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Claudelands celebrates its birthday with veterinary and food industry elite

Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre today celebrated its first birthday by playing host to more than 1,000 of the top players in the agricultural science, milk and food industries.

With the New Zealand Veterinary Conference running concurrently with the New Zealand Milk Quality Conference, Claudelands has been buzzing with five days of seminars and workshops utlising the full venue, including the many conference rooms and exhibition spaces and Claudelands Arena.

The conference has already been adjudged a success with a record turnout, in only the second year that it has been held in Hamilton.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker noted in her speech to conference delegates that the conference is the perfect event to mark Claudelands anniversary and demonstrates Claudelands’ benefit to Hamilton City and the Greater Waikato Region.

“Production and export of dairy products is vitally important to New Zealand’s economic prosperity and continuous improvement in animal welfare, productivity and food safety is the key to continued growth,” said Hardaker.

“The Waikato has always been the heart of New Zealand’s agriculture and dairy production and it is therefore fitting that the New Zealand Veterinary Conference and the New Zealand Milk Quality Conference should be happening here.”

“This conference is not only valuable for the revenue that it generates for Hamilton, it also helps to maintain the Waikato’s influence in the national Agriculture and Dairy Industry landscape.

“Claudelands has definitely proved its worth by being able to attract and host such a valuable and influential conference that would have otherwise been held elsewhere,” said Hardaker.

Claudelands officially opened on the 18th June, 2011 and to date has seen almost 200,000 visitors through its doors for the many events, trade shows and conferences held there. Conference visitors were the most valuable to the city, with the average spend by meeting delegates much higher than general leisure visitors at $425 per day.*

A conference such as the New Zealand Veterinary Conference attracts an even higher economic benefit with more than 100 of the delegates travelling internationally to the conference and many staying multiple days. A number of outside dinners and partner events also sees benefit to the bars and restaurants in Hamilton.

Hamilton City’s Event Facilities, Director of Business Development Murray Jeffrey reports that a busy schedule of conferences is already planned for the rest of 2012 and beyond.

“Important conferences of this kind are planned years ahead and there is high competition between the regions to win them,” says Jeffrey.

“Having a centre with the size, quality and flexibility of Claudelands is a major factor in Hamilton being able to attract and retain such events.

“We’re now seeing Claudelands become one of the most desirable and dynamic venues in New Zealand. This is about more than one-off benefit. Claudelands provides a real tool for helping drive Hamilton’s tourism, transport, retail and hospitality industries forward,” says Jeffrey.