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Meet Conference 2019

Bigger and Better Conferences

  • 650 delegates
  • University of Canterbury’s (UC) Ilam campus, Christchurch

In January, the ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau helped facilitate the conference in Christchurch, one of the largest international conferences to be held in the city since 2011.

The event attracted 650 of the world’s leading thinkers and users of Linux, the computer operating system praised for its security and promotion of open-source software.

It was held at the University of Canterbury’s (UC) Ilam campus, regularly heralded as one of the most picturesque campuses in the country.

“Conferences like this play a big role in city exposure as well as visitor expenditure,” said Loren Heaphy, ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Destination and Attraction.

Particularly high-profile conferences like, they build our reputation as a city that can host big conferences.

Loren Heaphy, GM Destination and Attraction, ChristchurchNZ

“With our new conference centre Te Pae opening in 2020, we are looking forward to hosting more events and larger delegations in our city, showcasing our part of Aotearoa as well as bringing an economic boost to the region,” said Heaphy. 

Attendees were met at Christchurch International Airport with a welcome and registration booth, only the second time such an area has been set up for an international conference in New Zealand.

The booth was in place two days before the conference started, and ensured attendees felt welcomed and taken care of as soon as they arrived in Christchurch.

Both organisers and attendees said it was a great way to kick off the conference activities. It was hoped similar booths would be set up for future conferences, to ensure delegates received a warm welcome.

Ahead of the conference, Justin Watson, Christchurch International Airport Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer, said they were delighted to extend the unique welcome.


We are excited to provide a welcome desk for international delegates, to make sure they experience our famous southern hospitality right from their arrival.

Justin Watson, Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer, Christchurch International Airport

Delegates spent a week in the city, keeping in touch during the conference through an internal ‘Wiki’. They shared local tips and day-trip ideas to make the most of Christchurch’s urban and natural surroundings.

Jayne Austin, UC Communications and External Relations Manager, said the university was proud to host the conference.

“It was a unique opportunity to not only showcase the world-class learning environment on offer at UC, but also the beautiful city of Christchurch,” Austin said.

UC’s Computer Science and Software Engineering departments use open source software every day, Austin said, so “the conference was a natural fit”.

Steven Skyes, conference organiser and University of Canterbury Senior Programme Analyst, said the event was huge for the city and the University.

It takes a great team of people to put together a great conference that goes for a week.


Steven Sykes, Senior Programme Analyst, University of Canterbury.