Tourism students from Dunedin’s Otago Polytechnic received first-hand insights into the business events sector last week.
The 20 students were hosted by industry association, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) at its annual conference in Dunedin, October 24 to 26.
Helen Geytenbeek, tourism/hospitality lecturer at the College of Enterprise and Development at Otago Polytechnic NZ said the event created valuable links for them between theory and practice.
“Attending the CINZ Conference was an exciting opportunity for our students to participate in thought-provoking sessions on relevant topics, and to meet leaders in this field.
“This was the first time some of them experienced a conference plenary session, and it promised to be a real learning curve for them,” she said.
The 20 students are qualifying for the New Zealand Diploma in Tourism and Travel (Level 5) at Otago Polytechnic. One full year of study contributes to the first year of the Bachelor of Applied Management.
Their ‘Tourism in Action’ paper includes learning to design and develop a business concept, and to analyse and critique the application of processes in tourism business ventures.
“We are focusing on the MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Events) industry in this paper, to expose them to the business-based side of the tourism industry. They will put together a business plan, organise and participate in an event, volunteer in a conference, event or festival, and critique the experiences.”
Kim Dodds, business development manager at Dunedin Venues Management said Dunedin Venues’ successful relationship with Otago Polytechnic continues to grow across many areas of its business.
“Currently we employ five graduates in our event coordination and turf management teams. Working with Otago Polytechnic we are identifying innovative initiatives benefiting not only organisations, but also the students and city of Dunedin too.”
More than 140 CINZ members including owners and managers of key venues, catering companies, accommodation providers, activity operators and regional convention bureaux met at the Dunedin Centre and Town Hall on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 October.
Keynote speakers included Deborah Sexton, CEO and President of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) who focussed on international trends, and Holly Ransom global strategist, looking at intergenerational planning.