*2018 EVENT UPDATE*
- No Dunedin event for 2018.
- Wellington moved earlier to Easter (aka it’ll be warmer!)
- Tauranga Returns for 2018!
- Christchurch now in June on Queen’s Birthday.
Every time we hold an event, we ensure that we review feedback, gauge customer and exhibitor responses and meet with our venues to see how we can improve elements within the show.
With this years Wellington expo, we made significant changes to the stage layout, allowing us to add new elements to the event, some worked and some didn’t, but our primary problem with the Wellington venue has always been the weather, and holding the event in June, whilst ideal for the long weekend, doesn’t give us many options if it is cold, which we encountered this year. Following the event, we have been looking at alternative venue options, firstly looking at the ASB Sports Arena, which whilst large enough, was not prepared for an expo and could not accommodate us. Then we reviewed the TSB Arena and to see if that was potentially possible, but due to several factors, size, availability, cost and more, it is simply not a viable venue for the event any more, as the show has expanded to twice the size it was when last at the TSB Six years ago (yes, its been six years!).
Turning back to the Westpac Stadium, whilst we will be making some changes (listed below), the weather is something we cannot alter. Thus, we have been working with the venues around the country and have made the decision to move the Wellington event dates to Easter (March 30-April 1st) when the temperature is at least 4° warmer on average (at least 18°). This effects all our other regional shows and thus, after much consultation and discussion, the NEW show dates for 2018 will be as follows:
Wellington – Easter – March 30th to April 1st (Good Friday to Easter Sunday)
Tauranga – May 26/27th
Christchurch – Queens Birthday – June 2-4th
Auckland – Labour Weekend – October 19-22nd
This will centre the events over the three main holiday weekends for 2018 and opens options for bigger promotion and attendance.
Due to the date changes for Wellington and Christchurch, this effects the Dunedin event the most, in particular due to sporting and other events scheduled, we cannot procure the venue on the dates needed which makes running the Dunedin expo unmanageable for 2018. We will be revisiting this for 2019, but at this stage there will be no Dunedin event for 2018.
Changes planned for each event:
– Removal of the alley blocking the complete circle of the event for easier access around the show.
– Closing most of the internal entry doors to keep the temperature constant (some will still be open).
– Blowers at the main doors for extra heating.
– Moving the main stage up and under the canopy, using scaffolding for this area.
– Opening the level three bar and rooms for cosplayers and attendees.
– An E-Sports arena near the main entry.
– Giant Easter Egg Hunt on the Sunday morning.
– Featured Harry Potter guest (TBC)
The primary reason to partner these events together is that they are very similar in size and guest requirements. This will help us to promote them equally and plan entertainment options.
With Tauranga, we are looking at additional entertainment options to really fill every area within the show, more artist and collectors areas, displays and events.
For Christchurch, the expansion to three days over Queens Birthday should increase attendance and allow us options for greater gaming and entertainment within the event.
We have already booked a Supergirl guest for these events and are working on other talent.
As the Expo continues to evolve and grow we must try new things, the above is an example of that. We’re confident that these changes will improve the events greatly. So… onwards and upwards to 2018!