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Claudelands builds on its reputation with Concrete Conference success

The Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre built on its growing reputation as one of New Zealand's best conference facilities with the successful staging of the New Zealand Concrete Industry Conference in October.

More than 300 delegates travelled to Hamilton from throughout the country to attend the three-day conference held from October 11-13.

This was the first year that the conference was held at Claudelands. It was chosen over other venues as “it is arguably one of the best facilities in New Zealand”, said the organising committee chairman, Carl Ashby.

Open to anyone with an interest in the field, particularly the building and construction sectors, the event attracted architects, local government personnel, building contractors, developers and educators.

Speakers presented more than 30 papers covering topics such as, seismic performance, design, materials and environmental standards. A highlight was the paper presented by Chris Cable from the Exallos Group on The Shard, the 310m tower being built in London, which once completed will be Europe’s tallest building.

Running alongside the conference was a trade exhibition as well as a number of social events, ranging from mix and mingles to black-tie dinners. These demonstrated Claudelands adaptability and range as a facility.

Delegates' partners were given the opportunity to sample the attractions of the Waikato region including golf, the Waitomo Caves and a tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set.

Although Claudelands was the centre of the action at the conference, Hamilton’s iconic Fairfield Bridge also received special recognition, garnering the New Zealand Concrete Society’s Enduring Concrete Award. Built circa 1935 the historic concrete bridge structure features three graceful bowstring arches and detailed curved balustrades.    

“The flexibility and professionalism of a venue is essential to the successful running of a conference,” said Blue Pacific Events conference organiser, Allan Bluett. “Claudelands easily accommodated the conference needs, and I would happily recommend Claudelands to anyone wanting to hold a conference.”

Hamilton City’s Event Facilities, Director of Business Development, Murray Jeffrey says Claudelands has the flexibility to cater for conferences of any size.

“We are fortunate to have a large amount of space in the venue, and its surroundings, which have been put to great use by conference organisers,” said Jeffrey.

“It is this flexibility that is making Claudelands and the Waikato in general become one of the most desirable conference destinations in New Zealand,” he said.