Rio comes to Rotorua at finale for MEETINGS 2024

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Edited by Travel Weekly

    The finale for MEETINGS 2024, New Zealand’s business events industry night of nights, took place high above Rotorua at the Skyline Gondola on top of Mt Ngongotahā yesterday (20 June).

    After two days of business, the final night was a celebration of colour, themed ‘Rio comes to Rotorua’.

    Business Events Industry Aotearoa chief executive, Lisa Hopkins, said MEETINGS’ celebration dinners are legendary and 2024 was no different with the ultimate party at Skyline Rotorua.

    “This MEETINGS has stood out for its breath of product, the educational opportunities, and the total immersion into Māori culture we have all experienced. The warmth of welcome – manaakitanga – from our host city Rotorua and the entire community ensured everyone attending was cared for and left with great memories,” she said.

    Haydn Marriner, brand and marketing manager at RotoruaNZ, said the city’s success as a business events destination was down to its high-quality, award-winning local operators, the manaakitanga (warm welcome) of its community, and the strong, authentic delivery of cultural experiences, something which is high on every organiser’s must-have list.“MEETINGS 2024 is one of the first major tourism conferences for our region post-COVID, signalling a fresh era of success for the Rotorua visitor economy,” he said. “Rotorua is considered a ‘hot’ destination, with the RotoruaNZ Business Events Team successfully securing $10 million over their targets for the past three years, with more year-on-year growth projected to come as a result of MEETINGS 2024.”

    A performance of capoeira that includes elements of dance, acrobatics, music and spirituality.

    More than 700 guests brought their energy, and their most colourful attire to celebrate the biggest week in the business events calendar.

    For one night only, Rio came to Rotorua for the MEETINGS 2024 finale. Guests rode to the mountain top for a night of colour, culinary delights and captivating entertainment.

    A bespoke Brazilian-inspired menu was served across seven different food stations, created by Skyline’s award-winning Stratosfare restaurant.

    Guests had a chance to experience the longest luge tracks in the world, under floodlights high above MEETINGS’ host city, and to indulge in a first-class line up of entertainment.

    Partners for the evening were Skyline Rotorua, RotoruaNZ, Activities and Events Unlimited, The Production Agency and Johnston’s Coachlines.

    The finale took place at the Skyline Gondola on top of Mt Ngongotahā.

    Best Stand Awards 2024

    Earlier, the 2024 Best Stand Awards were announced, voted for by hosted buyers and presented by Meeting Newz magazine at the Tourism New Zealand stand. The criteria included initial impact, overall presentation and ambience of the stand, effectiveness of stand personnel, and the presentation of marketing collateral available on the stand.

    The winners were:

    Best New Exhibitor – Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa

    Amongst a record 35 new exhibitors, this one stood out. The winner of this award also played an integral part in the hosting of buyers over the last few days and their generosity in opening their doors to allow so many people to experience one of Rotorua’s latest experiences has been hugely appreciated.

    Best Individual Stand Award – Millennium Hotels and Resorts

    This year’s winner embraced the opportunity to incorporate Matariki into their offerings, specifically by encouraging buyers to cultivate, grow and harvest their own food through their distribution of seeds.

    Best Regional Stand – Ōtautahi Christchurch

    This year’s overwhelming regional winner created an inviting space that was a real feast for the senses and a beautiful area to showcase their equally stunning region.


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