Southland is in demand as a destination for unique and custom conferences after a strong presence at MEETINGS 2018 in Auckland.

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

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

Venture Southland 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,” Low said.

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

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

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

Warrick Low - Profile Picture

Low said 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.

The key to the Southland proposition is problem-solving – having versatile and creative venues, local community as champions, and lavishing them with good old southern hospitality.

“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,” Low said.

Venture Southland provides support to conference organisers planning their next event in Southland, working closely with Southland operators and venues.