- The 2020 Queenstown conference focuses on regeneration and supporting the local economy
- Instead of the traditional conference dinner, delegates were encouraged to eat at local restaurants
- The conference was an opportunity to hear stories about the meaningful impact Chartered Accountants have made to both business and the community
Around 300 people, including delegates’ partners, event organisers and sponsors were in the southern tourist town for the two-day conference held in early November, injecting an estimated $100,000 into the region's hospitality sector, over and above what would be spent in ‘normal’ conference years.
“When we were organising the conference this year we were very aware of how hard Queenstown businesses had been hit by the pandemic. We quickly decided to shake things up to ensure the conference maximised our support for local businesses,” said Peter Vial FCA, New Zealand Country Head for CA ANZ.
“One decision was to spread the love and not hold the traditional conference dinner at the event venue and encourage people to go out on the town and eat at local restaurants, bars and vineyards.
”Prize packs of local products and experience vouchers were also given to delegates in a prize draw, instead of the usual delegate bags.
The majority of delegates also booked their accommodation in the Queenstown area.
The conference theme was “Regenerate Aotearoa”. Speakers included Dominick Stephens, Westpac Chief Economist; Doug Avery founder of Resilient Farmer and Kirsten Patterson, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors.
“A panel discussion on regeneration that I took part in with Kirsten and New Zealand Councillor John Schol delivered positive, albeit realistic messaging, about the challenges ahead for the country,” said Vial.
John Schol CA, CA ANZ’s Southern Regional Councillor and based in Invercargill, said it was wonderful to see how everyone at the conference embraced the idea of supporting Queenstown.
“I’ve seen first-hand how tough it has been for some Queenstown businesses over the past eight or so months and I’m well aware that for many, every little bit will make a difference.”
“I am proud of how our members from across the region have supported and served their community. It is wonderful to hear individual stories about the meaningful impact Chartered Accountants have made to both business and the community.
“To now have their out-of-town colleagues travelling to the region, and supporting the wider economy, adds a nice element of solidarity.”
The Queenstown conference had its 25th event last year and has been a mainstay event for Chartered Accountants in the southern half of the South Island, though once again it attracted delegates from around the South Island and the North Island.
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