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July 2004 - News Briefs from NCC (New Zealand) Ltd


Meetings 2004
Record numbers at Boat Show
New Zealand's largest dirt box
More international flights
More appeal
Pick of hotel chains
Meetings is a global industry - by Mike Kelly
Six great reasons to conference in Christchurch - by Cathy Hemsworth
CPIT Salon Culinaire competition and results

CHRISTCHURCH: Meetings 2004 There were a record number of 165 hosted buyers and 153 exhibitors at the hugely successful Meetings Exhibition 2004 held at the Christchurch Convention centre, 21-22 July. The benefits of a purpose built venue with flat floor capacity to ensure comfort and accessibility were clearly illustrated. Rob Yeomans, publisher CIM, said the venue was perfectly geared for exhibitions and provided an exhibition hall unique to New Zealand. "Everyone found it very easy to get around, and buyers, exhibitors and especially planners were very pleased with the facilities, which says a lot. New Zealand can be proud of the very professional team at the Christchurch Convention Centre."

CHRISTCHURCH: The Westpac Centre for Sport & Entertainment hosted a record crowd of 11,000 people to the 2004 Christchurch Boat Show with 74 exhibitors in the $1.3 billion a year boating industry. This annual mecca for boaties is also popular for new products and marine services. More than 8000 people are employed in the boating industry, with 1200 companies working in one of the faster-growing areas of the economy, and earning more than $500 million a year in exports. The event is organized by the Marine Industries Association.

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand's biggest dirt box created for high flying stunts and bone-jarring landings A capacity crowd of 7000 people attended the Supercross and Gravity Games, held at the Westpac Centre on 16 July 2004. This is New Zealand's only indoor supercross event, and gave kiwi riders valuable experience in a Tri Nations competition, with Australia's Dan Hall and Jake Bowen in sizzling form and America's freestyle motocross elite duo of Dustin Miller and Jake Windham. Both Americans are medal winners at the world's top event, X-Games, an invite-only freestyle competition for the top 20 riders in the world. The arena was turned into the country's largest "dirt box" with 4500 cubic metres of soil covering 20 shipping containers and their bases to make the circuit for riders to perform an array of aerial acrobatics and stunts, jumps over 80 metre gaps and some bone-jarring landings in this new sport. Enthusiastic spectators such as Hornby mechanic Carl Maddock, 28, were impressed at the set-up in what is more commonly seen as a concert venue. "I thought the riders did really well to get the speeds and lifts in their jumps in a fairly restricted area compared with an outdoor course. The indoor circuit was really good, and it enabled a well controlled secure event to take place and give a big crowd a lot of enjoyment inside on a winter's night."

CHRISTCHURCH: More direct international flights from Los Angeles to Christchurch will be available from November, adding to direct international airline services provided by Air New Zealand, Emirates(Melbourne), Freedom Air (Fiji), Pacific Blue, Singapore Airlines and Qantas. The new direct flight three times a week is projected to bring extra $800 million tourism spend the NZ a year. It will connect directly with Air New Zealand flights between Los Angeles and London. This directly connects Christchurch as a conference destination to the country's two biggest inbound long-haul markets of the UK and USA, worth approximately $1.5 billion a year. Also from 4 November, Singapore Airlines offers daily return flights to Singapore.

CHRISTCHURCH: Expanded airline capacity direct to Christchurch has further enhanced the city's position as conference capital of New Zealand. It has the key ingredients for total trade fair success: complete business infrastructure, excellent facilities, regional sourcing hub, easy access to international airport, compact and beautiful central city area with sophisticated restaurants, retail and fashion, golfer's paradise, excellent value for money and a stunning place to visit.

CHRISTCHURCH: Christchurch hotels represent the pick of international hotel group properties with several options for the business traveller. New Zealand has the Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hilton International, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Millennium & Copthorne International Ltd and Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific brands. Like others in the sector, these hotels are expanding their portfolios and enhancing services to grow their markets. All provide the IT services required by business travellers.

CHRISTCHURCH: The Meetings Industry - global and globalised

It is four decades since the meetings industry began to expand rapidly. Now 80 countries are represented in the International Meetings Association ICCA. It has become a global industry, with a $US3 billion footprint, and strong regional markets in Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, Australia/Pacific and Africa. Mike Kelly, 2003-04 President of IAAM (International Association of Assembly Managers) offers a perspective from Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Meetings Industry is clearly globalised, dealing with common issues such as security, and operating throughout the world, but it is perhaps outstanding for the global attitude and perspective members share. We the practitioners have clearly identified our market as being global, we research on a global scale and we draw our market share from all parts of the globe. For example, Australasia has a small percentage of the world meetings market, 6% and growing, but its participants are boldly and aggressively marketing themselves on a global scale, without the mental blocks of seeing horizons. That's something the meetings industry does offer - you don't have to be constrained by boundaries because this market really does fly. In fact, here in Christchurch we identify airline capacity as one of our key determinates in bringing in international attendees to events in our Garden City. We are part way through a strategy of growing our Australian market first, then Asia Pacific, then the rest of the world. Watch out - we're on our way!

New Zealand has been a beneficiary of the global phenomenon of the film trilogy "The Lord of the Rings" and the 100% PURE campaign by the New Zealand Tourism Board. Whilst they don't attract delegates here per se, they are part of a supportive background that encourages delegates to come to events in New Zealand. There were 46,000 business tourists who came to New Zealand in the year ended April 20024. Hong Kong, Paris and Washington are the truly global cities. In Europe, Vienna, Berlin, Lisbon and Barcelona are popular destinations and rank well in the city league tables. Copenhagen has enjoyed No 1 meetings spot in recent annual city league tables. Durban in Africa and Seoul in Asia Pacific enjoy large market shares in their regions. Yet it is a paradox that while global cities rely heavily on regional business, provincial and regional cities in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada for example, chase the global market with vigour. The global cities enjoy enough critical mass within their continental borders to sustain them whiles smaller centres need to actively pursue opportunities beyond their borders. By necessity, provincial centres have to invest in long term strategies to lift their market share, and that long term strategy is usually global.

More than two-thirds of international organisations are based in Europe so, not surprisingly, more than half of international meetings are held there. Medical meetings represent well over 25% of all international meetings, followed by scientific meetings, technology and industry. There's been a slight upward trend in meetings held in Asia and their exotic Eastern capitals offering excellent value for the Euro, and an increase in the Australia/Pacific. Post 9/11 and SARS it had been difficult for markets outside major continents to attract delegates but now terrorism appears to have been exported to Europe it follows that the rest of the world may be perceived as being safer. English is the language of the global meetings industry, so from a career perspective there are many opportunities for English speaking practitioners even where venue ownership and social structures remain strongly local. For example, this is clearly seen in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Kula Lumpur. One global trend of note is the accelerated entry of women into senior management, and as the percentage of women increases there is a corresponding growth in business, i.e. the more women in business the more business from women. This is reflected in the top 10 countries by number of meetings held 1999-2003: USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Finland and Denmark.

CHRISTCHURCH: Christchurch and New Zealand offer Australian Associations a great value destination - but there are many other reasons to cross the Tasman to conference

Cathy Hemsworth, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Christchurch Convention Centre, has a strategy to increase the venue's market share of Australian Associations business - and the key is it is making it too good to refuse!

We regard Australia as being part of our domestic market, with just an ocean between us. There aren't any language or cultural barriers to cross but we do offer some exotic differences. We have sophisticated conference facilities in a boutique destination and that's reinforced by the feedback we get from our growing list of satisfied Australian clients. Angela Beal of C I Events reports that conferences work extremely well in Christchurch. Delegates who stay at the adjoining Crowne Plaza especially enjoy the proximity (less than one minute) to the venue. "Everyone particularly enjoyed the dining options around the city, and the quality of New Zealand fare and wines!" That's typical of the feedback we get from Australian Associations.

That feedback gives us your six top reasons for choosing Christchurch to conference in

Close proximity to Australia
Good value for money, with airfares favourable in comparison to travel to Far North Queensland or Northern Territory, and exchange rates in favour of Australian dollar.
Beautiful, compact city that is very easy to get around with shops, a great range of restaurants offering high quality food and local wines, and all conveniences in close proximity to one another.
The Christchurch Convention Centre is in close proximity to 3, 4, 5 star hotels, e.g. Crowne Plaza is attached by walkway to the Town Hall and Convention Centre.
Christchurch is the gateway to some of the most stunning scenery in the South Pacific, which encourages delegates to bring their families and extend their visit
The experienced Convention Centre staff make the job of professional conference organisers so much easier!

Selling Christchurch is the first step we have to take to win Australian Association business. We're competing with Auckland and Wellington but the big point of difference we have is that our airport is 15 minutes from the CBD, we offer excellent value for money, and delegates can walk everywhere during the conference itself. The Christchurch Convention Centre remains the country's only international standard purpose built conference facility, supported by excellent city infrastructure, and offering a wealth of experienced and world class technical and professional support as well as professional event coordination and venue management. We're small but we're also safe, secure, with a clean environment, cultural diversity and an incredible array of visitor attractions and activities. Just as each winter there's a flow of Kiwis seeking warmth in Queensland, there are seasonal flows of Aussies looking for our great snow, adventure, walking tracks, world class train journeys, food and wine trails, and unique visitor attractions. I'm delighted that Christchurch has secured a foothold in the Australasian Association corporate meetings circuit. The success of two prestigious national trade shows in Christchurch, TRENZ 2004 and MEETINGS 2004, has given further proof to the depth and range of advantages and attractions we can offer. My job is to develop our one-stop-shop promise to you, and to continue to exceed your expectations so you continue to conference in Christchurch.

CHRISTCHURCH: The Christchurch Town Hall hosted the 22nd CPIT Salon Culinaire competitions, 30 June - 1 July for the annual feast of food and culinary talent to determine the best of the South Island's hospitality industry. The 45 individual classes, three new titles, 11 winners and 20 kg of coffee beans all contributed to the event's success. Salon Culinaire competitions are the hospitality industry's equivalent of the Olympics, internationally prestigious and a career stepping stone for top talent. Plated dishes wereperfectly presented with ostrich, venison, pheasant, duck and seafood alongside the more traditonal Canterbury Lamb. As always, the buffet centrepieces drew much attention, with this year's gold medal going to Sudath Wijewardeme for his work on Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. The Christchurch Town Hall hosts this annual extravanga of cooking, baking, cocktail mixing, coffee making and imaginative culinary and creative displays.The stage is set for dramatically tense competition - and that happens in every class and category! Cooking onstage is not for the fainthearted, with the clock ticking, spotlights beaming, watchful judges prowling and a good audience encouraging their favourites.

The prestigous competition attracts the South Island's top restaurants, chefs, sommeliers and baristas in the biggest event of its type. This year's outstanding performer was a relative newcomer to the Christchurch hospitality scene, Simno's Moroccan Restaurant, which won four major titles including South Island Restaurant of the Year. Past winners have achieved national and international success, such as the multi-award winning Le Bon Bolli (Restaurant of the Year 1999) and Carl Sara, 2003's Barista of the Year, who is currently in Italy representing New Zealand at the World Barista Championships. Robert Timms CPIT Culinaire Expo was a new feature in this year's Salon Culinaire reflecting the recent development of a "coffee culture" in New Zealand. Most Polytechnics now run barista courses and the title for Barista of the Year was fiercely sought after. One hundred litres of milk was used as entrants worked hard to impress the judges with the taste, presentation, extraction time, ratios and texture of their masterpieces.

Results of the 2004 CPIT Salon Culinaire - South Island "Of the Year" Winners

Moffat South Island Restaurant of the Year: Simo's Moroccan Restaurant - Mohamed Abbari, David Rumens, Rob Harrison

New Zealand Pork South Island Chef of the Year: Allan Newton, Cotswold Hotel

Nestle New Zealand South Island Commis Chef of the Year: Guy Stanaway, The George Hotel

CPIT South Island Waiter of the Year: Rob Harrison, Simo's Moroccan Restaurant

CPIT South Island Junior Waiter of the Year: Jessica Birse, Tiffany's Restaurant

Canter Valley South Island Kitchen Team of the Year: Simo's Moroccan Restaurant - Mohamed Abbari, David Rumens

Robert Timms South Island Barista of the Year: Kyle Martin, Vic's Café and Bake

The Sky Vodka Mixologist of the Year: Lola Li, CPIT School of Food and Hospitality

Montana South Island Sommeliers of the Year: Rob Harrison, Simo's Moroccan Restaurant

MasterFoods South Island Café of the Year: Le Bon Bolli - Jodi Marshall, Mark McManus, Kristal Morris

Canterbury Gourmet Pie of the Year: Eugene Frost, Sugar Shack Bakehouse