The Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 (SEWF 2017) – hosted by the Ākina Foundation and organised by New Zealand professional conference organiser Conference Innovators – was awarded second place in the Best Conference category by a panel of international events industry experts.
The Eventex Global Event Awards recognise event professionals across the globe for their accomplishments in producing cutting-edge event experiences. This year a record 150 entries from more than 35 countries were received across the award categories.
SEWF 2017 was judged runner up to the Plenary Session of the Criteo Summit 2017, a gathering in the South of France for 2,700 guests, with Engage Prague 2017 in third place.
Tracey Thomas, Director of Conference Innovators, said: “We were up against some pretty stiff competition, some very innovative global events. To think that Christchurch, and Conference Innovators, are in that league is a massive achievement. It’s extremely gratifying. We’re really chuffed.
“Everyone was really proud of this event. It was one of the coolest jobs Conference Innovators has organised, and one of the most challenging logistically, spanning seven different Christchurch venues. It really felt special, pulling together a wide range of organisations involved in the social enterprise community. It shows that Christchurch, and New Zealand, is capable of delivering a truly world-class international event.”
SEWF 2017 took place 27-29 September 2017, welcoming more than 1,600 delegates from 28 countries to Christchurch, and reaching more than 5,000 people through online and social media platforms. The overall experience was rated as excellent or good by 93% of delegates. The six-stream content programme took place across multiple venues, including the Isaac Theatre Royal, The Piano, Art Gallery and Christchurch City Council headquarters.
Highlights included the Transitional City Stream, incorporating tours of Christchurch’s local social enterprise businesses. The city, which is rebuilding architecturally, environmentally, economically and socially following the 2011 earthquakes, proved a model host for investigating ways communities can innovate and build a positive, sustainable future.
ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau Manager Caroline Blanchfield added: “Christchurch is the ideal destination to share innovative approaches, such as social enterprise, through conferencing. Conferences attract high-value visitors to our city and are a fantastic way to grow our knowledge economy while showcasing Christchurch as a sought-after conference destination.”