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Photo Credit: Johnny Hendrikus

Tapping into the knowledge of its local thought leaders

Wellington is tapping into the knowledge of its local thought leaders to expand its business events bids and impact with the launch of the Wellington Advocate Network.


The network’s initial membership comprises a mix of academics representing the local Arts/Music, Engineering/Computer Science, and Health sectors, as well as national association representatives from the National Council for Women and Volunteering New Zealand.

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Photo Credit: Business Events Wellington

Irette Ferreira

Business Events Wellington Manager

Business Events Wellington Manager Irette Ferreira says: “Business Events Wellington has strong, long-standing relationships with numerous key stakeholders that have hosted or supported international conferences in the city in the past or have confirmed conferences for Wellington in the future.”

“Their knowledge, work and connections in their respective fields play a crucial role in securing these international events and creating new opportunities to represent Wellington globally. By formalising our relationship, we aim to recognise the positive benefits they bring to Wellington’s economy and society through their conferences and to increase the impact of those events. We also encourage others to join them and bid for events that will strengthen Wellington.”

Ferreira says with New Zealand’s borders now fully reopened and Wellington’s new central-city convention centre, Tākina, due to open in June 2023, the number of international bids has dramatically increased since the start of 2022.

“We’ve already got more than 80 conferences on the books at Tākina, and we’re proactively engaging our local network of experts and thought leaders to continue building that pipeline of international conferences for New Zealand’s capital city.”

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Photo Credit: Business Events Wellington

“This is an opportunity to extend our networks and collaborations globally.”

The initial launch event this week saw advocates sample the city’s culinary attractions as part of the Visa Wellington On a Plate food festival.

One of the Wellington Advocate Network’s inaugural members, Suzanne Manning, President of the National Council of Women New Zealand, is working with Business Events Wellington as host of the International Council of Women’s Executive Committee Meeting and Asia-Pacific Region Council Meeting in 2023. Long term she hopes to bring the International Congress of the International Council of Women to the capital city.

She says: “I’m looking forward to the connections that we should be able to make through the Wellington Advocate Network, which will be good for us through to the conference and beyond. Bringing the conference to Wellington will allow our members to connect with the work that our sisters are doing around the world, and particularly strengthen our connections with Pacific nations. It will provide opportunities for mutual support and exchange of ideas and solutions to common problems.”

Fellow advocate Brian Diettrich, Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Music, is working with Business Events Wellington to bid for the International Conference on Traditional Music in 2025. He says: “We envision that the 2025 World Conference will bring together scholars, performers, and students from across our region and globally in an inclusive and interactive meeting. As only the third time in Oceania since its inception in 1947, the conference in 2025 offers a chance to bring together participants in a world-facing event and showcase the best of New Zealand and Wellington. For Victoria University of Wellington and the NZ School of Music, this is an opportunity to extend our networks and collaborations globally.”


For more information on the Wellington Advocate Network, click here