MEETINGS wraps up with awards celebration

New Zealand’s business events industry celebrated a successful MEETINGS 2022 last week (16 June) when over 650 Australian and New Zealand event professionals gathered for a gala dinner at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) chief executive, Lisa Hopkins said the MEETINGS 2022 gala event, entitled Flourish, reflected the mood of optimism throughout the industry, and captured the very best New Zealand culinary, entertainment, theming, production and design talent.

“MEETINGS has shown that business events are back, and better than ever, with a strong pipeline of bookings coming from two days packed with appointments,” Hopkins said.

“Flourish was a fitting finale for what has been a highly productive and inspiring two days of meetings, networking, learning and doing business together.

“This was a well-earned time to reflect and celebrate with our industry peers, and a spirit evident amongst all our event organisers hosted from around New Zealand and Australia, and our incredible team of over 200 exhibitors.

“MEETINGS has also been a triumph for New Zealand’s and Christchurch’s business events hosting capabilities. It leaves everyone in awe of our world-class venues and services in a bucket-list destination. Hosting its first major international exhibition, Te Pae Christchurch has come through with flying colours.”

The dinner menu in Te Pae’s spectacular River rooms allowed everyone to taste the very best of Canterbury and Aotearoa New Zealand, all sourced from local producers within 85 kilometres of the city.

Christchurch’s acclaimed bespoke floral design and full event theming expert, Kim Chan designed and themed Flourish.

“We wanted to astound and delight guests with a bold, visual feast,” MEETINGS event manager, Jen Henshaw said.

Leading the way in sustainable floristry, Kim Chan Events used live plants for the lush effect.

“All of the fruit plants and native plants we used tonight and on the show floor during the two days are now being now donated to local Christchurch food for schools and community gardens, and to the Christchurch Foundation’s Tūī Project, for regeneration of native birdlife in the city.

“With the best in local entertainment, from The Production Agency, and talented MC Jason Gunn, from Johnson and Laird, the party atmosphere took off. Exhibition Hire and Pacific Linen provided the stunning furnishings and linen to help bring the theme to life,” she said.

Christchurch social enterprise, Bead and Proceed and its founder Bridget Williams presented BEIA with a woven beaded wall-hanging made by delegates, reflecting each of the United Nations 17 Sustainability Goals.

Best Stand Awards 2022

Meeting Newz presented the MEETINGS 2022 Awards for exhibitors, judged by a panel of industry leaders: Paula Rowntree – Australian Psychological Society, Kelly Thorn – Naylor Love, and Lisa McClosky – The Events Group.

The Meeting Newz MEETINGS 2022 Stand Award winners were:

Best New Exhibitor – Kim Chan Events

The judges noted a stunning, eye-catching backdrop, sustainable with fresh flowers and plants being donated after the show. The stand quickly conveyed who they are and the service they provide. Beautiful.

Honourable mentions went to:
Bay of Many Coves
Rotorua Rafting & Zipline
Business Events Marlborough

Best Individual Stand Award — Millennium Hotels & Resorts

The judges said the easy-peasy lemon-squeezy theme was completely on brand and told a story. They loved the Gin O’clock sign, and the warm and welcoming greeting from the team.

Honourable mentions went to:
Bead & Proceed
TW Events & Incentives
New Plymouth/Taranaki

Best Regional Stand – Wellington

This was the closest of all the categories, and was only one point between first and second, both regions stood out.

The judges said the store was amazing and fun, while promoting wonderful local products, fun gifts, and a bold unmissable logo. It was a great space for seating and meeting.

Honourable mentions went to:
Rotorua – this region went within a whisker of winning
Southland/Fiordland – a small space, but huge impact and warm and welcoming, Christchurch – friendly and welcoming.