CINZ Updates

23rd March

COVID-19 Update for CINZ Members

While today’s announcement was not unexpected, it was still a brave and necessary position by the Prime Minister and we applaud her, the Government and Parliament for it.

Our industry was one of the very first to suffer and we have experienced rapid erosion over the past few months. This tough, but proactive approach means we now have a better opportunity to start planning for the future quicker and earlier than anticipated.

It was also heartening to hear the Minister of Finance announce some relaxing around the Business Continuity package. Although we are still seeing important contributors to our Business Events community shut their doors, the hope is that this is interim and that they and others know, we stand beside them with our support.

Last week, I meet with the Minister of Tourism and explained to him that our industry will lose an estimated value of $322 million in 2020. Like the leisure tourism industry, we are suffering, however our ability to make a quick rebound is limited given the long lead times our industry typically experiences. As further acknowledgment of the importance and impact of Business Events on economic recovery, CINZ is now part of the Government C-TAG group (COVID 19 – Tourism Action Group) to enable us to be more proactive over the coming weeks and to provide Government with direct inputs on your behalf.

We will be lobbying hard to “congregate in our place” as soon as it is safe to do so and the various bans have been lifted, asking all Government departments and associations to lead by example and start locking in their next meeting.

In another initiative, which demonstrates the ability and agility of this industry to re-deploy its non-transferrable skills, we will be establishing the Business Events Army, using such skills as operations, logistics planning, moving large groups, communications, risk assessment and customer service to name just a few, to support various agencies such as Government, Emergency Services, and Aged Care. We will be releasing more details soon.

Finally, MEETINGS. You overwhelmingly told us that you would sooner we postpone, versus cancel, so that is what we are planning. We believe MEETINGS should be part of your business recovery strategy, offering the ability to reconnect and rekindle business relationships for the future. Details will be announced soon as well.

We continue to use our website for updates and new ways to stay in touch and up to date.

The CINZ team are always here to support you, whether it’s a chat, a business issue or you would like to share information that is important to the rest of the industry, please let any of us know.

He waka eke noa. We are all in this together.

17th March

Business Events industry commends government COVID-19 package, but needs long-term support

Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a Business Continuity Package to help New Zealand businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19.

CINZ Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says the steps the government have taken today are helpful for short-term business continuity. “However the business events industry is distinct and different to leisure tourism. It is a unique sector which works on long lead times for organising and executing events, from three months to five years out,” she says.

“We have seen the short-term pipeline (from now until September) almost completely dry up or reduce dramatically with some companies losing 100 per cent of their business, while customers wait for a more confident economic outlook.

“We are going out to the industry today to gather their feedback on the COVID-19 Economic Package, and we will need to work closely with government to develop a recovery strategy specifically for the sector, which should start with domestic business events.

“Given that many in our industry are in a situation of no business or revenue, we don’t see that there will be an issue in meeting the criteria for wage subsidies and provisional tax relief,” she says.

“Business events are crucial to our economy, and worth around half a billion per annum to New Zealand. That export income has effectively evaporated in the short term, with the medium to long term opportunities taking a ‘watch and wait’ approach. Many of the conference events postponed or cancelled have taken several years to secure. Many of our event organisers now have no events in their short-term pipeline.

“As an industry, we need to work closely with government to recover as quickly as possible realising that in effect, we are starting from zero, and may need to find ways to reinvent ourselves as an economic powerhouse for the future,” she says.

CINZ is encouraging all companies working in the business events industry to take full advantage of the new support and subsidies available to assist them.

“We are also encouraging everyone to take care of each other. This is a very difficult time and we know some will find it very hard. Help is available if you need it.”

More information on the wage subsidy scheme, including how to apply, and other support for businesses can be found at and

16th March

MEETINGS to be postponed due to COVID-19 measures
Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins

Following the New Zealand Prime Minister’s announcements, it is with great regret and sadness we announce the postponement of MEETINGS in Auckland, which was scheduled for 22 and 23 April.

We have sought the advice of our industry members and clients and have been heartened with the huge level of support for MEETINGS. However, we have been given a clear mandate to postpone this year’s event.

I can assure you the CINZ team and our partners are working to evaluate other options for MEETINGS, and we will announce these plans as soon as we can.

CINZ continues to be the strong voice of the business events industry. Our role is to advocate for the power of business events to aid economic recovery. We have set up direct dialogue with the government regarding the specific impacts of COVID-19 on the sector.

Thank you for all your heartfelt support for CINZ and for each other. It is in extraordinary times like this that we come together, that relationships cultivated over time become the foundations for what will support our recovery. Make no mistake, the contribution this industry brings to New Zealand’s economy is substantial and therefore deserves to be recognised.

We will continue to keep you informed, as we learn more and as the situation progresses.

Ngā mihi nui

15th March

Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins

Kia Ora,

The new measures announced by the Prime Minister, to protect against the spread of COVID-19 within our community, will now impact on CINZ’s ability to stage a successful MEETINGS 2020.

Early next week, we anticipate the Prime Minister will also announce new measures on holding events of significant size.

Our message has been consistent. To follow the guidance and guidelines of the Government and the Ministry of Health, and as such, we are looking at our options. The CINZ team will be seeking feedback on these options and a short survey may be sent to you for your opinion if you are an exhibitor or buyer.

In the meantime, CINZ continues to be the strongest and loudest voice of the business events industry. Please be assured we have and are raising your concerns at the highest level in Government. We have ensured that Ministers and officials are acutely aware of the impact these measures will have on the business events sector.

As a member the CINZ whanau, now is a time when we must all work together with our wider business events community, to focus on collective efforts to rebuild confidence and advocate for the power of business events which will be a key component in supporting the economic recovery of New Zealand. What you do, is that important.

This is not the new normal. This is an unprecedented event and we will get through it. I can commit to you, the CINZ team will ensure your interests are kept top of mind and we will keep you informed.

We are in this together.

Ngā mihi nui,

3rd March 2020

Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins

MEETINGS 2020 will still go ahead as planned in April.

We have been encouraged by the number of buyers this event has attracted both internationally and domestically. While acutely aware of the Covid-19 situation, current information from the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health does not suggest any deviation from current planning. This will be monitored continuously.

To date, there have been no cancellations from either exhibitors or buyers, nor suggestion that this may be forthcoming. New Zealand continues to be a safe and welcoming destination for business events.

In regard to international buyers, there will not be any buyers from China, South Korea or Iran. Instead, CINZ will proactively support Tourism New Zealand’s clever use of technology to connect with China based buyers as we look ahead to when we welcome this important group back to our shores to experience our Maanakitanga (hospitality).

Most international buyers are from Australia with additional groups from North America, South East Asia and South Asia.

Attendees will be comforted to know that plans have been activated to ensure heightened awareness of personal hygiene during the event. St John’s New Zealand Healthcare has produced a set of event guidelines and these have been incorporated into event planning, ready for activation. St John’s officers will be present at the ASB Showgrounds during the event. CINZ partners with St John’s for MEETINGS every year, to ensure all attendees are given the best possible care, should they fall ill or sustain an injury.

CINZ continues to be the voice of the business events industry. Along with our members and partners, MEETINGS 2020 will showcase how to stage an event responsibly and safely, as well as how to utilise innovation and creativity to reach target audiences, when face-to-face interaction is not available.

Further information and advice for Public Events can be found here.

Tuesday 25th February 2020

CINZ Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins attended a Leadership Forum, which included, amongst other speakers, Aloyisus Arlando, CEO SingEx Holdings, and President of SACEOS (Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers).

Aloyisus shared how Singapore was managing the COVID-19 situation, some of the steps they were taking and the ongoing plan to demonstrate confidence and proactivity to international business event planners and attendees. At this stage, Singapore has reported 89 cases, but fortunately, no fatalities, although five are considered critical. Their cancellation rates for business events are eye-watering high, however there are active programmes in place to keep business ticking over to protect jobs and the economy.

Lisa Hopkins has taken some of the relevant information Aloyisus shared and adapted it slightly. Essentially the attached is a very high level overview on some of the practical steps PCO’s, Event organisers, venues and hotels can do from both a readiness perspective as well as in the event of large congregating public events. Each organisation will have their own specific approach, but I hope this will provide a framework to work from and consider.

The international buyers we met at AIME still see New Zealand as a low risk destination and a very good alternative to Asia, especially out of the USA. This was good to hear. However, we continue not to be complacent, vigilance is key and a push for more domestic business to fill any gaps left by international opportunities, remains high.


New Zealand Government & Ministry of Health Updates

21st March 2020
Please click here to view the COVID-19 Alert System.

16th March 2020
Please click here for the latest advice from the Ministry of Health.


Insurance Updates

20th March 2020
A note from Stu Hartley, EventCover:

"As the situation worsens with the news that events as small as 100+ people are cancelled, we are continuing to do everything we can to help our clients as well as the wider industry. 

For those who have their events insured through EventCover, we are hoping to be able to continue to insure their events that are able to reschedule. Whilst the loss or any additional costs aren't insured, we will do everything possible to continue to insure the new date for no additional premium. 

For those members who didn't have their event insured, I would still highly recommend taking out insurance for their reschedule events in the future. If anything, this pandemic has highlighted the fact that a full risk management strategy is a must."

For more information please contact Stu directly:, +64 27 570 0480

11th March 2020
Please click here to view Stu Hartley's, EventCover, blog on COVID-19


St John Updates

15th March 2020
Please click here for the latest advice from St John New Zealand for Event Organisers

14th March 2020
Please click here for the latest advice from St John New Zealand for Event Organisers

6th March 2020
Please click here for the latest advice from from St John New Zealand for Event Organisers.


Other Updates

13th March 2020
Please click here to watch Air New Zealand's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ben Johnston, answer common concerns around COVID-19.

Ministry of Health


St John Updates