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Claudelands steps up for Food Science and Technology Conference

For the second time in less than a month, The Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre has been hosting leaders in New Zealand’s important food production sector.

This time it was 400 delegates from the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology who assembled in Hamilton last week for their annual conference and trade fair.

The NZIFST annual conference is the most important meeting of minds in the sector with three days of education and debate on the issues and innovations in food.

NZIFST Executive Manager and event organiser Rosemary Hancock, reports that the conference was a demanding one and that they were well satisfied with how Claudelands and its team performed under the pressure.

“We very much liked the new venue. We have been to Hamilton before, but no other venue could accommodate our needs like Claudelands.

“With the whole of Exhibition Hall A devoted to a Trade Exhibition, plus a plenary room and three other breakout rooms all in use at once – that’s four concurrent streams of activity on each of the three days - we need a large and multi-faceted venue to cope.

“Claudelands was ideal and most definitely on our radar for future events,” said Hancock.

Around 80% of the 400 delegates attended from outside the Waikato, not including a large contingent of representatives of companies participating in the conference’s associated trade exhibition – again demonstrating the huge economic benefit conferences bring to the city.

Another feature of the conference, the Institute’s Gala Awards Dinner drew on the services of local caterer Montana. Hancock reports that again, the team performed well and “everyone was very happy” with the catering.

Hamilton City’s Event Facilities, Director of Business Development Murray Jeffrey said that NZIFST annual conference is a perfect example of why Claudelands is needed to ensure Hamilton and the greater Waikato region can compete against other cities nationally.

“Attracting business conferences of this kind takes time and requires a comprehensive list of resources; from the venue, audio visual and staging, through to catering and entertainment. Many are booked up to three years ahead.”

“Having a facility as well resourced as Claudelands not only allows us to compete in this tough marketplace, it has given us a very strong position to attract regional, national and international conferences whether they’re niche, medium or large scaled events,” said Jeffrey.

The NZIFST conference also took the total to more than 200,000 visitors that have now attended events at Claudelands since the venue was officially opened a year ago 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. Read more

A busy schedule of conferences is already planned for the rest of 2012 and beyond.

“Claudelands is now hitting its straps and in only one year has become one of the most desirable and dynamic venues in New Zealand, providing a real tool for helping drive Hamilton’s tourism, transport, retail and hospitality industries,” said Jeffrey.