New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards (NZ Hi-Tech Awards)
Breaking borders and barriers with a virtual option.
For nearly 30 years, New Zealand’s annual Hi-Tech awards has showcased the best and brightest technology talent, projects, companies, and progress that $9 billion dollar Aotearoa sector has to offer.
About NZ Hi-Tech Awards
In 2009, the NZ Hi-Tech Trust was established to advance the growth and success of the industry through an awards and education programme. Attendees including tech executives, venture capital companies, and dignitaries including New Zealand’s Prime Minister consistently attend the event which has now become one of the largest and most entertaining corporate events in the country.
Hosted at the Te Pae Convention Centre in Christchurch, the 2023 event was the first real post-covid return of the tech community under one roof. With only 1,200 physical seats available in a South Island city, Shift72 approached David Downs, CEO of the NZ Hi-Tech Trust, to extend the event’s reach and open it up to the entire country.
Optimising the virtual experience for national audiences
The transition to a virtual event was about more than just online streaming. It was about recreating the same energy, enthusiasm, and engagement in a digital format that the physical event offered. By partnering with the event production company, Swaytech run by Bob Pinchin, Shift72 was able to provide its live streaming services to ensure an interactive and immersive virtual conference; replicating the in-person experience for office party nominees and families and friends at home while adding the convenience of participation from any corner of the world.
Florian’s first experience with the Nippon Connection was in 2012 as a film studies student at the University of Frankfurt in 2012. By distributing through a university campus, the attendance captured the coveted 18-35 demographic where it began to seed the cultural interests of a group that would be around for generations to come. By 2013, Nippon Connection moved to a marquee cultural centre; expanding its audience demographic from university students to retirement aged and everything in between. In most cases, it introduced an audience to a new genre of film that they had never seen before.
“Shifting the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards to a live streaming platform was a massive step for the New Zealand event space. It was incredible to witness the extended reach of the event as we gave attendees and organizations who would traditionally be unable to attend due to geographic obstacles the chance to experience the event firsthand. We facilitated a seamless transition from a traditional, location-bound ceremony to an expansive, global virtual event. Thanks to the virtual platform, we were able to expand the in-person event by over 30% while enabling office parties to celebrate their nominations, awards, and friends together.”
David White, Founder & CEO, Shift72
A new norm for events
Live streaming has long been a component of successful events. From the Canadian Cinema partnerships with the New York Met Opera, to the Academy Awards, to sports watched at home, the ability to engage in entertainment and celebration in person and at home connects audiences, customers, and brand loyalists on a global level. The New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards has morphed itself into a pioneering experience connecting all of Aotearoa under a single domain; bridging the geographical boundaries to exhibit New Zealand's technological innovations to the world.
The transition to a virtual platform did not just meet expectations; it exceeded them. Revenue generated from the event skyrocketed, thanks to increased participation, sponsorships, and the capacity to cater to a larger audience. The seamless integration of the physical event experience into a virtual setting proved beneficial under its own branded platform, setting a precedent for future events.
“Thanks to our mates at Shift72, the NZ Hi-Tech Awards website has a fancy-pants new streaming section! It’s like Netflix for nerds, check it out! We will host our content, highlight reels, company profiles, etc. here – AND if you missed out on a ticket to the hottest event of the year, the 2023 Hi-Tech Awards in Otautahi Christchurch, you can watch it LIVE…”
David Downs, CEO, Board Chair, NZ Hi-Tech Trust
LOOKING FORWARD: THE FUTURE OF THE AWARDS
Moving forward, integrating a virtual platform for the Awards continues to create a blueprint for future events. The blend of in-person and virtual participation is expected to continue. The convenience, accessibility, and expanded audience that virtual events offer are too significant to ignore.
By integrating Shift72's live streaming services, the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards demonstrated how to successfully leverage technology to adapt, survive, and thrive, ensuring that they continue to recognize and celebrate technological innovation on a truly global scale.