Auckland wins 7 Experiences Summit

09 May, 2023
Auckland wins 7 Experiences Summit

Hundreds of academics and professionals are expected to converge on Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland from November 28 – December 1 for the fourth annual 7 Experiences Summit. The summit focuses on sustainable and transformative experience design to benefit both consumers and businesses.

The event has been made possible with the support of the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), a division of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, and Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team.

Hosted by Auckland University of Technology’s (AUT) School of Hospitality and Tourism, this is the first time the event will be held in Aotearoa New Zealand.

It is expected to bring together around 200 delegates and deliver an estimated economic benefit of $440,000 to Auckland.

Summit Co-Chair and AUT Senior Lecturer, Sandra Goh, says the international conference will bring experience experts together – researchers and professionals in experience design from all sectors including creative industries, hospitality, tourism and information technology.

“There are many people who design experiences that might not consider themselves ‘experience designers’, from event producers to artists, engineers, brand managers, computer scientists, architects, educators and many more,” she says.

“This summit gives us all the chance to collaborate on new ideas about what transformational or extraordinary experience is, and what it should be for individuals and organisations recovering from the effects of the pandemic.”

AUT Senior Lecturer Sandra Goh standing arms folded and smiling.


Dr Goh says that since COVID, consumer expectations have changed with experience providers now facing a different type of competition.

“To compete, we need to value not only experiences that we could give people, but we also need to consider how those experiences could help people with their desire to be transformed.”

Head of the ACB, Ken Pereira, says: “This is an exceptional win for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Not only can we host the discussion on how to make tourism experiences more transformative and sustainable in the future, but we can also showcase the incredible experiences here that are leading the way.”

Attendees will also get to experience seven of Auckland and New Zealand’s exceptional social experiences: a whale and dolphin safari on the Hauraki Gulf; a tour of special effects studio Wētā Workshop Unleashed, a trip to the interactive All Blacks Experience, a Māori cultural experience at a local marae, an Auckland Harbour Bridge climb, taste-testing New Zealand’s world-famous wine, plus a trip to the Hobbiton Movie set in neighbouring Waikato.

As well as workshopping ideas and releasing new research, the summit will have a Mini Experience Fair to showcase experiential products and services.

Keynote speaker Professor Virpi Roto of Aalto University in Finland is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction, including with how artificial intelligence can be made to serve people.

User experience (UX) is one of the biggest research topics in experience research, says Professor Roto, one of the top-cited researchers in the field.

“Companies have noticed the importance of good user experience, but there is little knowledge in technology companies on how to design for good UX.

“I’ve found that the design of UX has much to learn from, and to share with, other disciplines, for example those that design patient experiences, tourist experiences, sensory experiences and learner experiences.”

Other keynote speakers include: conservation architect, cultural ambassador, and placemaker Aishwarya Tipnis; inclusive tourism entrepreneur and advocate Jezza Williams; Professor of Experience Design and Management, Matthew Duerden, of Brigham Young University; Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director at Turku Design Studio, Young Se Kim, of the University of Turku, and Professor of Experience Design, TEDx speaker, Barbara Neuhofer, from Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, Austria. Selected research presented at the conference will be published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research and The Service Industries Journal, the supporting journals for the 7 Experiences Summit.

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