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Health Sector Conferences Highlight Christchurch’s Strengths

When Te Pae Christchurch hosted 2,000 delegates to four major health sector conferences back to back in August and September, including two on the same dates, the versatility of the city’s new infrastructure, and the collaborative energy of its business events industry came to the fore.

The city was buzzing with over 1,300 delegates attending two conferences on the same days in late August. Australasian leaders on the subject of stroke, and addiction specialists from across New Zealand met under the same roof at the same time, with completely separate facilities across two levels of Te Pae Christchurch.

A few weeks later, 380 of New Zealand’s rural health professionals convened in Christchurch, followed by several hundred Australasian oncologists and pathologists, all sharing vital knowledge and new thinking.

Healthcare Hub

ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events, Megan Crum says Christchurch is recognised as a world-class hub for health education, research and innovation.

“Not only have they given an economic return to the city of over $2.5 million, visiting health professionals have learned much from our local sector experts, and contributed to our community with their knowledge on subjects that matter. They have also taken a lot of experience and new learnings back with them.

Megan Crum

Delegates tell us they have been enriched by their time in the city outside of the conferences too, exploring and recharging. With Te Pae right in the heart of our vibrant city, local businesses are enjoying meeting delegates as they get out and explore. It is win-win for everyone.”

Megan Crum - ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events

“Delegates tell us they have been enriched by their time in the city outside of the conferences too, exploring and recharging. With Te Pae right in the heart of our vibrant city, local businesses are enjoying meeting delegates as they get out and explore. It is win-win for everyone.”

Versatile Venue

Te Pae Christchurch is a versatile venue that can cater to multiple significant conferences at the same time. Across two levels, separate events can take place seamlessly, making the most of the venue’s extensive meeting, exhibition and auditorium spaces, and the wide foyers and hospitality areas.

Te Pae General Manager Ross Steele says Te Pae Christchurch was carefully designed and purpose-built to respond to a full range of event requirements.

“With moveable walls in almost all of the Centre’s 24 modern, flexible spaces – including the 1,400 seat Auditorium – spaces are able to be easily customised to suit multiple event needs, making it the perfect place to host concurrent events,” he says.

“The Te Pae Christchurch team are adept at ensuring each event has its own dedicated team to ensure a seamless experience when in the building.”

“As well as our fantastic city facilities in a beautiful setting, we also have an exceptional team of business events professionals based in Christchurch, and a collaborative business events community,” Megan Crum says.

Christchurch-based professional conference organisers (PCOs), Composition and Conference Innovators managed the events, sourcing local suppliers to provide everything they needed to deliver successful and outstanding events.

Conference Snapshots

Combined Economic Impact

  • NZ$2.588 million Combined Estimated Visitor Spend from the four conferences:
  • 1,955 attendees
  • 1,128 room nights booked in central city hotels

Cutting Edge 2022 - Addiction Practitioner’s Association Aotearoa New Zealand (daapanz)

PCO: Composition

  • 706 delegates – plus 270 pre-conference workshops attendees
  • 410 guests - Conference dinner

Dapaanz is the professional association, registering and representing New Zealand’s addiction workforce. Delegates included a diverse range of alcohol, drug, and gambling practitioners working across the breadth of mental health and addiction contexts in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Sam White, Executive Director of dapaanz says the group hadn’t connected as a sector since 2019.

“This year’s conference was extremely well supported as we gathered face-to-face for the first time in several years, and to celebrate our 20th year,” she says.

“Many delegates also enjoyed some of the other cultural events on and sightseeing. Increasingly we are realising our delegates need to recharge at these events, by experiencing what the city has to offer. The closeness of Christchurch’s hotels and the ability to walk to and from easily was also a huge bonus.”

“We felt very lucky to be able to share the gorgeous Te Pae space with Christchurch, and also to make our workforce feel valued by conferencing in such a wonderful space,” she says.

“Our PCO, Composition was amazing - that is a huge part of what makes these events so smooth and successful.”

Stroke 2022 - 31st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Stroke Society of Australasia

PCO: Conference Innovators

SSA are clinicians and researchers endeavouring to tackle the enormous burden of stroke in our community.

Usually held in Australian main centres, this was the first time the SSA Meeting was held in Christchurch, and it reconnected the best inter-disciplinary clinicians, researchers, scientists, consumers and sponsors.

Conference co-convenor, Dr Teddy Wu, a neurologist with Canterbury District Health Board says Christchurch was a hugely popular destination for the conference.

“We had lots of good feedback. Te Pae exceeded all expectations, it was so spacious and easy. Our Australian delegates all loved the city, and said they would be back.

“For me as a local, it was fantastic to showcase Christchurch, and to tell them what we do here, and the networks we have in terms of the health sector facilities and our stroke research.

“I took 40 delegates for a run around Hagley Park, past the hospital, the Museum and the Botanic Gardens they were amazed by the work-life balance this city provides too,” he says

National Rural Health Conference 2022

PCO: Conference Innovators

In early September over 380 delegates came together at Te Pae Christchurch for the first National Rural Health Conference hosted by Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network.

“Our conference presented a valuable opportunity for us to share ideas, innovate, and influence a better future for rural health,” Dr Grant Davidson, Hauora Taiwhenua Chief Executive.

The conference dinner was a time to celebrate the 30-year history of the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network, that led to the formation of Hauora Taiwhenua.

The New Zealand Society of Oncology (NZSO) and The Royal College of Pathologists Australasia, and New Zealand Society of Pathology (combined scientific meeting)

‘Together Stronger’ was the conference theme, emphasising how our communities will benefit from our three associations coming together to share research and clinical developments in cancer biology, diagnosis and management.

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