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CINZ: Day one

The annual Conventions and Incentives New Zealand conference officially started in Queenstown yesterday morning, after a welcome event for delegates hosted at Gibbston Valley on Tuesday night.

This year’s CINZ conference is being hosted at Skyline Queenstown from October 30-31.

The conference is hosting around 150 delegates from around the country and beyond, with delegates heralding from Australia, Asia Pacific and North America.

The conference was opened by the associate minister of tourism, the Honourable Peeni Henare and followed by a CINZ update by outgoing CINZ chief executive Sue Sullivan.

Peeni Henare – Associate Minister of Tourism, welcome announcement

Peeni Henare opened the conference, welcoming delegates to Queenstown and spoke about the value of the business events sector.

“The business events sector is one of our most valuable sectors, one that is critical to tourism,” he says.

“In the year to December 2018, over 855,000 domestic and international delegates went to conventions in New Zealand, bringing in around $455 million to our economy.

“Conventions are a great platform for exploring new and innovative ways to deliver a high quality tourism experience.”

Peeni also touched on the conventions sector to boost regional tourism in the off-peak season.

“Hosting a convention in one of our regions is a great way to spread the benefits of tourism around New Zealand.

“I also encourage you to organise events in the off-peak or shoulder seasons, and I’m glad this conference is taking place in October,” he said.


Sue Sullivan – CINZ chief executive, CINZ update

CINZ chief executive Sue Sullivan is attending her last CINZ conference as chief executive, after resigning from the role in September. She will stay with CINZ until the end of November. Sue has been chief executive of CINZ for five years and will be taking up a new role in Canterbury, as chief executive of Christchurch and Hanmer Attractions.

This year, Sue says CINZ is continuing on its mission to increase New Zealand convention and meeting activity from international and domestic sources, for the benefit of its membership, principal stakeholders and the New Zealand economy.  

“We aim to be the association that best assist its members to drive growth and sustainability of the high-yielding business events sector.”

Sue spoke of the four core pillars that form the basis of the CINZ annual business plan, the pillars being insights, industry voice, education and sustainability.

Sue also discussed new research opportunities that are expected to be announced at the end of November, with a start date of the beginning of December.

This year’s CINZ conference has a focus on sustainabiltity, with delegates receiving reusable coffee cups from Skyline Queenstown, lunch and morning and afternoon tea were served with proper crockery and cutlery, excess food is disposed of sustainably and many delegates were put in hotels that were within walking distance from Skyline Queenstown, saving fuel and taxi fees.

“We are moving towards a more sustainable organisation,” she says.


Shamubeel Eaqub – Sense Partners, Navigating turbulent waters

Shamubeel Eaqub from Sense Partners spoke to delegates about the economics of the business events industry, what has changed and what has stayed the same.

“The business events industy is very small in the context of things, but extremely valuable in terms of how productive it is, how you are able to push people to the regions, all these sorts of things.

“The business events industry is different from tourism,” he says. “If you put yourself in the same box as tourism you’re going to have a challenge, because the reality is tourism is pretty much the same as dairy now.

“We have a real opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the group of people that we want to bring to New Zealand. Where tourism has always been about bringing folk into New Zealand, business events has always been different in terms of targeting the kinds of people we bring in and the long-term benefits they bring.”

Shamubeel also commented on overtourism and sustainable tourism.

“Our focus for a very long time has just been around how to get people here, but now that conversation is shifting to how do we get the right people here?”


Lisa Gardiner – global manager business events Tourism New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand update

Lisa Gardiner from Tourism New Zealand gave delegates an update on TNZ as well as announcing their new programme, Enrich New Zealand.

Enrich New Zealand will focus on pilot conferences and already have three conferences booked from 2020 – the World Leisure Conference in Dunedin, 2022, the Intecol International Wetands Conference in Christchurch, 2020, and the International Working Group of Women and Sport in Auckland, 2022.


Greg Bogue – chief experience architect Maritz Global Events, Incentive keynote: USA

Greg Bogue from Maritz Global Events engaged CINZ delegates with a dynamic presentation on how tourism activities help shape people.

“When people post and share their experiences, they begin to define who they are. That’s powerful.

“The experiences that [the tourism industry] are helping to create define and redefine who they are as an individual.”

He also talked about the exclusivity of traveling to New Zealand and how those that get here often see it as an achievement.

“New Zealand is harder to get to, but it’s one of those things people have on their list. The people that make it here see it as a badge of honour, the experience is ‘worth more’.

“In New Zealand, you can kind of choose your adventure, because it’s all here.”


Brad Hook – Resilience Institute, Building resilience for individuals and organisations

Brad Hook from the Resilience Institute spoke to delegates about resilience – both for individuals and organisations.

He walked delegates through breathing techniques, power poses and resilience health, including access to the Resilience Institute app.

The app, which walks users through a quiz to test their resilience, is equipped with daily reminders to ‘rate’ certain areas of your resilience, short daily videos and useful tips on how to improve resilience.


In the afternoon, delegates broke into three groups to attend workshops run by Maritz Global Events’ Greg Bogue, Flux Capacity’s Nick Fifield and Audience Alive’s John Quinn.

Delegates then reconvened to listen to talks presented by CI Events’ Simone Seiler and Liam Malone.


Simone Seiler – CI Events, Incentive keynote Australia

Simone from CI Events shared insights into the market from an Australian perspective as well as talking to delegates about strengths of the New Zealand market and a few ways to improve the New Zealand incentives business.

“Your unique local partnerships really collaborate,” she says. “The Kiwi ‘can do’ attitude is one of a kind. You have an immersive cultural experience and warm hospitality.

“Whilst Australians love coming to New Zealand and it’s easier for them to come, you are at risk of being too familiar. The challenge here is how to entice people to come back and get them to engage with New Zealand once they’ve been there the first time.

“The ‘golden era of travel’ has enabled out travellers – be they corporate or independent – to be able to afford to see many more destinations around the world, but what that’s meant is, because the international destinations have become more affordable, it has forced a maturity to the incentive market,” Simone says.

“They have been able to afford to execute incentive programmes beyond Australian and New Zealand shores and into other global destinations, particularly Asia as a travel incentive.”


Liam Malone

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘inspiring new thinking’ and Liam was an engaging speaker that definitely fit the theme.

He spoke to delegates about his childhood, struggles, wins and losses and encouraged attendees to open their minds to new ways of looking at challenges.

Liam spoke about some of the highs and lows of his life and career as a high-performance athlete with a disability and how his sense of humour has helped him through a number of hard patches in his life.


The conference finished up for the day with the CINZ AGM and will kick off this morning with a talk by Graham Budd from Destination Queenstown.

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