The 20th edition of CINZ Meetings 2016 kicked off on June 15 with a welcome reception for 650 attendees at The Langham Auckland. More than 190 exhibitors from 19 regions put on their best showing for two days and three nights of appointments and networking.
The event also saw the launch of an educational initiative to elevate the professional standards of event organisers. The Diploma in Tourism Conventions and Incentives was developed by training organisation Service IQ in conjunction with CINZ and senior industry members.
CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan emphasised the need to develop higher standards in human infrastructure to complement the unique attractions, venues and landscapes that New Zealand has to offer for conventions and incentives.
New Zealand's offerings take delegates on experiential journeys - whether it is on the tracks, off the trail, in the water or in the air. Known as a destination that offers premium high-adventure activities and sports at all levels, New Zealand has built up a reputation for action and fun - as well as fantasy. The Hobbiton Movie Set continues to attract droves of visitors to the 506-hectare sheep farm in Matamata.
Ideas to inspire event organisers are aplenty. The following is a sampling of options that will help create an impactful itinerary for delegates:
Revving up the tachometer is Queenstown's Highlands Motorsport Park. A relatively new venue, the park is a haven for speed demons who wish to test their prowess on the go-kart track or experience the thrill of fast laps in a McLaren, Lamborghini or even the limited-edition Aston Martin Vulcan. Ideal for groups up to 120 pax as the venue organiser will split up the group and rotate the schedule of activities. The programme is scalable and depends on requirements, but half a day is recommended to enjoy the different experiences available.
Smaller groups could go on Nomad Safari's unique tours of Queenstown in a 4WD. Tours cover Skippers Canyon, Macetown and Lord of the Rings locations around Glenorchy and the Wakatipu Basin. These tours take passengers off road to scenic landscapes and on river crossings. Its fleet of 21 jeeps seats 6 pax each, and each tour lasts from three hours to a full day.
A tourism product that has thrilled passengers since 1965 is the Shotover Jet that operates in the narrow Shotover River bordered by the canyons. This product takes jet boating to another level with 360-degree spins while going at 85kmph. Seats up to 12 pax per jet.
Another first to make an impact in the world of adrenalin junkies is AJ Hackett Bungy, the pioneer of the sport. Besides offering the jump of a lifetime, the centre also offers function space for a cocktail party, a conference or a special event up to 400 standing pax. A TV wall and stage are available for presentations. Marquees are provided for use of the outdoor decks
Organisers who are looking for an activity venue cum dinner function space will find a compelling choice in Kauri Bay Boomrock. Set on 202 hectares of a sprawling scenic estate with lolling greens and views of Hauraki Gulf, this venue offers a wide range of team-building activities. Groups can take on challenges that test their skills in claybird shooting, archery, knife throwing, hitting a hole-in-one, flying a chopper and even operating a construction digger to complete tasks.
To wind down a day of rugged activity, delegates may adjorn to the cosy urban lodge for whisky and wine tasting sessions and to enjoy a dinner that showcases seasonal produce. The lodge accommodates up to 200 seated guests for a dinner function. An adjoining outdoor deck facing the gulf provides a scenic spot for pre-dinner mingling over cocktails.