Christchurch convention centre to debut at PCOA Conference

Christchurch’s new convention centre is making its debut with the 100% Pure Zealand team at next week’s Professional Conference Organisers’ Association (PCOA) Conference on the Gold Coast.

Construction work is now underway on the Christchurch Centre and a live webcam is allowing everyone to watch the progress being made.

The NZ$475m convention and exhibition centre is scheduled to be completed in early 2020, with the first conferences held later that year.

General Manager, Rob McIntyre says the design and setting of the Christchurch Centre are world-leading.

“It’s a stunning venue in the centre of New Zealand’s newest city, and at the centre of the South Island. Now we can watch it come to life.”

Spanning two blocks of prime land in the central city, the main entrance opens out to Christchurch’s picturesque Ōtākaro Avon River.

Its design reflects the fluid curves of the South Island’s braided rivers, and complements the green spaces, heritage square and gardens surrounding it. Stories of the local Māori culture are interwoven through every aspect of the design.

“Christchurch’s impressive city centre is right on the doorstep, with brand new hospitality and shopping precincts, plus excellent hotels all within a few minutes’ easy walking distance,” McIntyre says.

The Centre will host up to 2,000 people, and the tiered 1400-delegate auditorium can be split to host two 700-delegate events simultaneously.

A 3,600sqm exhibition hall and 1,600sqm of meeting rooms overlooking Victoria Square will allow seamless flow and plenty of flexible space.

The design of the Centre ensures three events can be run concurrently with no delegate crossover.

The main auditorium is complemented by break-out space in meeting rooms – from boardroom scale to large flat floor plenary sessions.

The purpose-built banqueting area has separate capacity to host the total number of convention delegates.

An exhibition hall supports the exhibition component of conventions, while public circulation space allows for informal meetings and comfortable pre-event gathering spaces.

Support infrastructure includes dedicated offices for professional conference organisers, a hospitality lounge, boardroom, crew room and speaker preparation rooms.