The 2021 Conference was held in-person in August in the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua
and attracted 740 participants and 63 exhibiting organisations.
As we have year on year, we provided a complete conference and exhibition management service and worked closely with Convenor, Jill Corkin, who has been our key contact since we were first engaged for the 2016 Conference.
The Conference is a key networking event on the calendar for New Zealand’s principals and is always well-supported.
We have provided management services since 2016 and are contracted until 2023
Project in depth
New Zealand Principals' Federation Conference
Every year the Conference attracts a sizeable exhibition which calls on the skills of our Sponsorship and Exhibition team of Nihal, Sarah and Ani. Not only do they secure sales, handle contracting and liaise with the stand builder, venue and other suppliers, they also take good care of the exhibitors and sponsors, creating a portal for easy access to information about arrangements and giving them every assistance ‘on the day’.
Although it was out of the scope of our work, we willingly stepped in at the request of one of the sponsors who was encountering some difficulties with the organising of a social function they were hosting for some of the delegates.
As with all in-person conferences, the health and safety of everyone onsite was paramount, particularly in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety management plan was developed several months in advance of the conference as potential areas of risk and hazards were identified and was regularly updated. We stayed in touch with the venue and suppliers to monitor their latest health and safety processes which in turn informed decision making such as how best to manage the venue COVID-19 sign-in process alongside the conference registration and name badge collection or whether changes to the exhibition floorplan would be required to accommodate additional catering stations.
The activity program was identified as one of the high risk elements of the conference given the nature of some of the options. Liaising with all of the operators to establish their health and safety protocols and assigning a thoroughly briefed committee member as a guide for each group helped to mitigate these. Working with the venue to develop a thorough and clearly communicated traffic management plan was also essential to safely organise and board over 550 delegates on to transport for 12 different activities within the same 30-minute period.
The continuity achieved through working with the same convenor over several years has led to positive outcomes for both the conference and organising committee. A greater clarity of the roles of each organising committee member has meant a more efficient and fulfilling planning process with tasks completed in a timelier fashion. This is exemplified by the fact that the 2021 conference was organised with a 7 month lead-in time compared to the traditional 12 months.
It also ensured that all the key decision makers were aware of the recent conference history and so informed decisions regarding changes to the format could be made without impacting on the conference’s DNA. This included a change to the format of the first timers’ function to a different time and day to better facilitate early connections amongst the group.