Collaboration Genius - The NZ Business Events Industry

I was lucky enough to attend Meetings NZ as a guest of CINZ (Conference Incentives NZ) last week. This industry knows how to host (of course no pressure… holding events for the events industry!) and I always love the energy, the friendliness and the fun that accompanies such events. They really have their act together around why they are there too, with a massive amount of actual meetings (15 minutes each) taking place throughout the day between serious buyers and the various exhibitors.

It really struck me how many switched on parties there are who are jointly committed to showcasing New Zealand as a premier business events destination. At the media briefing, we heard from ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development), Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Christchurch Airport, and The New Zealand International Convention Centre.

It’s a perfect example of different bodies collaborating for a shared result.

When I am coaching executives or working with revenue generators in professional services, I challenge them on how they can look at forming partnerships or collaborations with others for shared gain. It is a great way to leverage a broader spectrum of resource and particularly thinking.

There is a caveat here. Some people get too carried away with developing partnerships when they need to be focusing on building their own business first. An example of this might be a newly qualified coach, who spends their time looking at how they can work with complementary coaches or trainers, rather than getting out there themselves and forming their own relationships.

Here are some very cool examples of how these organisations are collaborating to bring more of the lucrative event dollar to our beautiful shores;

  1. Air New Zealand flewin over 140 hosted buyers from Australia, China, US, South East Asia. and India to Meetings NZ
  2. Tourism NZ has set up the Conference Assistance Program to support the events sector to attract more incentives and business events to NZ. This has demonstrated a strong ROI, with the $21 million investment to date generating $238 million of economic impact through additional bid wins.
  3. The Government has introduced business events visas, for countries like China, India, Thailand and Indonesia which have a three day turn around, making it more attractive as a destination.
  4. Air New Zealand has $2.2 billion new fleet on order, and with new routes via Ho Chi Minh, Buenos Aires, Philippines and Houston, have made flying to New Zealand for conferences a more viable option for these countries. Their Koru Lounge upgrade program ($100 million) also helps!
  5. The Auckland Conventions Bureau (through ATEED) are working with the industry to position Auckland as the premium event destination to increase visitation, deliver ROI and leverage events for maximum economic benefit(this is being replicated across NZ)
  6. Christchurch Airport have (just last week) launched the Creative Events Fund, which will provide support for those organisations looking at offering Christchurch as a destination for incentives and business events in the shoulder or off peak season.
  7. The International Convention Centre will provide the infrastructure to attract events that we currently cannot host, and will be an amazing destination with capacity for 3000 (and with a very cool flexible and adaptable layout, check out the video here for more).

CINZ plays a critical part in this, in that they are the ones who keep on top of all this good stuff that people are doing, and share it with the businesses in this industry. This is a key point in collaboration; making sure you know what’s going on to support you! Nothing worse than not taking advantage of an initiative that’s there to help, or recreating something similar! The other very impressive thing about this industry, is that they don’t patch protect; some of the organisations involved could consider that others were ‘trying to do their job for them’ but they all seem to work together well and welcome the collective gain.

The upshot of this, is that there are more people visiting New Zealand than ever before, and with the average delegate spending nearly 6 nights here, that’s a good thing for our economy.

What’s possible when we put our heads together, and look at how we can collectively work towards a shared vision? If you are used to ‘doing it alone’, then think about how you can enlist the support of others to increase the chances of success. And do the research; you never know what resources might be available to make your job easier!

Posted on June 29, 2016 .