Simply The Best!

The NZSDA Sign Makers Queenstown Conference for 2022 was simply one of the best events held for our members for quite some time. It was an anticipated event, with many members just holding out to reconnect with peers, and like-minded Signees from throughout New Zealand. The success of this event was made possible by the many variables that impacted the past few years, whether it was the long break in-between conferences, COVID, lockdowns, financial hardships or sicknesses, all contributed towards the success of coming together to reconnect, to get inspired and get motivated.

The Welcome Event was a highlight for many as we took a journey across the lake to Walter Peak Station for a feast that was fit for a king! There were many 2nd and 3rd helpings that evening and many full bellies to satisfy. To end the evening many gathered down on the lake front where a bonfire was lit, sitting around the fire chewing the fat and roasting marshmallows.

The Big Day Out was our first day of conference which was simply a jump on, jump off multi-stop conference day full of fun activities and inspiring talks from venue hosts. The day began with a game of Curling which set the scene for some friendly banter and competition, then onto the next few stops where the owners shared some awesome inspiring talks on how they are navigating the sustainable journey their own way in their industry. There was plenty of talk on how they are pivoting their businesses to accommodate the changes in the market and economy, about forward thinking and taking risks and lastly, finding a point of difference to stand out. To wrap up the day, it ended with a bit of fun at The Ice Bar and Little Blackwood’s where they hosted us in their two venues, one at -8 degrees in a very chilly ice box filled with many carved ice sculptures including our own conference logo, and the other a tiny back street cocktail bar packed to the brim of chatter and live music until the early evening.

The final day of conference was to say the less, just so inspiring. Beginning with the Industry Advantage which was hosted by our key sponsors and suppliers that gave an overview of their sustainable journey, why they began, what they can offer and what difference it will make now and in the future. All actively doing their bit to clean up our industry. To follow was one out of the box game changer, Justine Troy who spoke about her life moments that changed the way people preserved her and her business ideas that were pioneering at the time. Key message was, don’t be afraid to take risks. Our final event for conference was our inspirational keynote speaker, Mark Inglis that brought so much emotion into the room. What one man’s determination and positive mindset can change is simply mind blowing. Mark’s key message was always look for the positive in a negative, there is always one. Conference concluded at midday, as all prepared for the night ahead at the NZ Sign Display Awards Evening at the Skyline.

What a night as it began right on dusk with a spectacular display of fire dancers, bubbles & beer were handed to guests on arrival as they hitched a ride up in the gondola to the top of the Skyline where they were met and greeted by a 7-foot James Bond and his lady on stilts. More bond characters and villains engaged with the guests as they mingled through the sea of anticipating and excited signees waiting to see what the night ahead may bring in celebrations. Ben Hurley the MC held us all to attention as he began the evenings run of events announcing the first category and speedily whizzed through the awards without a hitch. Ben’s manner and sense of humour was outstanding, his performance had everyone in fits of laughter too many times that our bellies hurt … Now to acknowledge the outstanding efforts many went to with their entries this year. The quality of craftmanship was next level, the judges found it very difficult to judge this year as there were so many deserving winners and pleasing to see quite a few new entrants this year. The transparency and clarification on how the judges judge the entries was welcomed by all and only sets a president for future events to come. There were some changes made with some of the categories, some we combined, others were removed, and a few new ones added. The judges believed that it is important that we keep re-assessing the categories to reflect the way sign making is done now and in the future. Overall the feedback was epic, positive and rewarding, we really believe that we delivered on what we promised, even if there was an small matter of an “unexpected outcome” that everyone came away with!

View all images taken over Conference 2022 HERE