Working together to bid and secure international conferences

Two students wear VR headsets and use hand controls, while a lecturer watches and monitors a laptop.

When it comes to bidding for an international conference, there’s plenty of support on hand to help you secure your event in Wellington.

Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, with Business Events Wellington and Tourism New Zealand, have celebrated many international conference wins.

Dr Nadia Pantidi talks about her experience of the bidding process, as a senior lecturer of interaction design and chair of the NZ Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction.

Building a successful bid

We were excited to host the International Annual Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI). It helped to raise our university’s visibility internationally and provide new collaborations with academics and industry worldwide.

It was an opportunity to bring people here and showcase the excellent and diverse research we do in the area of human-computer interaction. It was also a chance to show what Aotearoa New Zealand and specifically Wellington has to offer across several industries such as gaming, film, fine arts and tech start-ups.

As our bid has proven, a successful bid must persuade judging panels that our creative capital is capable of hosting the conference. And that it’s an attractive destination for conference delegates. This highlights the importance of collaboration with the likes of Business Events Wellington and Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme.

Conference Assistance Programme | Tourism New Zealand

Support on offer

The Conference Assistance Programme is open to associations or organisations, including universities, that want to bid to host international conferences in New Zealand. There needs to be at least 200 international delegates.

What the programme can help with

  • Help you find out the real cost and revenue potential of a conference. A professional conference organiser (PCO) will conduct a financial feasibility study. For us, this meant we were aware of the financial implications from the start.
  • Support you in working through bid guidelines to determine what exactly you need.
  • Help to develop lobbying strategies to increase the chances of winning a bid.
  • Provide a graphic designer and marketing support to create the all-important professional and tailored bid document and presentation.
  • Funding to cover the cost of presenting your bid to the international committee, including international travel and accommodation.

Conferences influence change

It’s clear that tapping into the Conference Assistance Programme has far-reaching effects. Securing international conferences brings international delegates to see, explore and connect in Wellington.

Hosting conferences here also allows local experts to attend and share knowledge and research with leading international experts. They can:

  • influence policy and legislative change through informed discussion and collaboration
  • provide an opportunity for professional development, networking and education
  • act as a catalyst for social, environmental, and cultural change that benefits the local community.