Advocating for Christchurch

28 June 2016

Tourism New Zealand Business Events and Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau have partnered to present their conference support initiatives to Christchurch’s academic leaders.

At a lunch at the University of Canterbury last week, Tourism New Zealand Business Events Bid Manager Leonie Ashford urged the audience of 30 academics to bring their conferences home and tap into assistance from the TNZ and Bureau conference experts.

“We know New Zealand is totally capable of hosting many high-profile international conferences, and we want the world to know. Bringing your academic meeting here helps raise New Zealand’s profile, as well as enhancing the reputation and ratings of your university.”

Leonie Ashford, TNZ Business Events Bid Manager

“We are encouraging thought leaders in their different fields of expertise, who have a real passion for what they do, to put their hands up to host their international peers in New Zealand.

“We know New Zealand is totally capable of hosting many high-profile international conferences, and we want the world to know,” she said. “Bringing your academic meeting here helps raise New Zealand’s profile, as well as enhancing the reputation and ratings of your university.”

Tourism New Zealand Business Events, through its Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), works with CCCB to provide a wide range of funding and advisory support for potential convenors looking to bring their next conference to Christchurch.

“We help throughout the process with everything from financial feasibility assistance and creating compelling bid documents, to travel costs for presenting the bid, introductions to the right people, and advice on budgeting,” she said.

We are Canterbury experts, and together with TNZ we collaborate to tailor-make bids that not only have the wow factor, but also tick all the important boxes for conference decision-makers. It’s our role to make the entire process as seamless as possible for our local experts.”

Caroline Blanchfield, Christchurch & Canterbury Convention Bureau Manager

CCCB Manager Caroline Blanchfield said the Bureau supports TNZ on the ground in Christchurch, working closely with local convenors to help them every step of the way.

“We are Canterbury experts, and together with TNZ we collaborate to tailor-make bids that not only have the wow factor, but also tick all the important boxes for conference decision-makers. It’s our role to make the entire process as seamless as possible for our local experts.”

Wendy Lawson, Pro Vice Chancellor Science at University of Canterbury said this was a chance to partner with academic colleagues overseas and invite them to New Zealand to learn and discover our special culture, landscapes and expertise.

“We have unique ways of doing business. We are envied around the world for our open, humble approach. This funding and support through TNZ Business Events is an opportunity to take our skills to the world.”

One Christchurch-based convenor already receiving support from TNZ and CCCB is Deborah Bush, Chief Executive of Endometriosis NZ. She told the UC group New Zealand is recognised as a cool place to conference, and Kiwis are known for their can-do attitude.

“TNZ made it really easy for us to take on a monumental task and bid for the World Endometriosis Congress 2020. It didn’t feel unachievable with the support of TNZ. Although we didn’t win - the Congress will be held for the first time in China in 2020 - we did put New Zealand on the world stage and high on the radar of endometriosis experts around the world, and now we are looking at bidding for 2023. This collaborative strength was achieved with unwavering support from the TNZ team,” she said.