Business Events Industry Aotearoa’s flagship exhibition, MEETINGS has opened with a strong endorsement of the sector’s role in New Zealand’s economic and social success.The two-day event was opened by Hon. Stuart Nash, New Zealand’s Minister for Tourism and Economic Development at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre this morning.
BEIA Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says Minister Nash’s speech at the official opening today, and at the welcome ceremony last night acknowledged the importance the government places on the business events sector, and the vital role it has to play in New Zealand’s future success.
“The energy, resilience and optimism of our industry are truly on show today. The powerful cultural performances at our opening, and speeches of encouragement have inspired all of our guests,” she says.
MEETINGS is the first international exhibition to be held at New Zealand’s next-generation convention centre, Te Pae Christchurch. There are a record number of exhibitors from 18 regions across 211 stands, and over 400 buyers, including 110 from Australia.
“Over the next two days we are making the most Ōtautahi Christchurch’s compact and beautiful central city, and of Te Pae’s state-of-the art facilities. We are using all the new venue’s expansive and impressively designed spaces, including the exhibition hall, auditorium, meeting rooms, and banqueting rooms overlooking the Ōtakaro Avon River,” Hopkins says.
Last night more than 650 people attended the cultural welcome ceremony at Christchurch Town Hall. Minister Stuart Nash welcomed overseas guests to Aotearoa New Zealand, and they were welcomed to Ōtautahi Christchurch by Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
The opening ceremony, hosted by ChristchurchNZ, began with a moving Mihi Whakatau (welcome speech) and Kapa Haka (performance) from Ngāi Tūāhuriri to welcome all attendees to Ōtautahi Christchurch.
The grand finale was a beautiful rendition of Dave Dobbin’s “Welcome Home” performed by Stella Maris, who was wearing a Harakeke (flax) woven dress, created by Ōtautahi weavers Mihi Adams and Toni Rowe, depicting the intertwining of the city’s culture, heritage, community, and people.
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