Held at Claudelands Events Centre, the showcase had more than 50 venues and suppliers from throughout the Waikato region exhibiting with more than 140 conference and business event organisers through the doors, an increase from the inaugural event last year.
Students from the New Zealand School of Tourism also attended to learn more about the conference and business events industry.
Hamilton & Waikato business events manager Amanda Graham said the event was a positive reinforcement of the growing popularity of Hamilton and wider Waikato region as the best place to hold a conference or business event.
“In the past few years we have seen a growth in business events in our region and we are right up there as one of the top four destinations in New Zealand for both domestic and international conferences,” Amanda said.
“Our exhibitors included conference and social function venues, accommodation, audio-visual and transport suppliers; activities, entertainers, theming; and team building companies. It also showed how well we all work together here to create a seamless approach to business events.”
Purposely created as a one-day event to suit the busy schedules of organisers and buyers, the showcase has been gaining attention from around the country as a new way to present a region’s wares, she said.
This year’s showcase also included The Speaker Showcase with Tourism New Zealand sponsoring the panel discussion “Redefining Hamilton & Waikato as a Leading Business Events Destination” led by speakers University of Waikato Associate Professor Ryan Ko; Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive officer Jason Dawson; and SparkTank Director Rachel Kelly.
Guest speakers drew good crowds, with television and radio host Duncan Garner, and endurance athlete Rob Hamill speaking to a packed room. Speakers were sponsored by Essential Talent.
A hosted buyer programme for 15 buyers from throughout New Zealand was also introduced this year. A two-day famil programme of venues and suppliers will follow their attendance at the Showcase.
“It would not be possible to put on a showcase like this without the support of our sponsors that included Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre, Event Solutions, Montana Catering, Vidcom, Tourism New Zealand and Essential Talent,” Amanda said.
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For further information:
Business Events Manager – Hamilton & Waikato Tourism
Phone: 021 781 488
• Associate Professor Ryan Ko
Director of the NZ Institute for Security and Crime Science at the University of Waikato
Head of the Cyber Security Researchers of Waikato
• Jason Dawson
Chief Executive Officer Hamilton & Waikato Tourism
• Rachel Kelly
Director of SparkTank,
Deputy Chair of NZ Technology Industry Association
Executive Director of the Community and Enterprise Leadership Foundation.