This is not just any table you see in the picture. In fact, this striking, carved wooden table is the cultural and conversational centrepiece for New Zealand's largest-ever presence at Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) 2019 in Melbourne, which is happening from February 18 to 20.
'Largest-ever' is not a hyperbole, either. CINZ Australia manager, Sharon Auld, says that the 100% Pure New Zealand stand at this year's AIME will be an impressive 135sqm - that's the largest in the 26 years New Zealand has been attending the event.
"With a team of 35 representatives from across New Zealand, we are excited to participate in the revamped AIME. New Zealand will be hard to miss in a prime position opposite the AIME Exchange. Our presence this year reflects the growth of New Zealand's infrastructure, with many exciting new developments underway across the country," she said in a statement.
Going back to the table, or the Korero & Kai table, it will be the stand's central gathering spot. Made from ancient reclaimed swamp kauri using traditional Maori techniques, it reflects New Zealand's unique manaakitanga ('warm welcome') and will be a place for attendees to share stories and hospitality.
New Zealand's push in the MICE space makes sense, considering the various MICE developments throughout the country. The Auckland Convention Bureau and the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) are eager to promote the city's new multi-billion dollar developments. Te Pae, Christchurch's new riverside convention centre, also doubled its presence on the show floor in preparation for its opening next year.