Waikato Business News August/September 2023

Waikato Business News has for a quarter of a century been the voice of the region’s business community, a business community with a very real commitment to innovation and an ethos of cooperation.

Waikato Business News has for a quarter of a century been the voice of the region’s business community, a business community with a very real commitment to innovation and an ethos of cooperation.

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FIFA Women’s World Cup<br />

highlights positive power<br />

of events<br />

The success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia<br />

provides a copybook example of how well-run events can have a positive<br />

impact and leave a lasting legacy, says Aimee Tyson, Events Manager for<br />

Hamilton & <strong>Waikato</strong> Tourism.<br />

Hamilton hosted five<br />

matches as part of<br />

the tournament,<br />

attracting tens of thousands<br />

of fans who provided<br />

vibrancy and a welcome<br />

boost to tourism spend across<br />

<strong>Waikato</strong>. But beyond the<br />

economic benefits, the tournament<br />

also made a positive<br />

impact in a range of other<br />

areas, Tyson says.<br />

“It fostered inclusion<br />

and opened the door for<br />

important discussions around<br />

pay parity between male and<br />

female athletes. It encouraged<br />

environmental awareness<br />

through achievement of green<br />

building certification by all<br />

participating stadiums and<br />

initiatives like tree planting<br />

days for fans, and respect<br />

for and awareness of Māori<br />

culture through pōwhiri<br />

welcoming players and fans at<br />

matches in New Zealand.”<br />

Preparations for the<br />

tournament led to upgrades<br />

to the changing rooms of 30<br />

Meet in your own backyard!<br />

stadiums and community<br />

sporting facilities that hosted<br />

visiting teams, resulting<br />

in individual rather than<br />

communal showers and<br />

conversion of urinals into<br />

gender neutral bathroom<br />

facilities. Ultimately, this<br />

has created a more inclusive<br />

environment for many of our<br />

current and future female<br />

athletes, Tyson says.<br />

“The FIFA Women’s World<br />

Cup is massive but the way it<br />

was organised this year, with<br />

a commitment to leaving a<br />

legacy for New Zealand and<br />

Australia, is an example of<br />

how event planners of today<br />

are working to ensure their<br />

events can be a force for<br />

good.”<br />

Tyson says event managers<br />

and tourism operators alike<br />

are embracing regenerative<br />

tourism, a concept that is part<br />

of New Zealand’s Tourism<br />

Industry Transformation<br />

Plan. While turning a<br />

profit is important for the<br />

sustainability of any event,<br />

she says the industry is acutely<br />

aware that maintaining<br />

community support requires<br />

their events to contribute<br />

across all four well-beings<br />

– cultural, societal and<br />

environmental, as well as<br />

economic.<br />

This more enlightened<br />

thinking is becoming<br />

commonplace for events of all<br />

sizes, from sports events and<br />

music festivals to trade shows<br />

and conferences.<br />

“We’re seeing some<br />

impressive initiatives from<br />

conference organisers who<br />

are bringing their events<br />

to the <strong>Waikato</strong>. There’s a<br />

strong desire to celebrate and<br />

support host communities<br />

and conference organisers<br />

are putting huge efforts into<br />

offering low-carbon activities<br />

or options.”<br />

Rather than providing<br />

a bottle of wine or another<br />

conventional gift for a speaker<br />

at an event, some conference<br />

organisers are now expressing<br />

their thanks by donating to a<br />

local community group of the<br />

speaker’s choice, Tyson says.<br />

Other common initiatives<br />

include field trips to<br />

exchange knowledge or take<br />

part in activities such as<br />

tree planting, community<br />

engagement by international<br />

speakers who are attending<br />

events, and sourcing of food,<br />

drink and other supplies from<br />

the local region.<br />

Be a mighty local!<br />

The <strong>Waikato</strong> has award winning venues, unique attractions and a proven track record for<br />

delivering exceptional events.<br />

To book with a local supplier or to find out more visit meetwaikato.com<br />

With Covid-19<br />

restrictions<br />

behind us and<br />

what we hope<br />

will be a record<br />

event season<br />

heating up,<br />

Hamilton and<br />

<strong>Waikato</strong> are well<br />

placed to enjoy<br />

the benefits.

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