Auckland’s business events sector continues to go from strength-to-strength, delivering millions into the regional economy each year.
The economic value of the events won by Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), in conjunction with ACB members and industry partners, is valued at $46 million in the year ending July 2017.
ACB, which is a division within Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED)’s Destination business unit, has won 58 business events through their activity over the last financial year.
This has resulted in the region hosting more than 28,000 international and domestic delegates between June 2016 and July 2017, who stayed a total of 124,365 visitor nights.
ACB Manager, Anna Hayward, says there has been consistent growth over the past six years in the business events sector in Auckland.
“On average ACB has successfully converted one in three opportunities we’ve worked on to attract business events to Auckland. This has delivered more than $175 million in economic value since June 2011,” she says.
“However, the benefits of hosting business events extend beyond the financial impact, and while not as easy to measure, hosting these events are valuable contributors to growing a city’s knowledge economy.
“Hosting business events is another way to promote Auckland on the world stage, bringing people together to build new relationships, research partnerships, and can even over the longer term attract investment and talent flows.”
ATEED General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage, says international and domestic business events and meetings play an important role in fuelling the value of Auckland, and New Zealand’s visitor economy.
“It’s more competitive globally than ever before. Governments and the private sectors around the world have been placing greater importance on the meeting and incentives sector, investing billions in building large convention centres, and building new, or redeveloping, hotels and venues,” he says.
“Auckland is no exception, and with the additional capacity the region will have when the New Zealand International Convention Centre opens, it has meant we have already been able to compete for, and secure, a number of large scale international conferences in 2020, with more in the pipeline.”
ACB is also able to further strengthen Auckland’s appeal as a premium business events destination by being able to leverage the expertise and connections of being inside Auckland’s economic growth agency.
This has resulted in more of a strategic focus when bidding for business events that align with Auckland’s advanced industries.
These advanced industries, comprising of the commercial services sector and knowledge intensive services, include a number of Auckland’s high growth, high value sectors. These include engineering and architectural consulting, ICT, and technology innovation spanning medical devices and food sciences, agricultural machinery, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
ATEED General Manager Business, Innovation and Skills, Patrick McVeigh, says: “Auckland is forging a reputation as a world-class destination for business events. A global hub of innovation and knowledge exchange.
“We are attracting some of the brightest minds to the region, and that helps to strengthen our global economic connections which is important for trade and investment,” he says.
“Auckland has a vibrant service sector, a growing well-qualified labour force, top-ranked universities, research institutions and medical facilities.
“This combined with our diverse and internationally orientated population, strong study, work, and do business offering, and robust business events infrastructure, means we are ideally placed as a host city for major international conferences.”