Tuesday, 12 December 2023 21:38

One on one with Tākina Events’ Andrew Dorrington

Tākina Wellington Exhibition and Convention Centre officially opened its doors six months ago, signalling a new chapter for business events in the capital city. 

Operated by Tākina Events, the venue has welcomed more than 22,000 delegates, establishing itself as a premium meeting place for Aotearoa’s business events industry. Meeting Newz’s Shannon Williams catches up with Andrew Dorrington (pictured) to get an update on what’s ahead for the venue.



A key pillar in Tākina Events' success is its strategic partnership with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.


“Tākina Events emerged in 2022 through a new venture by Te Papa Venues. This marked the creation of the Tākina Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wellington, a move that expanded our event portfolio beyond the realm of Te Papa,” says Tākina Events general manager Andrew Dorrington.


“The establishment of Tākina was a response to the growing demand for a cutting-edge event venue in the heart of Wellington.”


Since Tākina’s opening in June 2023, Tākina Events has hosted 200 events and 50,000 attendees.


“This success has firmly established Tākina Events as a prominent player in the industry. The partnership with Te Papa has been instrumental in synergizing contemporary facilities with the cultural richness and historical significance that Te Papa brings.”


“Tākina holds a crucial role in the business events sector, offering a versatile conference platform that extends benefits to the city, region, and country. Its presence fosters innovation, growth, and collaboration within the industry, positioning Wellington as a hub for diverse and impactful events.


“Tākina Events has showcased its expertise in organising extended multi-day conferences, thanks to our seasoned team with 25 years of experience managing Te Papa's business events,” says Dorrington.


“Our team comprises local professionals, with many transitioning from roles at Te Papa venues to joining Tākina Events. The period leading up to the opening saw a substantial increase in team members, ensuring a robust and skilled workforce ready to manage the diverse needs of Tākina.”


Dorrington says the last six months have been a period of continuous learning for the team.


“Valuable lessons were gleaned, particularly in optimising service delivery and elevating the food and beverage experience,” he says.


“Soliciting client feedback has proven crucial in understanding preferences and ensuring heightened guest satisfaction.


Reflecting on the initial six months, Dorrington underscores significant moments, including hosting Water NZ with 1,700 conference delegates and 180 trade delegates and The Festival for the Future, Aotearoa's most prominent leadership and innovation summit.


“The past six months have been marked by the energising sight of Tākina buzzing with industry delegates,” says Dorrington.


“The venue's dynamic atmosphere underscored its positive impact on fostering collaboration and driving growth within the events space. Success, for our team, is synonymous with positioning Tākina Events as leaders in the Aotearoa conferences and events landscape.


 “These events have strengthened our reputation as a go-to destination for a wide range of conferences and conventions. Tākina Events now aligns with Auckland and Christchurch in the business events market.”


Dorrington says that while the business events industry has encountered challenges over the past 12 months due to global uncertainties, there is optimism for recovery as the sector adapts to new norms.


“Tākina Events is geared to contribute to this recovery by consistently delivering top-tier event experiences and adapting to evolving needs,” he says.


Looking ahead, Dorrington says Tākina Events is poised for growth.


“The focus is on expanding its reach, hosting innovative events, and solidifying its position as an industry leader,” he says.


“This strategic approach aligns with the commitment to excellence that has defined our journey with Tākina Events.”


Tākina Events has confirmed to host 200 events through June 2026. The lineup of international events includes the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2024,iPRES 2025 - International Conference on Digital Preservation, 2025 and the International Sedimentological Congress, 2026.