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Tripartite Economic Summit

Tripartite Economic Summit, The Conference Company

The annual Tripartite Economic Summit was established to encourage business connections between Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles, in areas of mutual economic strength.

The Summit was held for the first time in Auckland in 2016 and was organised by ATEED and The Conference Company. The two-day event was designed to showcase industry sectors where Auckland offers world-class expertise and ground-breaking research and development.

Highlights include...
Annual economic summit between sister cities of Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles
Held in Auckland for the first time in 2016
Attracted 700 delegates, double the anticipated number
Two-day programme of plenary sessions, workshops, site visits and facilitated meetings
Highlight was 300 ‘matched’ business meetings, coordinated by The Conference Company
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
700 delegates and 90 speakers

Viaduct Events Centre
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The Summit offered a mix of plenary sessions, workshops, panel sessions and site visits to local businesses. A highlight of the event was ‘matched’ business meetings, which brought together companies with common areas of interest.

As well as 300 business matching meetings, seven Memoranda of Understanding were signed, establishing economic alliances between the cities across a number of sectors.

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You deserve to feel very proud of the Tripartite Economic Summit 2016 and the significant part you played.

Pam Ford
Project Manager, ATEED

Project in depth

Tripartite Economic Summit

The Challenge


In 2014 the Tripartite Economic Alliance was signed between three sister cities: Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles. The agreement signalled an expansion of the cities’ existing cultural and political relationship to include cooperation in business and investment.

The aim was to share knowledge and information and create economic opportunities based on common strengths in innovation, technology, urban design and infrastructure development. The first of its kind in the world, the Alliance set a new benchmark for how global cities engage, collaborate and create mutual economic growth opportunities.

The Alliance established an annual business summit and in May 2016 it was Auckland’s turn to host for the first time. The 2016 Summit presented an ideal opportunity for Auckland to promote its business capability and investment opportunities in a number of important sectors.

Host organisation Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) wanted to present a welcoming, inclusive event with a distinctly Auckland flavour that would work hard for local businesses and showcase the depth of talent and innovation in the city.

ATEED engaged The Conference Company to organise the Summit, help plan and structure a dynamic, engaging programme, and design and execute a spectacular Summit Dinner.

The Solution


The two-day Summit was designed to showcase industry sectors where Auckland offers world-class expertise and ground-breaking research and development. These included high-value food, digital media, entertainment and e-commerce, advanced manufacturing and automation and smart data and urban design.

The Conference Company helped ATEED develop a dynamic programme that focused on strengthening business relationships, creating momentum and opening doors for local export companies.

The programme was designed to be as engaging and practical as possible, with a mix of workshops, panel sessions and site visits to local businesses. Plenary sessions were developed to be of interest to a majority of delegates, and panels were structured to feature speakers from all three cities.

A highlight of the Summit was the business matching initiative, coordinated by The Conference Company. During the registration process, businesses were asked to state their interests and objectives. We built customised software that matched businesses by common criteria. ‘Matched’ businesses made contact, had initial discussions and set up meetings for when they arrived in Auckland. We were there on the day to welcome, facilitate and ensure everything went smoothly.

At the event itself we were responsible for looking after all three municipal delegations, including VIP entourages and security teams. We provided each of the three delegations with their own room where they could invite guests and host bilateral meetings. We made sure we understood who was attending and how they needed to be taken care of, and took care to observe the correct protocols.

The Summit Dinner was designed to be the centrepiece of the programme. We organised the MC, entertainment, decor and AV, and stage-managed the night itself to ensure everything flowed seamlessly. Alongside the main Kiwi-hosted entertainment, we invited participation from the US and Chinese delegations, and worked with them in the lead-up to the event to finalise their contribution.

The Summit was a meeting with many moving parts and multiple ATEED and Council stakeholders. Our role was to keep oversight of the entire project, and to guide, advise and support the Project Director throughout. We worked with funding partners to ensure sponsorship agreements were fulfilled to the letter. As with any government or local government meeting, our role was to remain flexible, and to ensure suppliers remained flexible, as timelines changed and stakeholder decisions had to be deferred till late in the schedule.

The Outcome


The Summit was hosted by Auckland Mayor Len Brown and attended by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Guangzhou Vice Mayor Wang Dong. Each of the visiting Mayors led a large delegation of business and local government representatives from their own city.

The Summit attracted nearly 700 delegates, double the anticipated number of 350, and featured more than 90 speakers. The event’s 13 funding partners included Huawei, Fu Wah International Group, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Southern Airlines.

A total of 300 business matching meetings took place. Seven Memoranda of Understanding were signed between organisations from different cities, establishing alliances in the fields of urban design and sustainable development and medical and pharmaceutical research. A number of highly promising collaborations in the IT, film and TV sector were also initiated. More than 20 businesses in Auckland’s sectors of competitive advantage subsequently undertook an assessment with an ATEED Business & Innovation advisor.

The Summit Dinner was acclaimed as a huge success, attended by 440 guests, with high-level attendees including New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. Alongside soloist Ria Hall and the Modern Maori Quartet, the event featured cultural performances by the Los Angeles and Guangzhou delegations, celebrating all three participating cultures while maintaining a strong New Zealand-hosted identity.

After the event, ATEED Project Manager Lisa Noonan wrote to us:

“I want to extend a huge thanks and massive appreciation to the wonderful team – all of you were completely unflappable, always smiling, always flexible, and nothing was too much trouble. At all times your team were outstandingly professional, helpful, and solutions focused. You are all amazing, and I am sure the Summit would not have been such an outstanding event without your hard work, commitment and attention to detail.”

The summit won an Excellence in Economic Development award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

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