Aim to lift level of conference delivery in NZ

Dunedin’s Ali Copeman, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand Approved Professional Conference...
Dunedin’s Ali Copeman, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand Approved Professional Conference Organiser Group chairwoman, in front of the Dunedin stand at Meetings in Auckland yesterday. Photo: David Loughrey.
Former Otago Chamber of Commerce president Ali Copeman plans to take the quality of conference delivery in New Zealand to a new level.

Ali Copeman was at Meetings in Auckland this week in her new role as Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Approved Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) Group chairwoman.

Ms Copeman has taken on the role as the business conference industry booms.

Acting Prime Minister and tourism minister Paula Bennett told Meetings  on Thursday the industry was going through "a fantastic time at the moment".

"Make the most of it."

Ms Copeman, who owns  akB Conference Management in Dunedin, said the group she represented had "stagnated" in the past few years.

She planned to give it a voice in the industry.

She said there were 17 CINZ-approved PCOs in New Zealand.

Each went through an annual "rigorous process" to meet the criteria of being a PCO. That included meeting financial requirements and abiding by a code of ethics.

They also had to have code compliance, insurance and health and safety issues under control.

CINZ received feedback from clients about their experience with PCOs.

Ms Copeman said part of her goal was to get the PCO group out of the period of stagnation.

The group had not been active enough in pushing the importance of using a CINZ-approved PCO.

She planned to develop a system similar to Registered Master Builders, which worked  to develop high standards in that industry.

That would involve a "guarantee logo" that would show clients they were working with quality conference organisers.

Ms Copeman said that idea was agreed to at a meeting of the group on Thursday.

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