Ringa Hora helps develop learning for Business Events Industry Aotearoa

Ringa Hora Services Workforce Development Council and Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) are coming together to develop vocational education and learning for the business events sector.

Ringa Hora will be adding its voice to the Workforce Steering Group, one of the key focus areas industry highlighted as part of Pīata Mai – the strategic direction for New Zealand’s business events industry to 2035.

BEIA Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins says the Workforce Steering Group has been established to provide a collaborative forum for cross-sector industry representatives who are part of BEIA’s membership and subject-matter experts in areas of shared interest.

“Collaboration is at the heart of the development of the steering group that will include broad expertise from the industry representing small and large businesses and those in a leadership or management roles,” she says.

Ringa Hora is focused on responding to industry needs by developing fit for purpose qualifications and standards. Initial feedback from industry is a desire to explore micro-credentials in the workplace that blends experiential learning and practical application based on business needs”.

“This ties back to Pīata Mai’s vision of creating a resilient sector, attracting and retaining talent,” Hopkins says.

“Talent attraction firstly relies on people knowing the sector exists. Traditionally, the sector has attracted people from hospitality, tourism and PR, but there is additional breadth of variety and challenge which only business events offer. There is something so satisfying about delivering an incredible event which leaves a lasting impression on its audience, and having the opportunity to rub shoulders with truly fascinating people.

“We hope that people from these sectors will see it as a next step in their career, and the vocational training supports this.”

Ringa Hora will have four representatives on the Workforce Steering Group including a cross-section of senior and operational kaimahi (staff) with expertise ranging from relationship management, qualifications, product development and moderation in the vocational education area.

Mel Harrington, General Manager, Partnership & Engagement for Ringa Hora told industry leaders at MEETINGS 2024 that Ringa Hora brings the voice of industry to the vocational education system and this is crucial in ensuring fit for purpose qualifications and skills, now and in the future.

“This supports the broader vocational education and training priorities outlined in the business events industry’s strategic direction to 2035 (Pīata Mai) and our own strategic vision,” she says.

Ringa Hora will assist with insights from industry into upcoming qualification reviews for the industry, informing and critiquing existing or new product developments relating to skills and qualifications needed by industry.

“Our role is advocating on behalf of industry to contribute strategically to design qualifications and skills aligned with the strategic direction and national priorities.

“Importantly, in working with industry we want to showcase and celebrate role-models in businesses to recognise best practices and encourage future employees to be part of an exciting, fun and rewarding career in the business events sector,” Harrington says.

Industry members of the Workforce Steering Group members are:

Alana Bicknell, Director of Sales and Planning, New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC)

Coltan Wright, Business Manager Arts & Culture, Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre

Gillian Officer, Director of Business Development, Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre

Lisa Hopkins, Chief Executive, Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA)

Martin Langford, General Manager Sales, Ngāi Tahu Tourism

Sally Bunce, Business Events Specialist, The Orange Agency Ltd

Sam Horsnell, Director of Sales – Conference & Incentives, Millennium Hotels & Resorts

Sarah McDonald, Queenstown Convention Bureau Manager, Destination Queenstown

Terri Lowsley, Project Manager, Conference Innovators

Tracy Martin, National Director of Sales and Marketing – New Zealand, EVT Limited


About BEIA

BEIA actively promotes the sector for its members and New Zealand. It provides advocacy with central government; and offers assistance, information, professional development and business connections to its members.

BEIA takes a lead role to increase New Zealand’s business events activity from international and domestic sources, for the benefit of its membership, principal stakeholders and the New Zealand economy.

BEIA also acts in an advocacy role for the New Zealand business events and incentive tourism sectors and provide opportunities for professional development, accreditation and education for those engaged in the sector.


Pīata Mai – National Statement of Strategic Direction for Business Events to 2035

Pīata Mai, a National Statement of Strategic Direction for Business Events to 2035, sets out steps for a measured and growing positive cultural, social, environmental and economic impact by 2035.

This initiative, guided by an industry stakeholder group and shaped through extensive consultations, is under the stewardship of industry body, Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA).

The strategy emphasises storytelling about the sector’s community impacts, its foundational values of people and place, and the economic and legacy benefits of business events.

The 10-year aims and immediate objectives of Pīata Mai include commissioning credible domestic and international spend data, ensuring 95 per cent of the sector has taken action to measure and reduce environmental impact, and supporting the development of an enduring and equitable funding system for the visitor economy.


MEETINGS is Aotearoa New Zealand’s only national tradeshow for the business events industry. It is the leading platform for connecting influential domestic, Australian and international buyers with key regions, meeting facilities, accommodation, off-site venues and activities.

MEETINGS, now in its 28th year, is owned and managed by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA).

After receiving Toitū net carbonzero certification as a Certified Event Operation for the first time last year, MEETINGS is continuing its journey as a certified net carbon zero event in 2024.

MEETINGS 2023 broke records this year for the value of business it generated. BEIA’S post-MEETINGS buyer survey showed $157 million placed over the next five years following the two-day event in Wellington.

MEETINGS 2024 major partners are Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand Business Events, RotoruaNZ, Energy Events Centre Rotorua, EventsAIR, Peek Exhibition & Display, and Exhibition Hire.