H3 rolls out the welcome mat for events once again


The H3 team are thrilled to be welcoming all events back to its venues following the lifting of capacity restrictions.

Melissa Williams, H3’s Business Development and Sales Manager – Business Events, says it has been fantastic to see people so keen to reconnect and do business in person once again.

“While technology is great when we can’t physically be together, nothing beats meeting and doing business in person. Building relationships face to face, being able to read each other’s body language and making real in-person connections are so important to life and business.”

Melissa says H3 has been hosting a steady stream of business events across its three venues – Claudelands, FMG Stadium Waikato and Seddon Park – since restrictions began lifting, including several hybrid events under the earlier capacity limits.

“In March we had two award functions take place at Claudelands using a hybrid event model where the clients hosted a group of up to 100 at our venue and then used livestreams to connect to other groups of attendees at different venues. While it isn’t always the event organisers’ first choice to operate this type of model, it is great to see people’s willingness to adapt and embrace solutions like this to ensure events can still go ahead under various restrictions,” she says.

“Moving forward, this type of livestream technology will definitely still have a place – things like livestreaming keynote speakers from other parts of New Zealand or overseas when their schedules don’t allow them to physically be at an event really does open up a world of possibilities for event organisers.

“Not only that but being able to virtually connect to international guest speakers or delegates instead of flying them in from around the globe is also a great option from a sustainability perspective.”

Since the removal of all restrictions, Melissa says she has been delighted to see H3’s business event calendar quickly filling up once again with a range of events, from smaller meetings through to larger conferences and functions.

The last couple of weeks were particularly busy for Claudelands, with the 800-plus delegate Water New Zealand Conference on 25-26 May, followed closely by the Hospice Waikato and Montana Food and Events Bucket List Banquet in Globox Arena on 27 May. The 800-plus delegate NZ Veterinary Association Conference is also taking place on 20-22 June.

“While it can be challenging to hold large events like these so close together it is incredibly rewarding too, particularly after the challenges of the past couple of years,” she says.

“One of the positives we’re taking out of Covid-19 is our ability to adapt, learn and grow. We’ve been able to reopen our doors with a greater sense of confidence and an enhanced level of care for clients, as we know everyone has been through a lot recently and we’re ready to help them in whatever way we can to return to business in the easiest, safest way possible.”

The H3 team can support clients every step of the way with their events – from selecting the perfect space and determining the best room setup, to ensuring they have the equipment needed, and the perfect catering to complement it all.

Melissa Williams, H3 Business Development and Sales Manager – Business Events.

H3’s trusted food and service partner Montana Food and Events also spent the past few months reimagining their menu range and are welcoming back clients with exciting new options.

Key changes include a new customer-centric menu structure, seasonal chef recommendations and more plant-based, café-style and light finger food options, as well as the introduction of sensory cooking experiences and specialised ‘signature dishes’ made with ingredients sourced from local suppliers – dubbed ‘Montana Makers’.

“The new sensory cooking experiences add a special point of difference to events, as they involve a range of different methods such as barbecuing and smoking on site which stimulates all the senses. Guests can see, hear and smell the dishes being prepared, they can literally feel the heat off the cooking equipment and chat to the chefs, and then they get to treat their taste buds to an amazing meal at the end of it. This option can provide such a memorable point of difference for events,” says Melissa.

“The Montana Makers initiative is also very exciting as it enables signature ingredients to be traced back to local farms throughout the region. Not only does this help guarantee the freshness of the ingredients but the improved traceability and reduction in food miles aligns perfectly with H3’s ongoing focus on sustainability.”



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