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Claudelands hosts major food event, Foodstuffs Expo

The success of Claudelands continues to grow with the venue playing host to its first major trade-only expo this week.

More than 800 delegates attended the annual Foodstuffs Expo which began on Wednesday, running for two days and utilising all aspects of Claudelands, from its impressive conference facilities to the expansive exhibition centre.

Key industry leaders and executives of Foodstuffs from throughout New Zealand travelled to Hamilton for the event, bringing strong financial benefit to the Waikato region.

Antoinette Shallue, Communications Director Foodstuffs NZ said the impressive features of Claudelands, as well as the city’s accessibility, made it the perfect venue for the convention.

“We chose Claudelands for our national conference because it's a stunning new venue that totally fits the bill for us logistically, and it also has all the accommodation and hospitality infrastructure close by,” she said.

“Everything is either within walking distance or is a short cab ride away, which makes it really convenient for all our attendees.”

The expo is designed to promote networking between Foodstuffs’ suppliers and staff, as well as increase benefit to customers through innovation and better product solutions.

Alternating annually between fresh food and grocery, this year’s expo focused on grocery with more than 200 exhibitors and a dinner for around 650 attendees held in Claudelands Arena. Guests included representatives from national Foodstuffs members, the three Foodstuffs sister companies, executive teams and supplier executives including CEOs, MDs and regional managers.

Claudelands has been going from strength to strength since opening in June, 2011. It continues to host conferences and expos that to date have brought more than 200,000 people through its doors. Along with revenues from venue hire, catering and audio visual, Hamilton City has seen the benefits of additional accommodation bookings, and hospitality revenue. 

Conference visitors have been shown to be the most valuable to the city, spending more than average leisure visitors. A conference such as the Foodstuffs Expo attracts an even higher economic benefit with industry leaders and trades people travelling to the region and staying multiple days.

Hamilton City’s Event Facilities, Director of Business Development and Marketing Murray Jeffrey reports that the Foodstuffs Expo is evidence of Claudelands’ ability to stand up above well-established facilities nationwide.

“This is our first major trade expo since Claudelands opened last year and it is a defining moment for us,” he says.

“This is a superb example of private commercial events coming to the venue, which are not typically seen by the general public.

“These kinds of bookings can take years to secure and they produce significant financial benefit for the city. Claudelands provides a real tool for helping drive Hamilton’s tourism, transport, retail and hospitality industries forward”.

The benefit of Claudelands' success has already been seen by the local hospitality trade and Roger Buller of Bella Vista Motel, and Chairman of Hamilton Accommodation Accord, says Claudelands is already producing a significant and growing amount of business for accommodation providers in the city.

“It’s starting to become very beneficial to the accommodation providers and certainly has proved so with the Foodstuffs Expo,” he says.

“As an accommodation group we’re excited that Claudelands will continue to be a focus for a number of events in the future.”