Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) brought more than 700 tourism operators from around New Zealand to TRENZ Hui 2021, a reshaped version of New Zealand’s biggest annual tourism business event. TIA manages TRENZ on behalf of the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust. The two-day gathering on 5 and 6 May at Christchurch Town Hall was supported by host city partner ChristchurchNZ.
TIA chief executive Chris Roberts says the association was delighted to stage TRENZ Hui 2021 in Christchurch.
“The overwhelming demand from attendees was a clear statement of intention from the industry,” he says.
In total, there were 750 attendees and 80 per cent of delegates, around 600, came from outside the Christchurch and Canterbury region, and stayed in city accommodation.
“Attendees recorded an overall satisfaction rating of 8/10 and gave us very positive feedback on the event, and on Christchurch as a host city,” Roberts says.
The event generated an estimated 1,620 visitor nights and $512,827 of visitor spend in Christchurch, with an estimated average spend per visitor $855 per person. The average length of stay per visitor was 2.7 nights and each spent approximately $317 per night while in Christchurch for the TRENZ Hui 2021.
“We were hugely disappointed that the pandemic forced us to cancel TRENZ 2020 which would have been the first time the event had been held in Christchurch since 2006. We wanted to return to Christchurch at the earliest opportunity so even though we were unable to bring international travel buyers to Christchurch in 2021, we developed the TRENZ Hui programme to meet the current needs of the tourism industry.
“In the uncertain COVID-19 environment, the event was developed and organised in a very short space of time. It is a testament to the flexibility and can-do attitude of ChristchurchNZ, the Venues Ōtautahi team at Christchurch Town Hall and all our suppliers that we were able to put on such a successful event,” he says.
Loren Heaphy, general manager destination and attraction at ChristchurchNZ, says TRENZ Hui 2021 was one of the biggest tourism industry events in the world at the time.
“This was an exciting opportunity to showcase our beautiful new city to New Zealand’s most influential travel and tourism professionals, including Australian speakers who could attend in person.”
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and ChristchurchNZ’s Loren Heaphy led a session showing their city’s progress over the last 10 years and provided guests with a revealing insight into revitalisation.
To promote the city, ChristchurchNZ provided content for the TRENZ Hui website. This included links to ExploreCHC itineraries for the city and region, activities and attractions, and what’s on.
A separate Eat and Drink page featured where to dine, with a wide selection of breakfast and dinner options. Social media posts were also used to encourage delegates to visit the region.
Following an end of day networking function at the Christchurch Town Hall, delegates were encouraged to support Christchurch’s hospitality sector by dining at one of the city’s many excellent restaurants.
Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins, who was a guest at the event, says the value of in-person business events was exemplified by the successful staging of TRENZ in Christchurch.
“Business events such as these provide vital support for accommodation, hospitality, food producers and suppliers, inbound tour operators, airlines and other event service and product providers.“It is the only sector which ensures hotels are full from Monday to Thursday, and restaurants are busy.” “More than just economic impact, at TRENZ Hui it was clear to see that, apart from great content, the value of simply participating in conversation over lunch, catching up for dinner or using breaks for ad hoc discussions augmented the value of attendance.”
Venues Ōtautahi catered for delegates for morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and canapes at Christchurch Town Hall showcasing their strong source-local philosophy. Led by Executive Chef Dan Shanks and his team, they created authentic dishes made with care and respect for the region and its diverse history.
The event was certified carbon neutral with Toitū Envirocare, with emissions from the event calculated and offset.
“We are a modern urban centre capable of staging large-scale events, while giving delegates a boutique city experience with easy access to spectacular natural landscapes,” Heaphy says.
“New hotels and venues sit alongside a buzzing riverside precinct with restaurants and rooftop bars, boutique shopping, and attractions in our compact and beautiful central city.”
Next year, New Zealand’s largest business events MEETINGS will be held at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in June 2022. Christchurch Town Hall will be a gathering point for the welcome function on 14 June, to kick off the two-day event which will attract up to 700 buyers and exhibitors. MEETINGS was last held in the city in 2008.
“Ōtautahi Christchurch is now a world-class host city and we are excited to be revealing it to influential business event organisers at this next key industry event,” she says