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May 13

An unexpected journey – finding new ways of communicating through a global pandemic

May 13 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

$18 – $40

13 May 2021 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

CPD credits: 4


The past year has been one of fluidity for all of us, especially for those working in tourism, events and hospitality. As New Zealand’s fifth largest tourism destination and home to some of New Zealand’s largest international tourism operators and events, the Hamilton Waikato region has faced adversity in many different ways over the past year, all while finding ways to pivot, innovate and communicate with key audiences.

Hear from local experts in the events, tourism and hospitality sectors about how they changed their business models overnight, pivoted their marketing and communications approach to reflect this, managed risks and reputation issues while keeping stakeholders engaged – all during a global pandemic. And now with the travel bubble open with Australia, the panel will give us insights into what this may look like for the region moving forward.


Jason Dawson, Chief Executive, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Jason has over 20 years’ experience as a transformational leader in business development, marketing, community engagement and communications within the public sector in the UK and New Zealand. Jason oversees the day-to-day running of the region’s tourism organisation, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism. Under Jason’s leadership the passionate team use destination marketing, business events, major events support and industry advocacy to increase domestic and international visitor numbers and their length of stay plus expenditure in the Mighty Waikato region.

Melissa Renwick, Owner of The Keg Room and Waikato Regional Manager, Hospitality New Zealand

Melissa is Waikato Regional Manager for Hospitality New Zealand, so spends much of her day talking with hospitality businesses throughout the region and supporting them through issues they’re facing. 

Mel’s career in hospitality has included five years working for one of the world’s leading hotels, a luxury property where service and standards were never compromised. Since 2011, Mel and her husband Andy moved into business ownership, with a dream of bringing memorable experiences to customers back in her hometown of Hamilton through their hospitality venues The Quadrant and The Key Room.   

Shayne Forrest, Deputy Chief Executive, Hobbiton Movie Set

Shayne’s career started as a business owner and actor before moving to Matamata and landing a role as a barista at the Hobbiton Movie Set in 2012. Since then he has worked his way through different areas of the business; as a food and beverage manager helping to set up The Green Dragon Inn, managing the café, shop and ticketing, before managing the marketing and commercial side.

Today Shayne is the General Manager for Marketing and Commercial and Deputy Chief Executive of the iconic movie set. New Zealand’s most popular international tourist attraction has seen expediential growth in visitor numbers over the years, growing from 150,000 visitors in 2012 to approximately 680,000 in 2019, before the international borders shut in 2020.

Taryn Storey, Head of Customer and Strategic Engagement, National Fieldays Society

Taryn has over 15 years’ experience in strategic marketing and communications leadership roles across large corporates, small business and not-for-profits. Taryn started her career in the construction industry and was appointed to the executive team by the age of 24.

More recently she has been heavily involved in the event strategy, communications and marketing and customer care for the New Zealand National Fieldays Society. In 2020 due to the cancellation of its flagship event Fieldays, Taryn spearheaded the virtual replacement of the event and is helping to lead the team in delivering this year’s hybrid onsite and online event to be held in June. 

This event is brought to you by PRINZ Waikato Committee.

Please log in here before purchasing a ticket so the system recognises your membership status. 

If you are a non-member, please create a login here before purchasing a non-member ticket. 

Drinks, nibbles and networking on arrival from 4:30 pm with the conversation beginning at 5:15 pm.

Free parking is available at Gates 1 and 2 off Cobham Drive.

Ticket prices are GST inclusive

Please be aware of PRINZ payment and cancellation policy.


May 13
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
$18 – $40
Event Tags:


Hamilton Gardens
Chartwell Room, Hungerford Crescent
Hamilton, Waikato 3216




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Member ticket to 'An unexpected journey' Waikato
$ 28.00
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Non-member ticket to 'An unexpected journey' Waikato
$ 40.00
14 available
Student member ticket to 'An unexpected journey' Waikato
$ 18.00
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