South’s conferencing options on show

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SOUTHLAND is in demand as a destination for unique and custom conferences after a strong presence at the MEETINGS 2018 trade show in Auckland.

Representing Invercargill and Southland’s convention bureau, Venture Southland (VS) was one of 190 exhibitors at the annual New Zealand trade show on May 30-31, which also included Ascot Park Hotel (Invercargill Licensing Trust), Bill Richardson Transport World and Scenic Hotels.

The event focused on the business and tourism events sector and brought together buyers and sellers of conference and event-related, products and services.

VS tourism and events manager Warrick Low said attending the event was beneficial for the whole region.

“During the two days, we met with more than 40 conference and meeting organisers to show them the extensive and world-class options available in Southland,” he said.

While not on the radar for every conference, Mr Low said demand was growing for unique and custom conference options with a southern flavour, with the majority occurring in Invercargill.

Invercargill was at the heart of conference business in Southland because of its air access, accommodation options and variety of venues, he said.

“We have an obvious appeal to the farming, environmental and construction sectors, and similarly are set up really well for association conferences.”

Time spent securing conferences was worthwhile because expenditure per person was well in excess of usual visitors to the region, and sustained businesses throughout the year, he said.

“Whether it’s the natural highlights of Fiordland, the Catlins or Stewart Island/Rakiura, or the unique cultural offerings and hospitality, Southland offers delegates something new.”

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