Wellington puts faith in conference advocates to win international meetings

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Wellington NZ Mt Victoria, Wellington. Photo Credit: Johnny Hendrikus. Image supplied Business Events Wellington.

A group of academics from various disciplines will help promote New Zealand's capital city as a place to hold international conferences. 

Wellington has launched its Advocate Network, a pool of local thought leaders and subject experts who aim to help enhance the success of the city's business events bids.

The move foreshadows the opening of Takina, New Zealand's newest conference centre, which is scheduled to open in June 2023 with a maximum capacity of 1,600 people.

The network’s initial membership comprises a mix of academics representing the local arts, music, engineering, computer science, and health sectors, as well as national association representatives from the National Council for Women and Volunteering New Zealand. 

Business Events Wellington manager, Irette Ferreira said: “Their knowledge, work and connections in their respective fields play a crucial role in securing these international events and creating new opportunities to represent Wellington globally.

“By formalising our relationship, we aim to recognise the positive benefits they bring to Wellington’s economy and society through their conferences and to increase the impact of those events. We also encourage others to join them and bid for events that will strengthen Wellington.”

Business Events Wellington hopes the launch of the network will increase bookings at Tākina.

“We’ve already got more than 80 conferences on the books at Tākina, and we’re proactively engaging our local network of experts and thought leaders to continue building that pipeline of international conferences for New Zealand’s capital city,” added Ferreira. 

One of the Wellington Advocate Network’s inaugural members, Suzanne Manning, president of the National Council of Women New Zealand, is working with Business Events Wellington as host of the International Council of Women’s Executive Committee Meeting and Asia-Pacific Region Council Meeting in 2023. Manning expressed a wish to bring the International Congress of the International Council of Women to Wellington in the future.

“Bringing the conference to Wellington will allow our members to connect with the work that our sisters are doing around the world, and particularly strengthen our connections with Pacific nations. It will provide opportunities for mutual support and exchange of ideas and solutions to common problems,” said Manning.

Fellow advocate Brian Diettrich, senior lecturer in Ethnomusicology at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Music, is working with Business Events Wellington to bid for the International Conference on Traditional Music in 2025.

Diettrich said: “We envision that the 2025 World Conference will bring together scholars, performers, and students from across our region and globally in an inclusive and interactive meeting. As only the third time in Oceania since its inception in 1947, the conference in 2025 offers a chance to bring together participants in a world-facing event and showcase the best of New Zealand and Wellington.”

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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