“It was with some trepidation that I agreed to host the first EDGE Seminar” commented Jan Tonkin, MD of The Conference Company, “as New Zealand is often perceived to be a faraway destination, possibly even on the edge of the world. With a new educational offering, I felt this might be a challenge. I was delighted therefore to well exceed our target numbers, with participants travelling from Zimbabwe and Australia to take part in this innovative environment. The support I received from Tourism New Zealand Business Events and the Auckland Convention Bureau was a major contributing factor to the success of this seminar”.
Michel Neijmann, Figur, Istanbul; Mathias Posch, ICS, Vancouver and Jan Tonkin comprised the international faculty, sharing their extensive experience. Listening to presentations, however, formed only a small part of the programme: interactive and conversational discussion, sharing experiences, deep dive sessions on topics such as Bidding and Serving the Clients of the Future played a key part allowing participants to engage with the themes and bring away insights and strategies that have an immediate impact on the way they work in today’s fast pace environment. Over 40 participants took part, representing an even split between PCOs, Convention Bureaux and venues, engaging in a programme that was intensely focused on the future of the meetings industry and the rapidly changing realities of life as a PCO. Participants took an in-depth look at a range of issues preoccupying the meetings world right now including delegate engagement and experiences, hybrid meetings and managing project finances.
While time to showcase Auckland was limited, the group dined on two occasions at offsite venues and enjoyed great views of the city’s harbour on one side and a park on the other from the daylit meeting room on the top floor of the Pullman Hotel.
“EDGE lived up to its name” commented Jan, “this truly was dynamic global education, and I am proud that New Zealand lived up to its reputation as a first-class destination and that IAPCO is continuing its remit of providing expert education for meetings industry professionals”.