Big issues on the agenda for NZ business events industry conference

Australasia News
Big issues on the agenda for NZ business events industry conference

Experts on workforce training, sustainability, and future strategies are set to share their insights with Business Events Industry Aotearoa’s (BEIA) members at next month’s Ignite the Future conference.

BEIA’s 46th AGM and Annual Conference will be held in Hawke’s Bay at Napier Conference Centre from 4 to 6 October, opened on Wednesday 5 October by minister for Tourism and Economic Development, Hon Stuart Nash who is also MP for Napier.

Delegates will be welcomed by the two city mayors – Kirsten Wise mayor of Napier, and Sandra Hazlehurst mayor of Hastings. Local kaumātua (elders) will greet delegates with a mihi whakatau (speech of welcome) and waiata (song).

BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins said that the conference will kick 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-19 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.”

Supported by Tourism New Zealand Business Events, delegates will be briefed on an international skills initiative from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) by Malaysia-based Waikin Wong, regional director for Asia Pacific, who will be visiting New Zealand for the conference.

Ringa Hora Workforce Development Council will look at vocational training opportunities for the business events industry and share plans to develop future qualifications for the sector.

Megan Williams, sustainability advocate from Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) will present on creating and delivering a sustainability accreditation for the business events sector.

Predicting and meeting customer expectations will be covered from the point of view of clients. Professional conference organisers, Rachel Cook, Conference Innovators; Lee Picken from Lime and Soda; and The Events Group’s Meredith Drucker are joining a panel for an in-depth knowledge session.

The Ignite the Future deep dive was designed by Oscar Cerezales, chief strategy officer at MCI Group, and facilitated by Susan Sawbridge (pictured left) – a New Zealand major events strategist and expert.

One of New Zealand’s most well-respected and recognisable names, media presenter Hilary Barry (pictured right),  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 will be the venue for a Great Gatsby-themed dinner titled Deco, Diamonds, and Decadence, on 6 October. At the dinner, the Outstanding Contributor Awards for 2021 and 2022 to be presented.

According to BEIA, online registration for members and non-members is open on the Ignite The Future conference website.

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