First events lined up for 2023 opening of major new NZ venue

The first events have been lined up for Wellington’s Takina exhibition and conference centre, which is on track to open in mid-2023.

One of the first events confirmed for Takina is Festival for the Future – a multi-day conference with more than 1200 delegates.

Work started on the venue in 2019. It will have 10,000sqm of conference space for up to 1600 people, a 2500 sqm exhibition floor, two large, flexible plenary halls and meeting rooms, and a gala dinner capacity of 1400 people.

It will also contain a ground floor public gallery and café space with two main entrances.

Festival for the Future founder Guy Ryan said: “The Festival is a showcase of what’s possible – of leadership and innovation for the big issues of our time. The opening of Takina is a really exciting opportunity to attract global talent, host powerful in-person experiences and showcase the best that Wellington has to offer.

“Covid has been crazy for the events sector. We transformed the Festival into a virtual summit that attracted attendees from 57 countries. Being amongst the first to book out Takina for 2023 gives us lead-up time to test hybrid experiences and bring the best of local and global together. We can’t wait.”

WellingtonNZ general manager David Perks said Takina will be a major asset for Wellington as New Zealand’s arts and creative capital. He commented: “Despite organisations being nervous about any future impacts of Covid-19, WellingtonNZ is receiving a steady stream of Tākina booking enquiries.

“They have been reassured to find that construction on Takina is on time, on budget and on track to provide something special in the capital.

“Wellington is expecting a very good 2021 in terms of hosting business events. The latest Tourism NZ industry research reveals 55 per cent of associations planning a conference next year plan to host it in Wellington.

“A number of clients who originally planned conferences in other destination for 2021 have stated access to government officials and Wellington’s central location as key reasons to move their conference to the Capital. We expect that interest to intensify as the opening of Takina nears.”