Auckland’s strategic approach to bidding for business events boosted the region’s economy by NZ$46m last year, as it aims to be recognised as an innovation hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) is part of the city’s economic growth agency, ATEED, leveraging its expertise and connections to bid for business events that align with the city’s advanced industries and key knowledge sectors. These include engineering and architectural consulting, ICT, and technology innovation spanning medical devices and food sciences, agricultural machinery, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Encouraging business events into Auckland has been recognised as one way to grow world-class research, talent and inward investment for the city.

ATEED General Manager Business, Innovation and Skills, Patrick McVeigh, says: “Auckland is forging a reputation as a world-class destination for business events. A global hub of innovation and knowledge exchange.

“We are attracting some of the brightest minds to the region, and that helps to strengthen our global economic connections which is important for trade and investment. Auckland has a vibrant service sector, a growing well-qualified labour force, top-ranked universities, research institutions and medical facilities. This combined with our diverse and internationally orientated population, strong study, work, and do business offering, and robust business events infrastructure, means we are ideally placed as a host city for major international conferences.”

The bureau won 58 business events in the last financial year, resulting in the region hosting more than 28,000 international and domestic delegates between June 2016 and July 2017, staying a total of 124,365 visitor nights.

ACB manager Anna Hayward said there had been ‘consistent growth’ over the past six years: “On average ACB has successfully converted one in three opportunities we’ve worked on to attract business events to Auckland. This has delivered more than NZ$175 million in economic value since June 2011,” she said.

“However, the benefits of hosting business events extend beyond the financial impact, and while not as easy to measure, hosting these events are valuable contributors to growing a city’s knowledge economy. Hosting business events is another way to promote Auckland on the world stage, bringing people together to build new relationships, research partnerships, and can even over the longer term attract investment and talent flows.”

ATEED general manager destination Steve Armitage said the city had been investing for the future: “Governments and the private sectors around the world have been placing greater importance on the meeting and incentives sector, investing billions in building large convention centres, and building new, or redeveloping, hotels and venues. Auckland is no exception, and with the additional capacity the region will have when the New Zealand International Convention Centre opens, it has meant we have already been able to compete for, and secure, a number of large scale international conferences in 2020, with more in the pipeline.”


(via ATEED and AMI)