Demand for in-person meetings highlighted at business events showcase

New Zealand’s only showcase for the business events industry this year, BE Reconnected brought together more than 420 event organisers and suppliers from around the country in Auckland on December 1.

 Organised by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), the event showed business events are not only safe, but also a vital component for widespread economic recovery.

 BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins says, in a statement, that the attendance at BE Reconnected highlighted the pent-up demand to gather in person with colleagues at meetings and incentives — and she remains optimistic about the future of business events.

 “More than 290 buyers walked through the show floor connecting with 120 suppliers, which will go towards supporting domestic recovery.

 “Ours is a multi-billion-dollar industry with far reaching impact, and business events will play a critical role supporting economic recovery,” she says.

 “Over the next three years, New Zealand will open three international convention centres, with a combined floor space of 10 rugby fields, creating over 1,000 new jobs directly while also supporting other industries such as accommodation, hospitality, food producers and suppliers, and airlines.”

97 percent of organisations surveyed are planning to hold a business event in 2021  

 Tourism New Zealand business events global manager, Lisa Gardiner, presented results of a recent industry survey which showed Covid-19 has increased the value New Zealanders put on face-to-face meetings.

 The survey of 125 New Zealand-based organisations found that 97 percent are planning to hold a business event in 2021.

 “The appetite for meeting is coupled with an increasingly positive attitude towards business events: 92 percent consider in-person conferences and offsite meetings important for their organisation, up from 79 percent of respondents in Tourism New Zealand’s May 2020 survey; and more than half (56 percent) said they appreciate the importance of face-to-face meetings more now than pre-Covid-19, up from 39 percent in May.”

 Hopkins says BEIA is working closely with the government, and contributing to industry taskforces, to ensure that the road to recovery is as rapid and smooth as possible.

 “New Zealand has had a very cohesive approach from right across the tourism industry and we have collaborated, discussed, debated and advocated in a very united way,” she says,

Lisa Hopkins says the event also gave the industry, “an opportunity to reinforce to clients our commitment to New Zealand’s Events Sector Voluntary Code and demonstrate all the practical ways it could be seamlessly delivered.

 

“We were reminded that in our professional industry, nothing is left to chance, and best-practice safety and hygiene can still make for an enjoyable, relaxing and inspirational event. After a year when we learned all about creating virtual and hybrid events, we all agreed nothing beats meeting face-to-face in a space where everyone feels safe and engaged.”

  • Every attendee scanned the Covid tracer app on arrival, before walking past a thermo-imaging camera on entry to the show floor.
  • Individually-packed lunches and disposable cups for drinks, allowed guests to quickly grab and go.
  • A St John first responder was on site for the entire day, to ensure immediate medical attention if needed.
  • Self-check-in kiosks were managed by staff so there would be less people handling the kiosk.
  • The kiosks noted the time attendees checked in and out of the event to ensure help for further contact tracing.
  • Masks were given away for those who wished to wear one at the event, and everyone who travelled to the event by air, or public transport was required to wear a mask while travelling.
  • Safety Measures icon on the BE Reconnected Event App, showed all the practices implemented for BE Reconnected.
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