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Mice Net : June 2009
marlborough the top tip of thE soUth neW ZeAlAnd’s marlborough region, at the top of the south island, is expecting a bumper winter and remaining 2009. in the meetings industry, with plenty of business on the books. General manager of the Marlborough Convention Centre and Scenic Circle Blenheim Country Hotel, Brett Inkster, says the June – October period is already busy and is expected to get busier. (The Marlborough Convention Centre is managed by Scenic Circle Convention Services, a subsidiary of Scenic Circle Hotels). “Forward bookings are looking robust with last month already having four weeks of back-to-back conferences and more of the same is to come over the next four months, many of which are over three days and with groups in excess of 300 people,” Mr Inkster said. Those booked for multi-day conferences include the ASB Agribusiness Conference, the Motel Association of New Zealand, the Aviation Industry Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratories. Other high profile events include the local convention and incentive industry association’s annual conference – CINZ’s 33rd annual AGM and conference, and the Holiday Parks Association. “We have some influential groups coming through the Marlborough Convention Centre which is all good for establishing our reputation as a venue and also for reinforcing the Marlborough region as a great destination.” In addition to securing the conferences, the Marlborough Convention Centre’s accommodation booking service is expected to book large W ith connecting flights from Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, and a spectacular convention centre, New Zealand’s Marlborough region is one of the local hot spots numbers of room nights in the region for out-of-towners attending the conferences. Mr Inkster says the growing momentum of business comes as a result of the groundwork done in the development of the Marlborough Convention Centre and the strong marketing focus of Scenic Circle Convention Services since the opening in November 2007. “As a company we have been involved in the conference business for many years and have a nationwide sales and marketing team at our disposal plus the expertise of a number of dedicated convention staff.” During the year the team has focused on promoting the diversity of the Marlborough Convention Centre’s facilities and the accessibility and attractiveness of Blenheim and Marlborough as a destination. More of the same is planned for the year ahead with an added emphasis on the Marlborough Convention Centre’s ability to host smaller events such as local meetings, product launches, fashion parades, breakfast and lunch meetings with keynote speakers, and weddings. The Marlborough Convention Centre is equipped with state-ofthe-art convention technology and facilities to cater for up to 750 theatre-style or 350 to 400 in a banquet setting. It can also create more intimate spaces to cater for a range of smaller meetings and gatherings. One of the big pluses for meetings and events in the Marlborough region of New Zealand is its ease of access. Access into Blenheim is best achieved by flying into Wellington and mice.net 59