Students gain industry experience at MEETINGS 2024

Over 60 Toi Ohomai students attend MEETINGS 2024 in Rotorua, gaining hands-on experience in New Zealand’s business events industry.

More than 60 students studying hospitality, event management and tourism at the local Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua are being supported to attend MEETINGS 2024 in Rotorua this week.

MEETINGS is New Zealand’s only national tradeshow for the business events industry, owned and managed by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA). Last held in Rotorua in 2011, the event is now in its 28th year and is the leading platform for connecting influential domestic, Australian and international buyers with key regions, meeting facilities, accommodation, off-site venues and activities.

BEIA Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says nurturing and developing this future generation of event professionals is vital for the growth of this sector.

With our suite of new world-class, sustainable convention centres in our main centres, as well as regional destinations, like Rotorua, we are seeing both domestic and international conferences flocking to our shores. Skilled, talented people are crucial to boosting New Zealand’s reputation as a place to meet on the global stage.”

The Toi Ohomai students are exploring the MEETINGS tradeshow as well as attending sessions designed to develop their knowledge and understanding of the business events industry, how their specific areas of study play a part in the overall business events ecosystem as well as their career pathways. Students are also gaining practical experience by working with the organising team at MEETINGS 2024.

They have the chance to meet with 220 hosted buyers and media from New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, plus a large contingent of domestic day buyers at the Energy Events Centre, and a record 205 exhibitors on 246 stands, including 35 first-time exhibitors, representing New Zealand’s 18 regions.

The students attending MEETINGS are currently in their first and second year of study for the Bachelor of Applied Hospitality and Tourism Management programme.

Bryon Dorrian, Academic Leader, Tourism and Hospitality at Toi Ohomai’s Mokoia Campus in Rotorua says both the students and the teaching team are thrilled about this opportunity.

They’re particularly excited to gain real-world event industry experience through attending workshops, and getting the opportunity to attend the event. This is a great chance for our students to learn about the latest trends and innovations in the New Zealand business events sector, while making valuable connections with industry leaders and potential employers.

“Attending MEETINGS allows them to see the possibilities within the industry, which will hopefully inspire them to pursue careers in this exciting field.

“We see the New Zealand business events industry is at a pivotal point. With investment in infrastructure, growing recognition as a premier destination and a focus, cultural experiences, local storytelling, there’s immense potential for growth and innovation,” he says.

George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.