Hamilton & Waikato Tourism held their first annual Convention Bureau ‘Waikato Mega Famil’ in the region last week.
From 20th – 21st February 2013 a group of 17 key business event organisers from around Hamilton & the wider Waikato region were hosted over two days. The famil was a first for Hamilton & Waikato Tourism to host Waikato business event planners and was designed to showcase the facilities and products that are on offer in the attendees own backyard.
The group included key decision makers from corporate companies, government, associations and professional conference organisers (PCOs).
Famil participants experienced a wide range of MICE-related products including site inspections, accommodation options, team-building and partner programme activities and exclusive dining possibilities at the likes of Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre, activities at Discover Waitomo (Tourism Holdings Limited), vintage lunch at Mystery Creek Events Centre, finale at Hobbiton Movie Set and a number of other Convention Bureau partner organisations.
Hamilton & Waikato Tourism CEO Kiri Goulter says the familiarisation has provided Waikato-based businesses with an opportunity to experience the breadth of top-quality business events facilities and experiences on offer.
“As this type of event has not been available for several years, Waikato organisations may not have had the chance to experience all the fantastic options available right on our doorstep, so this famil has been the perfect opportunity to really showcase what we have to offer locally,” Ms Goulter says.
Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Convention Bureau Manager Jenny Tukiwaho Stokes said that famils of this calibre and quality are crucial to local business event organisers as it encourages them to think of their own backyard when planning their next business event, which in turn will lead to future business opportunities.
“Feedback from the familiarisation has been extremely positive with many attendees commenting about seeing well-known venues, activities and facilities in a different light, and discovering new ones which will be definite considerations for their next event,” says Ms Tukiwaho Stokes.
And while the Hamilton & Waikato region is currently ranked third for total delegate days behind Auckland and Wellington, Ms Tukiwaho Stokes believes there is still much more potential for growth from both the local and national business events markets.
Famil participant Farryn van Hellemond from Livestock Improvement Corporation said “The famil was amazing to say the least! Born and raised in the Waikato region I thought I knew what the Waikato had to offer, turns out I couldn’t have been so wrong. Every aspect of the trip was new to me and getting to experience the activities was so beneficial, there is nothing better than knowing first-hand what these are about before referring them on.”
Enjoying the exclusive Middle-earth experience at Hobbiton Movie Set
Stu from Corporate Challenge presents the next task ahead for Team 4, Gaylene Bamford, Federated Farmers, Kathryn Hunter, ForumPoint2, Farryn van Hellemond, Livestock Improvement, Jason Suisted, New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards and Suzanne Jacobs, Livestock Improvement
Kathryn Hunter and Paula Armstrong, both ForumPoint2 and Jade Thorby, Orbit Corporate Travel Hamilton, get geared up ready for a Hampton Downs hot lap
Team challenge at Hinterland Adventures for Chris Tynan, Livestock Improvement, Lisa Suisted, New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, Stevie Bain, Gallagher Group and Kathryn Jenkin, Waikato District Health Board with onlookers Glen Pepper, Reliability Skills Network and Robyn Howie, Livestock Improvement
Cycle tour of Mystery Creek Events Centre as part of the onsite ‘Vintage Lunch’ in the Heritage village