VWOAP Profile Sarah Meikle at Market 01.jpg

2019 speaker




I'm lucky enough to be the CEO of the Wellington Culinary Events Trust and Festival Director of New Zealand's largest and tastiest culinary festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate (Visa WOAP). I’m also Event Director of Beervana, the Road to Beervana and Highball.

The WCET was formed in February 2014 with the principle objective "to promote Wellington city and region as the premium NZ food and beverage destination". This ensures that the trust’s focus is on a year-round proposition – building the Visa WOAP festival offering, attracting more out-of-town visitors to this now month-long event, and developing further opportunities to support Wellington’s culinary offer 365 days per year.

Helping "tell NZ’s food story" is hugely important to me and I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to speak to a number of conferences around the world sharing my thoughts and experiences on the role that food tourism plays in a country's branding and positioning. In this capacity, I am an Executive Member of Eat New Zealand, a collective of New Zealand's chefs, producers, media, tourism and event operators, who have all been inspired to create a national platform to promote and champion our best food, drink, and culinary tourism opportunities.

Prior to this I spent 6 1/2 years as GM, Marketing at Positively Wellington Tourism (now WREDA), one of the largest regional tourism organizations in NZ. I led a great team who market Wellington to the Wellington, domestic, Australian and International audiences, as well as being responsible for PWTs activities in marketing key events (including RWC 2011, WOW etc), Business Events, Digital & Social Media and the work that PWT did as part of the Destination Wellington programme.

Before working with PWT, I spent just under 10 years with Tourism NZ in operations and marketing roles in London and Wellington, as well as establishing their marketing offices in Mumbai and Dubai and undertaking market foundation work in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile) and South Africa.

Visit www.wcet.org.nz to find out more.