The annual National Maintenance Engineering Conference will be held in Hamilton in 2014.
As many of you already know, the event has an 11-year history of providing information and inspiration for engineering and manufacturing management and staff. It has prospered and developed in the face of economic pressures while other conferences have foundered.
The MENZ is a non-profit organisation charged with putting people together to achieve a better outcome for NZ Inc. The majority of attendees to the event do not have big budgets and we strive to remove cost barriers for delegates and exhibitors to attend and take part.
In times when budgets are tight right across industry, attendees see the value of what we are trying to achieve and respond with their support.
Even though I am writing this before the 2013 show has taken place, our last event in Rotorua has all the signs of being another success for all concerned.
But it was by far our toughest year to achieve targets for ‘bums on seats’. Our feedback clearly shows us that industry is going through a second economic dip and times are seriously tough out there.
Despite this, the MESNZ conference has grown in size and popularity, gaining status as the premium event in the market. For some years, we have grappled with the ability to expand, rapidly exhausting every location and venue we have used.
It is a balancing act; the central North Island is proven as the most desirable and convenient location, but we place a huge burden on the local resources with our distinct requirements.
We have to match the location with our desire to grow the event in the long term - well beyond the proportions experienced today. Rotorua is very dear to us and the local traction from the three-year association is evident, but ultimately, we have outgrown Rotorua’s capacity and must take the next step forward.
The decision has been made that our conference will move permanently to Hamilton. The 2014 event will be staged at the Kingsgate Hotel on 12-13 November, providing the first level of exhibition expansion while retaining onsite accommodation for attendees.
A number of international quality venues in the Hamilton region are earmarked as potential sites to cater for attendees, exhibitors and the general public.