Water New Zealand Conference & Expo

2005 – Present

Client: Water New Zealand

Location: Various locations around New Zealand

This Conference has been running for 63 years, throughout the years it has grown, initially only being the technical programme and then over the years including an expo to become just as important as the expo.

The Conference is a three-day event, with plenary sessions, six stream programme, 194 expo stands, which sells out within 10 minutes. In the most recent years a preconference workshop has also been included to cover more content the day before which is well attended. 

What has become an event, is the Conference dinner and awards, for the last few years we have had well known New Zealanders as the dinner entertainment and the dinner has always sold out.


Having an event that is growing every year, currently there is only one venue in New Zealand that can host this conference, we are outgrowing this space and there are challenges which comes with this. The expo sells out within 10 minutes, with a larger waitlist, the dinner has had to move to the arena to cater for everyone and with such a large attendee list most chose to register right before the plenary creating large lines before the powhiri, we have encouraged with incentives to get attendees registering before ‘8am’ which have helped. 

We oversee the entire Conference and project plan from start to finish, re-creating the branding, website, setting up the call for abstracts working with the programme and technical committee to establish the draft programme. Managing the speakers, organising the invited and keynote speakers and their travel requirements. Working with the exhibition company and venue to finalise the expo floor plan and creating the expo booking portal. Manging registrations, creating the registrations page, dealing with any queries or changes. Overseeing suppliers, venue management and supervising the Conference onsite. 

This project often involves additional services above and beyond original scope, such as an additional day workshop, a rebrand and an extra networking function. Being flexible is in an event manager’s DNA (and just as well with COVID-19!) and for minor out-of-scope additions we incorporate these into the project plan. For larger additions we work with the client to rescope delivery and add extra resource if required to ensure delivery standards are maintained. 

We like to deliver beyond expectations, but this was particularly apparent in 2020 (and now in 2021-22). It is a challenge to navigate events in a pandemic, particularly those whose revenue contributes a major portion to the organisation’s operational budget.  

We have made it our priority to implement health and safety regimen into our event planning in conjunction with the NZ Health and Safety at Work Act. We are constantly communicating health and safety process and protocols to all contractors and sub-contractors in the lead up, onsite and throughout the event. We have a robust system of ensuring everyone onsite is signed in and has had the correct Health and Safety Induction before any work is undertaken.

We work hard at Avenues Event Management to deliver every time, with this Conference being an annual event we try to tackle the challenge at making it a little different every time. We work hard to deliver a success full programme, exhibition, and social functions for all.