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Toi Ohomai students.More than 60 students studying hospitality, event management and tourism at the local Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua are being supported to attend MEETINGS 2024 in Rotorua this week.

MEETINGS is New Zealand’s only national tradeshow for the business events industry, owned and managed by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA). Last held in Rotorua in 2011, the event is now its 28th year. It is the leading platform for connecting influential domestic, Australian and international buyers with critical regions, meeting facilities, accommodation, off-site venues and activities.

BEIA Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins says nurturing and developing this future generation of event professionals is vital for the growth of this sector.

“With our suite of new world-class, sustainable convention centres in our main centres, as well as regional destinations, like Rotorua, we are seeing both domestic and international conferences flocking to our shores. Skilled, talented people are crucial to boosting New Zealand’s reputation as a place to meet on the global stage.”

The Toi Ohomai students are exploring the MEETINGS tradeshow and attending sessions designed to develop their knowledge and understanding of the business events industry, how their specific areas of study contribute to the overall business events ecosystem and their career pathways. Students also gain practical experience by working with the organising team at MEETINGS 2024.

At the Energy Events Centre, they will have the chance to meet with 220 hosted buyers and media from New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore, plus a large contingent of domestic day buyers. A record 205 exhibitors will be on 246 stands, including 35 first-time exhibitors representing New Zealand’s 18 regions.

The students attending MEETINGS are in their first and second year of study for the Bachelor of Applied Hospitality and Tourism Management programme.

Bryon Dorrian, Academic Leader of Tourism and Hospitality at Toi Ohomai’s Mokoia Campus in Rotorua, says the students and the teaching team are thrilled about this opportunity.

“They’re particularly excited to gain real-world event industry experience through attending workshops and getting the opportunity to participate in the event. This is an excellent chance for our students to learn about the latest trends and innovations in the New Zealand business events sector while making valuable connections with industry leaders and potential employers.

“Attending MEETINGS allows them to see the possibilities within the industry, which will hopefully inspire them to pursue careers in this exciting field.

“We see the New Zealand business events industry is at a pivotal point. With investment in infrastructure, growing recognition as a premier destination and a focus, cultural experiences, local storytelling, there’s immense potential for growth and innovation.”




Edited by Peter Needham in Rotorua, New Zealand