Marketing Professionals Bay of Plenty (MOPED) is moving into a new phase with closer links to the Auckland-based Marketing Association of New Zealand, including plans for shared video-conferenced events.
"Our main objective is to ensure high calibre speakers are brought to the Bay in a forum to provide learning opportunities on the latest marketing practices, insights, marketing support, and other relevant topics of enquiry for our members," said chairman Grant Jeffrey, who is managing director of Kiwifruitz.
Mr Jeffrey said the Bay organisation had strengthened ties with the Marketing Association, and the relationship was continuing to evolve.
"We are planning to hold a teleconferenced breakfast here in Tauranga linking with one of Auckland's key events, using the chamber's video facilities."
Marketing Association chief executive Michael Pryor said his organisation was increasingly finding that partnering with other parties to help us produce courses or events was a far more flexible way to work.
"It also means we get valuable local knowledge or partner input into the design of programmes to suit the audience," he said.
" The opportunity to trial and extend a few of our initiatives by working in collaboration with MOPED is the perfect way to learn more about what marketers and businesses in the Bay could access from us, and they can better inform us of their specific needs."
MOPED was the brainchild of Taura Natural Ingredients' then marketing manager Amy Wright, and began in 2012 on an informal basis to fill a networking gap in the Bay for marketing professionals.
"2014-15 is really where we got the momentum going," said Mr Jeffrey. "At that point we were able to bring our sponsors on board. The key objective is to create a forum that provides opportunities to learn about the latest marketing practices and insights."
The organisation's growing popularity was indicated by the 22 per cent growth in its LinkedIn database and the 34 per cent rise in its email database since 2013.
The group has about 140 members and average attendance at events has risen to 37. The group's main activity has been attracting senior-level speakers, mostly from the corporate world, to share New Zealand and global marketing experiences, he said.
Last year's speakers included Chris O'Hara, Trustpower, Prof David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing, Imperial College London and Teresa Ciprian, director and international business development advisor.
"We are well underway with planning for 2015 year and are looking to hold up to six events and possibly a master class seminar," said Mr Jeffrey, adding MOPED was targeting speakers from Kimberley Clarke, Christchurch Airport and Pumpkin Patch.