New Zealand’s business events industry association, CINZ is looking towards post-Covid-19 recovery by launching a new event, BE Reconnected, to be held at the end of this year.

BE Reconnected will focus on reengaging and reconnecting vital industry relationships to help kickstart business recovery. It aims to maximise time with customers, and emphasis will be on conversation and relationship building versus an expansive programme and exhibition floor.

To be hosted at Vodafone Events Centre in Auckland on December 1, BE Reconnected will replace this year’s multi-day MEETINGS exhibition which was supposed to be held in April. The CINZ 2020 Conference and Annual General Meeting will follow on December 2.

CINZ chief executive, Lisa Hopkins, shared that New Zealand’s business events industry – which was valued at around NZ$500 million (US$294.6 million) per year – has suffered immense losses and must be given every opportunity to recover.

“We have been looking at different ways to reconnect our members with customers, channels and each other, as part of the industry’s overall business recovery strategy.

“BE Reconnected will be a vital step in helping to secure business leads and super-charging the sector’s recovery. We want to engage buyers in multiple face-to-face opportunities over a short time, building new relationships and rekindling old ones,” she said.

At the start of 2020, New Zealand was on the cusp of enormous business tourism growth with the opening of new conference venues, four and five-star hotels, national infrastructure, expanded airlines routes and new attractions. Instead, for many, there has been no business or revenue.

“As a key economic driver for our country, it is our organisation’s responsibility to plan and prepare for the recovery, for the sake of our clients, employees, community, regions and the industry.

“Our plan is to show both domestic and international clients that we are stronger, more passionate and more committed than ever to reconnect our customers with the incredible destinations, experiences and people of New Zealand, when a handshake, a hongi or a hug is no longer prohibited,” Hopkins concluded.