busier even from May but this has really picked up since July. We are now heavily booked for six months and my advice for any event organisers is to plan head and talk to us as early as possible if they are considering an event for 2023 and even beyond.” She says the recent MEETINGS 2022 in Christchurch was among the best she has attended and generated plenty of firm interest for the organisation. “People came to the booth looking for business. They had dates and they knew what they wanted,” D’Ath adds. She says Napier Conferences & Events added a point of difference by launching a virtual tour at the event. “It was a novel way to present the Napier War Memorial Centre, making it both fun and informative.” Considerable care and attention is now focused in the BEIA Conference, set for 4 to 6 October. “This has been a couple of years in the making due to disruptions around Covid but we are really looking to wow the delegates. We are working closely with Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre as well as with Hawke’s Bay Tourism, BEIA and a number of tourism operators in the region. [COVE R STORY: HAWKE ' S BAY “We will have all the big industry players here for the event and while many of them will be familiar with the venue, others will be new to us.’ D’Ath says the venue’s dramatic position right on the sea front is an obvious advantage but organisers and delegates are also impressed by the flexibility of the facility. “We can take 400 theatre style or 250 cabaret style in the Ballroom or we can flip things around with 45 to 50 trade stands in the ballroom and a 275 strong theatre style conference in the exhibition hall. We have seven spaces in total for breakouts, smaller meetings, secretariat and administration areas etc – so the choice of configuration is vast.” Focusing on an all-inclusive and comprehensive service model is paying dividends for Napier Conferences & Events, operator of the Napier War Memorial Centre. [14] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

“We work with every client individually,” says Bettina Messervy, manager events and functions at Black Barn Vineyards. “They can stay with us at one of our luxury retreats that offer something different to a standard hotel room and they can walk or take a short drive to the meeting or function venue. ‘We have created At Your Service for all of a group’s concierge needs – transfers, activities, chefs in the home, housekeeping, pre and post activities and more. We tailor make the experience to suit the client’s needs.” Among specific venues on offer are the Black Barn Olive Shed at Black Barn Vineyards – a character filled rustic barn set in a private area among olive trees. The building itself is a mid-century siding shed rescued from Hastings Railway. The Black Barn River Room is a purposebuilt private pavilion with elevated views up and down Tuki Tuki River and across to the east face of Te Mata Peak. It is ideal for 40 to 65 guests seated and up to 90 for a The ability to offer a luxury, self contained, independent environment right through to a fully inclusive service for clients is one of the key points of differences for Black Barn Vineyards. Black Barn Amphitheatre COVE R STORY: HAWKE ' S BAY] cocktail style function. The Black Barn Riverside Marquee site is metres from the Tuki Tuki River’s edge and is perfect for about 120 people – popular with weddings and private parties as well as corporate gatherings. Other venue options within Black Barn Vineyards include the growers’ market and underground cellar. BLACK BARN VINEYARDS: FLEXIBILITY AND CHOICE ABOUND The flexibility is exemplified further by the range of options available in terms of both accommodation and meeting, incentive and function venues. Some 16 different luxury retreats selected for their prime location, character and original style scatter across the Tuki Tuki Valley, Waimarama Beach, Te Awanga and on the vineyard close to Havelock North. Depending on the size of a group, business events can utilise one or more of the retreats while taking advantage of four venues – which again are designed to meet clients’ diverse requirements. meeting newz [sept oct] 2022 [15]

Toitoi Municipal Building opening Shakespeare Room [COVE R STORY: HAWKE ' S BAY access to the region’s wineries and other visitor attractions including the Hawke’s Bay Trails (cycling) and golf courses, while being within easy walking distance to Havelock North’s boutique stores, restaurants, cafes and bars. ‘Delegates can meet in the morning and, if they wish, be out on the golf course in the afternoon,’ she adds. The maximum capacity for a group at the 42-guest room hotel is 70 theatre style in the Triple Peaks Room (one of three conference areas on offer). Conference catering is supplied by Malo piece of the Toitoi puzzle.” Toitoi is made up of five distinct buildings, two of which are Category One heritage listed – the Municipal Building and Opera House – which makes for an architecturally stunning venue offering. “The addition of the Municipal Building venues completes our conference model. We now have a selection of small to large breakout spaces available, which complement our existing larger spaces, perfect for conference dinners and delegations of up to 400 for dinner or 600 for cocktails,” Wright says. Providing quality accommodation in the heart of Havelock North was the aim of two Hawke’s Bay families when they established Porters Boutique Hotel. The team at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre has had a busy few months. In early August it officially opened the last building in its impressive new precinct, it hosted the New Zealand Events Association Event Awards gala dinner in late July and its first full venue conference at the end of September. PORTERS BOUTIQUE HOTEL HIGH FIVE FOR TOITOI The hotel has now gained a reputation as a business events venue, successfully catering for meetings, presentations, product launches and networking functions. General manager Kris Larner says a major bonus for groups is having easy Toitoi Kaiwhakahaere Pakihi, Ngā Toi me te Ahurea – business manager, arts and culture Coltan Wright is excited to finally have the heritage Municipal Building open for business, right in the heart of Hastings city and just a short drive from key arterial routes. “It’s been an eight-year, $40 million building programme to get the whole Toitoi precinct earthquake strengthened and fit for purpose, but we’re now at a point where we are happily hosting people from across Aotearoa in our venues. It feels like the city has come to life around us since we’ve opened the doors to this last and the hotel has on-site audio-visual equipment available. The hotel is 25 kilometres from Hawke’s Bay Airport. The Municipal Building also has the street buzzing with activity, thanks to newly developed streetscaping and a range of hospitality and retail tenants on the ground floor, which will no doubt delight conference delegates and business events attendees alike, he says. “From an early morning coffee to a postmeeting drink, our retail tenants boast the best of the Bay, and our events clients are already benefitting from it. We also have a Quest Hotel development under way right next door, which will be another great addition to our block and our wider offering within Hastings,” he says. “Hawke’s Bay is known for its stunning landscapes and heritage buildings, and Toitoi combines the best of that with modern technology and a creative, bespoke approach to events. With our full, unique offering now available, we are seeing a high volume of enquiry. If people have an event in mind that they’d like to hold at Toitoi, we recommend getting in early.” Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre is taking bookings for all its spaces now, with more information at or contact Coltan Wright directly by email, Porters Royal Suite Super King [16] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022 P: +64 6 833 8300 | F: +64 6 833 8330 | Corner of Bridge Street & Hardinge Road, Ahuriri, Napier 4114 Boutique hotel & conference facilities located on the waterfront in the seaside village of Ahuriri, Napier. A place to meet and gather. COVE R STORY: HAWKE ' S BAY] To make an impression from the start, vintage car airport transfers can be organised with speakers or other VIPs being chauffeured in an original vintage 1930s Packard. The driver provides guests with an overview of the 1931 earthquake that destroyed the city and talks about the art deco style that the city was re-built in. There is a four passenger limit per car. The Art Deco Trust can also organise a vintage car display as a backdrop to conference check-in or to enhance the setting for a deco dinner and dance. The display can include deco-dressed drivers, providing a photo opportunity for delegates. The trust provides guided walking and vintage car tours that are guided by a dedicated team of volunteers who train for six months to learn of the art deco origins, Napier’s history and building information and terminology. Discounts are offered to delegates who book a tour through the trust. The Art Deco Trust also operates two annual festivals and runs the Art Deco Centre, which sells souvenirs and homewares. venue the distillery can take about 110 people for canapés and drinks. “We can turn a function into a themed event of the client’s choice, incorporating the history of the area or even holding a casino night. “We don’t have any dress code – people can get dressed up if they wish or come in shorts and jandals.” He says that groups can build a tour and tasting into an event or use it as a stand alone activity. “Typically we would go through four of our gins, tell the story of the building and let people see the distillery. This is for groups of 12 or more and ideal for numbers up to about 30, but we can take more by arrangement.” For team building, groups can get involved in making their own gin – learning about various botanicals and the art deco surroundings as the exercise takes place the board room (named The Serious Room) which can seat 20 delegates. Garry Soni has recently been appointed conference manager at The Crown Hotel, Napier. Soni has been with the hotel for three and a half years as duty manager. Michele Cole, managing director of The Crown says that Soni has worked in various positions in many hotels for a number of years. “Garry comes with great experience and knowledge of the hotel and has a solid relationship with our current corporate and conference clients,” says Cole. Hosting and catering for functions, providing gin tasting and educational tours, and conducting bespoke ‘top end’ experiences are all part of the mix when it comes to business event offerings for the National Distillery Company. It’s easy for conference and incentive organisers to incorporate a touch of Napier’s famous art deco into their programmes. GIN DISTILLERY A TONIC FOR GROUPS NEW CONFERENCE MANAGER AT CROWN HOTEL Situated in the historic (and much photographed) Art Noveau 1930s building in Ahuriri, the distillery can also work with fellow ‘residents’ at the location such as Urban Winery and B Studios. Host Blair Nicholl says that as a function ADDING ART DECO TO THE PROGRAMME Art deco walking tours Photo: Art Deco Trust meeting newz [sept oct] 2022 [17]

Amy Abel has been promoted to the new role of head of events at Conferences & Events Ltd. With 17 years’ experience in the PCO sector in the UK, Europe, and New Zealand, Abel has been with Conferences & Events since 2011. The appointment recognises Abel’s huge contribution, and the commitment and leadership she brings to Conferences & Events, and the business events sector in New Zealand. Nicolette Elia has joined Te Pae Christchurch as director of event services. Elia has more than two decades of experience across venues on three continents, including her most recent event role as director of operations for Borneo Convention Centre Kuching. Specialising in venue management and operational and event services management, Elia will be overseeing Te Pae Christchurch’s event services department, including the event planning, audio-visual and floor coordination teams. John Bristowe has been appointed director of operations Australia and New Zealand for Nesuto. Bristowe joined Nesuto in September 2018 and has been instrumental in restructuring the group’s New Zealand business and strategic relationships. In his new role he will oversee the operations of all Nesuto’s Australia and New Zealand properties. Ani Sipu has joined Ellerslie Event Centre as an account manager and brings with her more than 15 years events industry experience. These include nine-and-a-half years at Crown Melbourne where she assisted clients with a wide variety of events, including large-scale televised activations. Lee Johnson has been promoted to human resources and training manager Australia and New Zealand for Nesuto. Johnson joined Nesuto in early 2019 as learning and development manager and relief hotel manager. He spent his first year with the group working across Australia and New Zealand in leadership positions. Phoenix Huang is the new sales coordinator for Village Accommodation Group & Area Events in Wellington. Huang has a bachelor’s degree majoring in tourism management and joined Village in 2020 as a member of the reservations team. Prior to joining Village she spent time as a duty manager at the Park Hotel and as part of the reservations team at the Grand Chancellor Hotel. James Niu joins Sudima with over a decade of hotel sales experience, having worked for an international hotel chain, five-star property in London. Niu started out working in front office operations, then he quickly moved into the sales team where he worked in just about every role in the department, from groups and events, to proactive sales. Carl Amos has been appointed cluster director of sales TMC and key accounts for Event Hospitality and Entertainment. Based in Wellington, Amos will have a national key account remit and joins EVT NZ with a wealth of knowledge from over 20 years in the tourism and hospitality industry, including previous roles with Hospitality New Zealand, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, Air New Zealand and a number of hotels and resorts including Starwood Hotels and Six Senses Fiji. Lucy Acott has been appointed as New Zealand director of marketing for Event Hospitality and Entertainment after initially working with the business as maternity cover for the national marketing manager role since December 2021. Acott is based in Auckland with a national leadership remit. In addition to her experience across the EVT hotel brands, she has also worked as the director of marketing for Accor Hotels, and in senior marketing and communications roles with Air New Zealand and British Airways. Nikita Beresnev has been appointed commercial director Australia and New Zealand for Nesuto. Having joined Nesuto in September 2018 as director of revenue Australia and New Zealand, Beresnev championed Nesuto’s rebranding including distribution and digital marketing strategies. In this role Beresnev will be the primary contact for sales, marketing and distribution. [PEOPLE ON THE MOVE [18] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

These were just some of the topics discussed at LINC in Blenheim late September. LINC – Leadership, Insights and Networking Conference – is the largest gathering of association executives in New Zealand and is hosted by AuSAE (The Australasian Society of Association Executives). Attendees were also invited to attend a two-day excursion prior to the conference hosted by Business Events Marlborough which included scenic cruises and wine tasting at some of the region’s finest wineries. The conference itself was held at the Marlborough Events Centre. Brett Jeffery, general manager AuSAE New Zealand says the conference showed the power of associations in New Zealand. “CEOs, event managers and other employees of associations from all sectors within New Zealand, were all in the same room sharing a commonality and experiencing insights and educational sessions that they can take back to their respective associations. “Blenheim showed the association sector that the Marlborough region was an impressive location to hold a conference.” Wendy Desiles, business development manager for Business Events Marlborough was pleased that so many delegates decided to make the most of their trip by taking the opportunity of doing the excursions, or by staying on after the conference ended, many bringing their partners too. “A large group of attendees enjoyed a cruise in the Marlborough Sounds on Saturday to Furneaux Lodge and they loved the scenery and wildlife including dolphins and seals,” she says. “On Sunday many delegates enjoyed visits to several wineries for tastings and lunch and a tour of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. The chocolate tasting was popular too. I was thrilled to see everyone’s reactions as they discovered the amazing experiences we have on offer in Marlborough. “It is easy to underestimate what is on offer in a smaller region,” says Desiles. “I think many attendees were surprised to find that Blenheim has a purpose built events centre alongside a modern theatre, which combined can offer plenary sessions for up to 700 delegates along with breakout spaces and venues for functions as well as plenty of exhibition space. I had a lot of positive feedback, and many people also commented on Marlborough’s excellent venues for off-site functions.” The 2023 LINC event will take place in the Waikato from the 10-12 September. PLUS A TASTE OF MARLBOROUGH FOR ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVES EDUCATION TO FORE, A recent conference aimed at education and professional development for leaders in the association sector covered everything from using and accessing the power of coalitions, through to getting online learning methods right (first time round), organisational transformation through leadership and good strategy, and building a more diverse membership. [I NDUSTRY UPDATE Wendy Desiles, Business Events Marlborough; Stephen Williams, Forest & Bird Protection Society, Catherine Bygate, Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust Michelle Geale, Scenic Hotel Group, Nick Hill, Building Officials Institute of New Zealand Famil group wine tasting at Hunter's Winery Aimee Tyson, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism; Kate Blakeley, Institute of Internal Auditors; Kathryn Maloney, New Zealand Aged Care Association; Melissa Williams, Claudelands Dane Botherway, Coast Group; Rachel Barker, Plastics New Zealand Warren Harvey, Energy Events Centre Rotorua; Susan Mott, Franchise Association of New Zealand; Lynley Martin, Skyline Rotorua [20] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

Observatory Hotel Conoscenti members were recently hosted in Christchurch to re-connect with suppliers and to check out the latest travel and event options. The experience included a high tea lunch at The Tannery, site visits at the Arts Centre, Te Pae Convention Centre, and several hotels in the city. The group was accommodated at The George Hotel and explored Riverside Market, had a soak at He Puna Taimoana hot pools, had a punting trip on the Avon and took a tram tour of the city among other things. Meeting Newz caught up with members Angela Day and Vicky Lowe for a Q & A session. What were the reasons for travelling to Christchurch? Conoscenti always wants to see the latest and greatest so we can take great ideas back to our own companies. Who organised the trip? The team at PPG Events had the idea, and they have a great relationship with Conoscenti. With their connections at Christchurch NZ they created an amazing experience for nine of us. Do all members use the same event/ travel suppliers? No, we all have our own suppliers and contacts. What were your thoughts on Christchurch in terms of suitability for future events? We were impressed with what the team had put together for us – we were exhausted at the end of the famil, but we were loaded with amazing ideas and contacts to take back to our businesses. What were you most surprised about? How well the entire trip was put together – they all worked together well to make us feel so comfortable. We are usually the ones organising these fabulous events and experiences for our people and teams, and here we were experiencing all these for ourselves – we felt spoilt and special. What impressed you the most? The attention to all the finer details along with the care and consideration to all our needs. Our hosts had thought about everything. It is all smiles for the PPG events team at the 2022 New Zealand Events Awards held in Hawke's Bay recently. The event company won both the best business event 2021 and best event creative 2021 for the Toyota Hospitality Experience at the 36th America's Cup. CEO Tony Regan says, “I am very proud of all of our PPG Events team that stuck together during challenging times to produce a World class event. Our loyal and longstanding client Toyota that gave us the opportunity to help showcase their vision and our capabilities and versatility. Many thanks to our strategic suppliers and partners who each played an important part of this most exciting activation. We will continue to build on this success to produce and deliver world class events for our clients with creativity, innovation and delivery.” The NZEA conference was held in Hawke's Bay using Napier War Memorial Conference Centre with the awards dinner being held at Toitoi Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre in late July 2022. CONOSCENTI IN CHRISTCHURCH Conoscenti, Latin for ‘those in the know’, has been successfully operating for more than 18 years. The membership, consisting of executive assistants to chief executive officers, is capped at 30 members, being a manageable size for hosts to get around at an event. THOSE I N THE KNOW] PPG TAKES TWO AT NZEA AWARDS What type of events would members consider holding in the region? It varies as each company has specific requirements and different structures; some have their own event departments. This is where Conoscenti works well as we bounce ideas off each other, which is helpful when thinking about future events. Any tips/advice for our readers, thinking about the region for their next event? Be surprised, be wowed, be inspired and experience Christchurch for yourself and your teams. You will not be disappointed! Would you like to be part of Conoscenti? Anyone interested in joining the membership, can check out The Tannery meeting newz [sept oct] 2022 [21]