Singers choose city for event

Another conference, this time expected to attract 500 people and $750,000, has been added to an increasingly busy Dunedin events calender.

The 32nd Sweet Adelines New Zealand convention and competition - a gathering of female a cappella barbershop-style singers - has been announced for the Dunedin Town Hall and Dunedin Centre complex next April.

It will be the first time it has come to the city.

Dunedin has experienced a recent boost in a conference and events tourism market that earns the city about $55million a year.

Enterprise Dunedin business events adviser Bree Jones said the convention and competition highlighted the diversity of events Dunedin was getting.

"It's not always about big academic conferences. We host a huge variety throughout the year.

"It's great.''

Sweet Adelines New Zealand is a member of Sweet Adelines International, a non-profit organisation of about 27,000 members in choruses and quartets worldwide.

The Dunedin group is the Dunedin Harmony Chorus, and its marketing officer, now regional convention chairwoman Clare Pascoe, said the event was usually held in the North Island.

A clash of events in Auckland meant an opportunity for Dunedin.

"We thought this is a good opportunity to have it close to home.''

The quality of the city's conference facilities, which were upgraded at a cost of more than $45million, completed in 2013, helped,

"We had to say 'Yes, we can do it','' Mrs Pascoe said.

"We have got the facilities that we need.

"he stage has to be big enough, and not every area has a stage big enough.

"We know we've got an amazing town hall and it will be wonderful to show it off.''

Choruses and quartets from around New Zealand competed at the event, and at the same time a regional meeting was held.

The $750,000 figure was calculated by Enterprise Dunedin, using a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment calculation.

Mrs Pascoe said people at the event would spend money staying in hotels and motels, shopping and on food.

The majority would arrive on Thursday and leave on the Sunday.

"I'll certainly be trying to encourage people to come earlier and do some sightseeing.''


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