Waikin Wong, ICCA Regional Director Asia Pacific, and Tourism New Zealand Business Events Bid Manager Leonie Ashford celebrate the new scholarship partnership at the BEIA Conference in sunny Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

New Zealand invests in people for the business events future

Tourism New Zealand is supporting the sustainable future of New Zealand’s business events industry by offering 10 new scholarships for the ICCASkills certification programme.

Tourism New Zealand announced the 10 new scholarships at this week’s BEIA (Business Events Industry Aotearoa) Annual Conference in Hawke’s Bay.

Established by ICCA (the International Congress & Convention Association), ICCASkills is the only globally recognised professional accreditation for every sector of the business events industry. The in-depth curriculum has been developed by industry experts, including business leaders, academics and ICCA members, and is delivered through on-site and online learning environments.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager NZ & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says: “New Zealand has invested in amazing new infrastructure and activities for the business events sector, and we need to recruit and retain the best talent to staff them. Business events are all about people – it makes sense to support the industry by investing in people.

“Encouraging professional development ensures the expertise of our people is recognised at a global level and helps to elevate New Zealand’s event standards.”

Tourism New Zealand will share costs with the scholarship recipient’s employer, offering five scholarships for the Certified International Convention Specialist (CICS) course for newcomers to the industry; and five scholarships for the Certified International Convention Executive (CICE) course, aimed at providing professional development to those with a minimum of three years in a management role.

ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath says: “ICCASkills is unique. It will harmonise new learnings and professional development in our industry. There is a genuine desire to do more in terms of the education and upskilling of our people, so learners across the world enjoy the best possible experiences when they attend an event. People absolutely expect the best and ‘the best’ is what ICCASkills is designed to do.

“By sharing learning, insight, and knowledge from many different areas, we have created something new, experiential, and worthwhile. We are extremely proud of ICCASkills and thoroughly delighted to be partnering with Tourism New Zealand to support the growth of New Zealand’s business events professionals.”

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A long-time meetings industry addict, Gorazd is the Founder and owner of marketing and event agency Toleranca Marketing. He has many years of experience in planning, preparing and carrying out large international meetings and exhibitions. As the founder of the "Power to the Meetings" methodology, he still firmly believes in the power of live events and human to human communication. He is also the author of numerous articles and editor-in-chief of the meetings industry magazine Kongres Magazine.