At the beginning of December, the Hamilton & Waikato Business Events team was delighted to host 16 guests from all around New Zealand for four days. Guests included PCOs, In-house event managers, personal assistants, directors and even an aptly named ‘Vision Weaver’.
The famil included a spine-tingling performance by Lyrica in the Cathedral Cave at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, a Pacific themed lunch at Novotel Tainui Hamilton, wine-tasting under the vines at Vilagrad Winery, a relaxed lunch in the Heritage Chapel at Mystery Creek Events Centre, and pre-dinner ‘Backstage Balustrade’ drinks overlooking Claudelands Arena with the comedians before watching 7 Days Live.
Angela Morgan, Event Manager for Parnell Partners Group NZ says one of her highlights was the evening at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, which included an exclusive cave performance by Lyrica in the Cathedral Cave, followed by a Glowworm Cave boat tour and dinner. “And, of course, it goes without saying that Hobbiton was a personal favourite for me! I loved every moment of it and will be encouraging our groups to undertake this experience,” says Angela.
Hamilton & Waikato Convention Bureau Manager, Amanda Graham says the famil also encapsulated the region’s collaborative approach and desire to give back to local communities. “There is an increased demand from organisers for corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives which will benefit the local community. We were proud to showcase the Team Up Events activity Horses for Causes. Not only was it tremendous fun, but all rocking horses constructed during the activity have been donated to the Waikato Women’s Refuge.”
As she reflects over the past year - her first in this role – Amanda says “I am enormously proud of our region which is going from great to greater. In the past year, we have seen a 48.5% increase in enquiries, and growth in our market share of total events from 9% to 10.6%.
“The region has successfully won seven international conference bids through Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), this equates to a $4,473,080 injection into the local economy. The region won Best Stand at the Convene Tradeshow, and Regional Stand Winner at the Meetings Tradeshow. In October, the region played host to the Conventions and Incentives NZ National Conference for the first time in 40 years - the conference was held at Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre. The Waikato is indeed a place of powerful possibilities”, says Amanda.