As one of NZ’s foremost conference display and exhibition stand providers, the team at Brandstand were delighted to read a couple of articles in the Herald recently about our booming convention business. Have a read through the full article here. For a long time, we’ve thought that the convention industry represented a huge untapped opportunity for New Zealand. Finally, it looks like the industry is getting the local and national government support it needs to succeed.
Here’s a summary of the highlights, and proof that NZ is progressing well in being recognised as a major conference player in the APAC region. Despite our geographical location, we believe this country has so much to offer the overseas business traveller, so here’s to a bright future! I
As of April, overseas businesses can now claim back their GST when they come here for conferences. There’s nothing like a good financial incentive to raise awareness and persuade businesses to come here. Businesses simply have to register for the non-resident business scheme and then make a claim for all their conference-related expenses. This means we can create and produce display and conference materials for visiting overseas clients right here in NZ, and make it, even more, cost-effective for them to buy locally.
Newer, Bigger Venues
We’re seeing significant investment in conference venues throughout the country. In Auckland, the SkyCity Convention Centre is due for completion in 2017. Sky City continues to see good returns each year and has just announced plans for a new 300 room five-star hotel. The new Convention Centre will accommodate conferences with up to 3500 delegates and place Auckland on the global map for conventions.
In Wellington, a new Conference Centre attached to the Hilton is also due in 2017, and the same goes for a new convention centre in Christchurch. After a great deal of discussion, it also seems that a centre in Queenstown will now go ahead. This creates wonderful opportunities to keep large local businesses here for their conferences as well as attract overseas businesses.
The article noted that ATEED’s convention bureau had bid for 36 international events and won 12 of them over the last 12 months. It’s great to see these conferences coming here, and we ask the whole industry to get behind the likes of ATEED and other organisers in bringing these events to our shores. It was interesting to read that of the 11,700 regularly occurring ICCA events, NZ gets 48 compared to Australia with 231, the USA with 722 and Germany 829. With so much investment on the horizon, let’s hope we can start to eat into those 231 held in Australia – I know where I’d rather go!
Brandstand is already building exhibition and conference stands for local companies representing themselves offshore. We recently created a stand for Air New Zealand which they took to a conference in the USA. With our new Superwall Fabric Display System we can create anything you can imagine, but unlike the displays of a few years back, these all fold down to next to nothing and can easily be carried onto a plane.
We also created a stand for Coherent Solutions which they took to the USA. The client was delighted with the stand we produced and the impact it had on the conference they attended. It would have been easy to ask a US company to produce the stand, but Coherent Solutions knew that we had the creativity and skills to create something locally using modern lightweight, easily transportable materials.
We believe that NZ’s display companies are some of the best in the world. We create and produce incredible exhibition stands, and we certainly support any opportunities to demonstrate our skills to overseas companies coming to our shores.
Auckland’s plan is to increase the value of business events by 6% per year; bold ambitions for sure but backed up by real achievable tactics that we look forward to seeing implemented. They also intend to grow volume with more delegate days and smooth out the current seasonality, all of which will bring additional spending to the city, benefiting a wide array of businesses – ourselves included!
We’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to ATEED and the government for all they’re doing to support the NZ conference industry. The Auckland Convention Bureau should pave the way to providing excellent advice and service to businesses heading this way. For further information on Auckland’s plans to target business events and conferences, go to www.aucklandnz.com/conventions.