Wellington welcomes back international delegates after borders reopen

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Wellington, New Zealand Wellington is welcoming international delegates once again Photo Credit: Image supplied

New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, is preparing to host international conference delegates once again following the lifting of border restrictions.

Fully vaccinated travellers from about 60 countries, including the UK and US, are now able to travel to the country, after Australians were allowed in last month.

Business Events Wellington has partnered with Tourism New Zealand, universities based in the city, locally based government agencies, and a variety of national associations to target events focussing on the city’s specialist sectors and research areas. 

These include digital technologies, from software to telecommunications; professional services; creative industries including screen and gaming, and world-leading education and scientific research in fields from biotech to advanced materials. 

Upcoming events include the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works’ IIC Biennial Congress, which will now go ahead in a hybrid format in September at the National Library.  

Business Events Wellington manager Irette Ferreira said: “We’re looking forward to hosting an exciting calendar of conferences. These range from domestic events, which have sustained the city’s conference market since borders closed in 2020, to international conferences secured over the past several years which are now able to welcome delegates and speakers from around the world with no event restrictions.” 

In October the city’s health sector will welcome both the 4th Feeding the Future conference of the Infant Nutrition Council of Australia and New Zealand, and the Combined Scientific Congress of the New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists and the Australian Society of Anaesthetists. 

And the city’s high-tech strengths will be evident when it hosts both the ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces Conference, and the International Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference in November. 

Looking ahead, Ferreira said 2023 was set to be a bumper year for Wellington. Major conferences scheduled to take place include the 10th International Crustacean Congress, the Island Biology Conference, and the International Zoo Educators Conference. 

Meanwhile, Tākina, the new Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre, is on track to open mid-2023, with more than 60 conferences already pencilled in at the central city venue. 

Tākina will be able to accommodate a plenary of up to 1,600 delegates, with two divisible plenary halls on separate levels which can be easily combined. It will also offer a 1,800sqm exhibition hall with adjacent space to boost capacity, stand-alone meeting rooms, and fully integrated best-in-class AV and ICT systems.  

Ferreira said: "Tākina will add purpose-built conferencing capability and capacity  to our already excellent suite of venues, from the intimate and unique to our big, blank canvas options. Wellington’s business events future is looking bigger and brighter.” 

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

A journalist for more than 22 years, AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Page proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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