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Ignite Wānaka Chamber of Commerce beefs up events calendar for businesses

Ignite Wānaka Chamber of Commerce beefs up events calendar for businesses

Wānaka and Upper Clutha businesses are set to benefit from a range of educational and networking events launched by Ignite Wānaka Chamber of Commerce today.

The Ignite Wānaka board has recently signed off on its events-led strategy, which includes a stronger focus on partnerships, listening, as well as continuing to support the local business community.

The strategy – which supports Ignite Wānaka’s vision of a dynamic, innovative, diverse and prosperous business community – seeks to empower business owners and their teams through collaboration, inspiration, advocacy and recognition.

Events are designed to connect, support and provide professional development and are a mix of free and paid fixtures. Dates and venues are currently being finalised. They include:

  • Regular workshops and training to grow member capability
  • Continuation of the popular Wānaka Women in Business series, including the addition of three lunches during the year
  • The Ignite Wānaka Business Awards are confirmed to take place as planned in 2021 (details announced soon)
  • A new Leadership Academy (due to start in October/November 2021). This is designed to nurture future leaders through a five-week, one-day-per-week academy, with facilitation and mentoring from key regional leaders
  • A new biennial expo and speaker event is being explored – provisionally to be held in April 2022
  • Return of the popular Speed Networking event
  • Introduction of Thought Leadership Breakfast Series to inspire and connect business leaders
  • Monthly listening events with board members to hear from members about their challenges and successes

The Chamber will continue to listen to the local business community through surveys and 1:1 engagements, with advocacy also being a core focus.

Ignite Wānaka board chair Andrew ‘Howie’ Howard says the board has spent the past few months reviewing the strategy to ensure the focus accurately reflects the impact of Covid-19.

“As a result of Covid-19, it’s been important to sense-check what businesses’ needs are currently,” he says. “Our top priority is to assist with the recovery and rebuild of our local economy – and we see our focus on events as a positive way of enabling our businesses to get through this together, ultimately resulting in a stronger, more diversified economy,” he says.

The focus on events coincides with the launch of a brand-new partnership programme, designed to help local members become more involved to support, grow and connect the business community.

The Chamber is seeking support from local businesses to get behind the programme, which will help deliver the ambitious events-led strategy and provide the community with a strong line-up of events over the next year, Ignite Wānaka executive officer Naomi Lindsay says.

“Based on feedback from members, the expanded partnership programme includes new opportunities, from volunteering of time to help with events or training, sponsoring a membership, becoming a workshop delivery partner, through to naming sponsor of key events,” Lindsay says.

Partnership programme details, opportunities and inclusions can be viewed here.

Ignite Wānaka board members are: Andrew ‘Howie’ Howard, Celia Crosbie (vice chair), Claire Dooney, Emma Kenny, Jo Learmonth, Bridget Legnavksy, John Metzger and Bronwyn McCarthy. QLDC Deputy Mayor Calum McLeod is ex-officio.


For more information, please contact:
Ignite Wānaka Chamber of Commerce board chair Andrew ‘Howie’ Howard
P: 021 037 5121

Celia Crosbie
Written by Celia Crosbie
Celia is an award-winning former journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.