Conference organisers regularly pinpoint wifi and food as the two areas that can potentially embarrass them – and first time PCO Association Conference exhibitor PopUp Wifi has a solution for one of those problems.
Co-founder Nina McMahon says the company has been gaining traction with PCOs and has had a steady stream of interest at the conference.
‘We know that wifi is one of the biggest areas of concern for conference organisers and they are realising that free wifi can actually turn out to be the most expensive because it is unreliable.'
The importance of reviewing past conferences when coming up with a critical path for the next one was emphasised by a leading Australian professional conference organiser over the weekend.
Paula Leishman, of Leishman and Associates, told attendees at a workshop during the PCO Association Conference in the Gold Coast that a critical path is like a ‘massive to-do list.
‘It allows you to maximise the opportunity to get things done on time, on budget.’
Be it the Green Dragon of Hobbiton, or the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, conferences are increasingly packaging their programmes around a bit of screen fantasy.
At a joint Tourism Ireland/Tourism New Zealand Screen Tourism discussion, in Wellington last week, industry leaders spoke about the importance of screen tourism for attracting conference business.
Like Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Ireland has a Business Tourism Unit that focuses on C&I business, says Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons.
Tourism students from Dunedin’s Otago Polytechnic will gain first-hand insights into the business events sector of the industry this week, with 20 students being hosted by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (at its annual conference in Dunedin from 24 to 26 October.
Helen Geytenbeek, Tourism/Hospitality lecturer at the College of Enterprise and Development at Otago Polytechnic NZ says the event creates valuable links for them between theory and practice.
The 20 students are qualifying for the New Zealand Diploma in Tourism and Travel (Level 5) at Otago Polytechnic. One full year of study contributes to the first year of the Bachelor of Applied Management.
Their ‘Tourism in Action’ paper includes learning to design and develop a business concept, and to analyse and critique the application of processes in tourism business ventures.
‘We are focusing on the MICE industry in this paper, to expose them to the business-based side of the tourism industry. They will put together a business plan, organise and participate in an event, volunteer in a conference, event or festival, and critique the experiences.”
More than 140 CINZ members including owners and managers of key venues, catering companies, accommodation providers, activity operators and regional convention bureaux will be meeting at the Dunedin Centre and Town Hall on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 October.
Registrations can be made online at the CINZ 41st Annual Conference website.
Culture is key when choosing a destination for meetings and events, according to new research from London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency.
The bureau says that when surveyed, 93% of international event planners pitched a destination with a cultural offering as an important factor when choosing where to host meetings and events.
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB)will give advice on streamlining Australia’s visa system to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The AACB emphasised the high yield of business visitors, especially delegates coming to Australia for business events or incentive experiences.
AACB president and CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, Karen Bolinger, says Australia is losing out globally in the race to attract and host the largest business events.
There is significant opportunities for employment growth in the events industry, according to a new skills survey by Meeting & Events Australia.
MEA chief executive Robyn Johnson says the survey shows it’s clear many event companies are finding it difficult to fill vacancies and retain staff.
‘This shows the need for the industry to provide more training and improve career paths for events staff,’ she says.
Nearly half the companies surveyed identified a skills shortage as impacting on their ability to recruit. The biggest skills shortages are in operational areas where specific training and relevant qualifications are generally required.
‘To me, this reinforces what we’re hearing in the marketplace, and that there is a need for improvements in the provision of training,’ says Johnson.
New research from event marketing firm XING Events has revealed digitalisation has a firm spot in the event marketing world.
The research, which surveyed both national and international organisers and attendees of events, found more than two thirds of organisers say they have achieved their goals thanks to digital channels. Attracting more attendees (84 percent) and increasing the events’ profile (72 percent) take the top ranks.
The research found there is a large gap between what attendees want and what organisers offer. Besides their website, organisers are strongly focusing on established communication channels like email marketing (76 percent) and social media marketing (73 percent). However, personal recommendations from friends and acquaintances are the way to go for 66 percent of attendees when choosing events. Email and event newsletters were right behind with 59 percent indicating the effectiveness of these methods among the organisers’ target group.
‘These results nevertheless clearly indicate that viral marketing will be an essential ingredient for an ideal marketing mix in the future’, says Professor Dr. Cai-Nicolas Ziegler.
Meanwhile, organisers and attendees are on the same page about updates, with more than half of organisers and attendees agreeing that digital event marketing simplifies exchanging information with each other. Attendees (62 percent) would like to further this improved exchange of information via social media groups. In turn, organisers seem to not (yet) recognise this potential – a mere nine percent of the organisers use this channel for communication and attendee retention.
‘By using various channels like email marketing, organisers are on the right track”, says Ziegler.
‘However, they still need to catch up when it comes to innovative marketing activities – especially viral channels, making use of influencers and content marketing.’
The Tourism Export Council conference last week shone a spotlight on sustainability, with the need to ensure tourism growth is sustainable economically, environmentally and socially top of mind.
The conference held in Te Anau attracted around 250 people involved in the country's tourism industry.
Getting up close and personal with exotic animals can be a dream come true for animal lovers. Elephants, monkeys, tigers, lions, orcas, dolphins – they are amazing, beautiful creatures, and the chance to see them in real life can be a huge drawcard when planning a trip. Unfortunately, a quick trip down the rabbit hole will reveal a not-so-rosy life for many of the animals that are used for entertainment in the tourism industry.
One of the challenges facing the tourism, incentives and business events industry is a lack of fresh blood. That’s the feeling on the street when Meeting Newz canvassed some conference and incentive organisers recently, who say that while clients appreciate the experience veteran planners can offer, the industry risks getting stale if there are no ‘young ones’ coming through with new ways of doing things. Catherine Barwood of Premium Incentive & Conference, says the lack of young people coming through the conference and incentive scene is the biggest problem the industry has right now.
There’s a skill shortage looming in the service industry that’s going to affect all New Zealanders, across all regions, and visitors to our country.
That’s the bold claim of Dean Minchington, ServiceIQ CEO, who says there is a very real crisis around the corner.
‘It puts our successful service sectors at risk, and unless things change soon, New Zealand will be worse for it,’ he says.
The recent influx of Lions fans to Wellington has shown the value of tourism to the capital’s economy, according to Tourism Industry Aotearoa Wellington hotel sector chairman Steve Martin.
‘[Tourists] are especially valuable during winter, which is normally a quiet time for the holiday market in Wellington,’ he says.
Commercial accommodation in Wellington was full, with many fans choosing to stay in the region all week.
Martin says the city has plenty of scope to attract more big events to Wellington at other times.
Seven business events exhibitors from around New Zealand will join CINZ and Tourism New Zealand on the 100% Pure New Zealand stand at the Associations Forum National Conference taking place in Sydney next month.
CINZ Australia manager Sharon Auld says the range of exhibitors heading along is designed to showcase New Zealand’s diversity as a destination. This year, three new exhibitors will join the group - Queen’s Wharf Auckland, Skyline Queenstown, and Auckland Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira.
New Zealand business events will deliver $311 million to the New Zealand economy, according to new figures released by Tourism New Zealand.
The events were secured by Tourism New Zealand and industry over the last four years and will bring nearly 100,000 people to the country, the organisation says.
In Budget 2013 the government invested $34 million with Tourism New Zealand for the purpose of attracting meetings, incentives and conferences.
‘We are really pleased with the significant return on investment we have made with the support of the New Zealand business events industry,” says René de Monchy, director trade, PR and major events.
Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff has recently justified his revised targeted rate proposal by accusing hotels of exploiting participants in the World Masters Games.
But according to Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s chief executive Chris Roberts, the Mayor should stick to the facts, and start working with the accommodation sector.
‘The Mayor continues to make wild claims that are not based on the facts,’ he says.
The annual New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference will be held at The Langham, Auckland on 19-20 July. The conference has been sold out for the past two years and co-hosts Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Horwath HTL expect demand to be high again this year.
‘We have an exciting programme that will discuss and debate the big issues affecting this sector currently, including investment in infrastructure, the modern hotel and the trend towards lifestyle brands, and disruptor innovation, which can either be a threat or an opportunity,’ explains TIA hotel sector manager Sally Attfield.
Now in its 11th year, the conference is attended by managers and stakeholders in the New Zealand hotel sector. Last year’s conference attracted over 320 delegates, including hotel managers, investors, developers, hotel chains, government agencies, hotel industry consultants, sponsors and exhibitors.
National guest nights this February were relatively flat, down 0.4 percent on February 2016, according to new figures released by Statistics NZ.A 1.6% fall in domestic guest nights was partly offset by a 0.8% rise in international guest nights compared with February 2016. Last February had an extra day of trading, as 2016 was a leap year.
A 1.6% fall in domestic guest nights was partly offset by a 0.8% rise in international guest nights compared with February 2016. Last February had an extra day of trading, as 2016 was a leap year.
Guest nights in the North Island rose 1.0% in February 2017 compared with February 2016. However, guest nights in the South Island fell 2.2%.
Deloitte recently released results for the National Tourism Infrastructure Assessment conducted on behalf of Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) and with help from a number of industry partners.
The study has revealed that if New Zealand’s tourism industry is going to really flourish, then more accommodation for visitors should be our highest priority.
And, it can’t be done alone. The industry will need to work closely with central and local government to achieve the required development and to close any current or potential infrastructure gaps.
The Auckland Chamber of Commerce says a watered-down version of the Auckland Council’s proposed targeted accommodation rate is still massively flawed.
Chamber of Commerce chief Michael Barnett says talk of a compromise targeted accommodation rate that excludes camping grounds, backpackers and motels on the fringe of the city is underway at council, but not in a way that includes the tourism industry and business and may result in a response that is flawed and potentially illegal.
Watering down the proposal to leave only larger hotels to pay the rate means it is even less justifiable or defendable, he says.
Minister of Tourism Paula Bennett has come out saying she’s ‘not a big fan’ of taxing visitors to New Zealand, saying we are ‘really expensive’ to visit. Bennett made the statement when speaking on TVNZ’s Q&A over the weekend.
The Green Party has hit back, saying it is ‘irresponsible’ of Bennett to dismiss a tourist levy to help pay for infrastructure and conservation.
‘The whole country benefits from tourism, but it's ratepayers in areas like the Mackenzie Country, West Coast, and the Queenstown-Lakes District who foot the bill for the infrastructure that supports the industry,’ says Green Party co-leader James Shaw.
‘A tourist levy would fix that.’
Auckland Council’s proposed $28 million targeted rate on commercial accommodation is being met with some mighty opposition from some powerful industry players.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa says the move will have massive consequences for the city and must be dropped. CINZ says it would create long-term damage to the city’s high-yield and growing business events industry.
‘This targeted rate would be a disaster for Auckland and must be withdrawn,’ says TIA chief executive Chris Roberts.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa looks forward to working with new Tourism Minister Paula Bennett and associate Minister Nicky Wagner on some of the big issues facing the tourism industry.
‘Paula Bennett has ably supported former Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key for the last two years in her role as Associate Tourism Minister. We are pleased she is continuing her involvement with the industry as the new minister,’ TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.
Loyalty programmes: a term that is often followed by a cloud of negative stigma, with words like oversaturation, lack of differentiation and privacy concerns coming to mind.
If used correctly, meeting planners, event organisers, corporate travel executives and business travellers can reap rewards beyond a dollar value. But after so many years of spam and sub-par points value programmes, how can an already-wary business events industry ensure that it’s getting recognised and rewarded appropriately?
By Eugene DeVilliers
It’s no secret that quality travel reward programmes remain a powerful motivational tool for internal and external channel partners. Industry expert, Eugene De Villiers, is keen to reinforce the quantifiable benefits associated with planning travel reward programmes well in advance rather than leaving them to the last minute.
New Zealand needs to build a culture where risk management is a normal process in the events and venues industry, says Wayne Middleton of Reliance Risk.
The new health and safety laws came into effect in May of this year, but five months on the industry is still having trouble coming to terms with the processes.
Jake Downing of Weta Workshop and Sue Duncan of Uno Loco are the new board members in the silver category.
New member in the gold category is Tracey Thomas of Conference Innovators; and Julie White of InterContinental Hotels Group joins returning member Gillian Officer of SKYCITY in the platinum category.