20 Apr 2007
Wellington turned on a show this week for some of Auckland’s key professional conference organisers. The organisers were brought here by the Wellington Convention Bureau, which is part of Positively Wellington Tourism.
The familiarisation visit, aptly named Wellington in the Spotlight, treated the organisers to three days in the capital from April 18 - 20. The experience included a scenic harbour cruise, a trip on the Cable Car, a visit to the luxury retreat Boomrock and dinner at Te Papa and the Westpac Stadium. The 25 conference organisers also spent time visiting some of Wellington’s top meetings venues including the Wellington Convention Centre.
“It is all about creating great Wellington experiences, and showing just why this city is the ideal place to hold a conference,” says Positively Wellington Tourism CEO Tim Cossar. “We gave them a taste of Wellington’s arts, culture and fine cuisine. We know that the best way to convince people to choose Wellington as the host for their next conference is to let them experience the city themselves.”
Feedback from guests was positive. James Chatterley from Event Dynamics commented, “There are some absolute gems in Wellington that some of us who have been in the industry for 25 years didn’t know about. You’ve got to come to visit, to get a feeling of how good it truly is.”
The mass influx of conference organisers to Wellington follows a successful initiative last year, when Wellington hosted key conference organisers from Australia and New Zealand at the Wellington Conference Expo. The initiative was an unprecedented success, generating about $1.5 million worth of conference business for the capital.
“This approach was so successful that we have decided to use it as part of our overall conference marketing strategy,” says Tim Cossar. “We targeted Auckland on this occasion, because it drives a large part of the domestic conference market.”
“Conference organisers are looking for the x-factor. They want to ensure their delegates have a fantastic experience. Wellington has that factor, and this is the best way of showing them this.”
One of Wellington’s key features is its compact size, which makes it easy for delegates to walk between meetings and accommodation. It also has a range of conference venues, from boutique board rooms to large scale spaces such as the Wellington Convention Centre and Te Papa.
The Wellington Convention Bureau markets Wellington as a conference and incentive destination. It provides free and confidential advice on meeting venues, supports bid documents and organises site inspections and familiarisation visits.