ChristchurchNZ identified the opportunity to run a capability-building programme for a group of business partners ready to debut their products into the business events market.
With MEETINGS being held in Christchurch for the first time in 14 years, ChristchurchNZ selected seasoned local operators who already worked well with travel trade. Many already had some experience working in business events, and saw an opportunity to hone their products for the business events sector.
The programme goal was to upskill these ChristchurchNZ business partners not only to benefit their own businesses, but also to boost the business events proposition in Christchurch and Canterbury.
“We knew many of our region’s attractions and activities were ready for business events clients. They were offering new and exciting options to put into our clients’ conference programmes. MEETINGS in Christchurch was their chance to be out in front of a discerning market, doing what they do best,” says Megan Crum, ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events.
The first component of the programme was a workshop day at ChristchurchNZ, with short presentations from leading business events experts including BEIA, Tourism New Zealand, Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, and a leading professional conference organiser. This gave participants an initial understanding of the business events industry.
Participants were then offered one-on-one coaching and mentoring sessions with a locally based professional, widely experienced in all aspects of business events. Sessions predominantly focused on current sales and marketing asset and knowledge gaps, with businesses coming away with tangible things to work on to ensure they are market ready for business events.
The final component of the programme involved ChristchurchNZ selecting seven operators to take to MEETINGS 2022, in a new “Collective” concept – a brand new offering at MEETINGS 2022. These operators have products which are ideal for business events programmes, and most offer complementary experiences which can easily be packaged for clients.
Megan Crum, Head of Business Events, ChristchurchNZ
These operators have learned how to maximise their opportunities at MEETINGS through good storytelling, getting to know people, and the importance of follow up after the show.
The three Christchurch Collectives chosen to join the ChristchurchNZ stand at MEETINGS 2022 were:
Christchurch Cultural Collective
Focusing on the unique cultural aspects of Christchurch, bespoke culture and food tours showcase the hidden gems of Ōtautahi (Christchurch). The collective combines natural beauty, exquisite dining experiences, unique trails and Māori and multi-cultural storytelling – plus a memorable guided experience paddling a hand-crafted waka (canoe) down the Ōtakaro Avon River in central city.
Explore Christchurch Collective
The new Christchurch CBD is easy to explore and this collective included a new venue, cooking and market experience, as well as bespoke ways for conference and incentive delegates to explore highlights of the new city of Christchurch, by bicycle or on foot, tailored to suit their needs.
Christchurch Unique Experiences Collective
Christchurch has a diverse range of outdoor experiences to incorporate into business events programmes, and this collective represents some awesome activity options not well-known to business events’ organisers – including those with accessibility and sustainability top of mind.