The Influencers: Ross Steele

Warm welcome back

A few weeks ago, I was delighted to join with colleagues from across the world for the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), held in Melbourne.

One of the business event industry’s largest trade events, AIME is a proven and valuable tool for connecting with clients, and sharing knowledge, insights and best practice with the best and brightest in business events. This year was no exception.

While we’ve been fortunate to maintain a presence at AIME for the past few years, this trip marked the first time since 2020 that our Christchurch-based team has been able to travel to Melbourne and meet with clients in person.

That the trip was prefaced by the announcement of New Zealand’s border opening to Australia in April and the rest of the world from 1 May was timely.

With numerous Australasian conferences and events planned at Te Pae Christchurch this year, the announcement was welcome news for our team, industry and the wider tourism sector in Ōtautahi.

For our industry to survive and thrive, borders must be open. There is pent-up demand for our city and all the wonderful things it has to offer, but with the uncertainty around travel and quarantine restrictions, the confidence needed by many to take that next step and book has been missing.

If anything was evident at AIME, it is that confidence is now returning to the market.

We were absolutely blown away by the level of interest in Christchurch as a business events destination, and we can’t wait to welcome those guests to Te Pae Christchurch, Australasia’s newest convention centre.

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