The $475m Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre is continuing to secure new conferences, despite losing some events due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.
The 67 contracted or confirmed events represent a 30% increase to the number of bookings announced at the end of 2019, and are projected to bring over NZ$40m (US$24.9m) of economic benefit to the city.
Te Pae Christchurch General Manager Ross Steele said the fact the centre had been able to retain a “significant level of business” in addition to being able to take on new bookings during this time, “proved that people still wanted that face-to-face connection with their peers”. The centre has had its opening pushed back from the intiial October 2020 date to some time in 2021.
Steele said: “A major reason that convention centres exist is to drive not just economic but also social value for the cities they are based in, so it’s encouraging to see that even at a challenging time such as this, we are continuing to deliver those important opportunities for Christchurch.
“We have understandably had some cancellations, largely due to uncertainty around travel and the effect of Covid-19 on the construction programme, but our team has been working closely with affected clients to reschedule their events to a later date, which has kept the majority of these events in Christchurch.”
One recent signing is the Aotearoa New Zealand Anaesthesia Scientific Meeting, due to take place 3-6 November 2021. The event is set to attract upwards of 400-500 delegates to the city.
Event Convenor, Doctor Ben van der Griend, said: “Most of the delegates will be coming from all over New Zealand, however we also attract a good number from Australia and further afield.”
The theme for 2021 will be ‘Whakaora (To Heal): Our patients, Ourselves, Our City, Our Planet’, a theme which is sure to resonate with attendees following the events Christchurch has faced since the last anaesthetic meeting was hosted in the city in 2010.