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Case Study

Chemistry Of Collaboration

PCO Famil March 2024 Case Study

Chemistry Of Collaboration

In early autumn, ChristchurchNZ hosted 21 New Zealand BEIA-approved professional conference organisers (PCOs) for a unique event combining tailored learning with an inspirational destination showcase.

Themed 'The Chemistry of Collaboration', directors and owners of New Zealand’s leading PCO companies were welcomed to Christchurch together with their nominated emerging leaders.

The three-day curated famil programme, reignited collaboration and collegiality by balancing a taste of the city’s best venues and experiences, with a series of knowledge sessions and inspiring speakers.

The inclusion of professional development in the programme was a game changer for the formula of famils. The topics covered and the range of speakers were highly relevant to current challenges. PCOs were given practical tools, and time for clear thinking about their businesses and leading teams.

Megan Crum, Head of Business Events, ChristchurchNZ says it was important the group had time to bond as a peer group, to connect and learn from each other through quality time together.

“The results speak for themselves – every PCO in New Zealand was keen to attend and their feedback has been exceptional.”

Megan Crum

The results speak for themselves – every PCO in New Zealand was keen to attend and their feedback has been exceptional.”

Megan Crum - Head of Business Events, ChristchurchNZ

Tangible Take-Outs For Leaders And Future Leaders

The attendees left feeling a close connection to each other, to Christchurch as a destination, to venue partners and to the broad team of experts who value their work. They came away relaxed, feeling inspired and brimming with new ideas for hosting business events in Christchurch.

All credit for such a thoughtful and highly tailored experience.  You changed the definition of the word ‘famil’ forever. Christchurch is an ideal business events destination - products, services, accessible, joined up supplier community, forward thinking bureau with a knowledgeable and helpful team."

Jan Tonkin - The Conference Company

This was one of the best work experiences I have been involved in … I am looking forward to seeing how we can keep this collaboration going… as a group it was invaluable. This experience highlighted to me that collaboration is not just a 'buzz' word, it provided us with the opportunity to connect with our peers/competitors, share stories, learn and be reminded of how Ōtautahi Christchurch is one of New Zealand's best places to host events.”

Rachel Cook - Conference Innovators

Christchurch is an ideal business events destination - products, services, accessible, a joined up supplier community, a forward thinking bureau with a knowledgeable and helpful team.I loved that you included professional development that was focused on leadership. Every moment was well thought through - you saw us as people not just potential business.”

Sandra Julian - Auaha Conferences & Events

There really is chemistry in collaboration and we thank ChristchurchNZ for showcasing this and our amazing city. We had a fantastic time exploring Ōtautahi Christchurch with our PCO friends from around New Zealand. To have the luxury of dedicating three days to sharing, networking, collaborating, and laughing was invaluable.”

Arna Wahl Davies - Composition

Close Connections And The Power Of Legacy

The Chemistry of Collaboration event was supported by 24 partners, including Air New Zealand, Distinction Hotel Christchurch, Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, and Celebrity Speakers. A wide range of Christchurch suppliers also embraced the opportunity to collaborate and support the programme and these valued clients.

The Christchurch famil began with a hard hat tour of the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project. This was a special opportunity to see first-hand the work to re-instate this iconic building. Lunch was a super fun challenge at Riverside Kitchen, collaboration at its finest (or as one team member said ‘Game on!’), followed by a keynote presentation and workshop with international leadership coach, James Laughlin.

The next stop was a networking hour with Great Journeys New Zealand - KiwiRail and Scenic Hotel Group at the latest of Christchurch’s character-filled venues, The Church. A stunning dinner followed, set on the stage at the Isaac Theatre Royal, styled by Kim Chan with a performance by Southern Ballet Theatre Inc.

Day two started with a walk around the city with legendary guide, Riwai Grace from Amiki Tours who shared stories of the fascinating culture and history of the area.

Riwai led the group to Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre where the morning session started with leading resilience expert, Dr Lucy Hone, supported by Celebrity Speakers New Zealand. She spoke with knowledge and warmth, backed with research and practical tools everyone could use in their daily lives. Sarah O’Connell from Soulworks, a skilled wellbeing expert with a background in business events, MC'd the knowledge sessions delivering special connections for the audience.

Discussions around the power of legacy and the lasting impacts of conferences were led by internationally-recognised business events researcher Professor Carmel Foley from University of Technology Sydney and PhD Student, Cheryl Malone. They gave powerful insights into how PCOs can influence and advocate legacy within the industry.

The afternoon included a refresher on the wider regions of Hanmer Springs, Kaikōura and the West Coast. Then Christchurch International Airport Limited, Christchurch Casinos Limited, Christchurch Art Gallery and an update from Venues Ōtautahi on Christchurch’s exciting stadium development, Te Kaha. The evening concluded with a gorgeous dinner at chic restaurant, Miro in a beautifully restored art deco building on the riverfront beside Te Pae.

The third and final day focused on self-care and well-being, and started with breakfast at Christchurch’s celebrated department store Ballantynes, followed by Punting on the Avon. Then, a chance to leave the city centre and experience its close connection to the coast and the ocean.

At the Sumner Beach Surf Club, set right on the beachfront, the group took part in a session on self-care facilitated by Sarah O’Connell, and the ChristchurchNZ People and Capability team shared advice on team well-being.

Then it was time for everyone to kick off the shoes, feel the sand between toes, breathe the ocean air, and take a leisurely walk to local restaurant, Clink, known for its fresh and seasonal menus. The guests enjoyed a relaxed lunch together before transferring to the airport for their homeward journey.