Cameraman puts the focus on conferences


A Queenstown man plans to capitalise on the lucrative conference industry with a unique business venture. 

Cameraman and cinematographer Ben Ruffell has set up Queenstown Conference Video – a service that provides filming for corporate events, conferences and incentive programmes. 

The Wakatipu is fast becoming a hotspot for the conference industry, and is expected to grow even more if a proposed convention centre goes ahead in Queenstown. 

It’s common for corporate clients holding conferences to request their event be filmed, or promotional videos made from it. 

Ruffell says: “I could see an opportunity to provide an easy-to-use service that offers just one video product, and does that one thing very well. The crew we use have been filming conferences and incentive programs in Queenstown for many years. 

“This new business will bring the experienced crew together and give our clients a simple, single point of contact. 
We’ll make booking a camera crew easy for the conference market,” he says. 

“Booking camera crew can sometimes be confusing if you are not experienced with the industry. We are offering a professional service with upfront costs and no hidden charges.” 

Ruffell has successfully established a name for himself in the local film and video industry during the past 10 years. 

“This new business is a very different product from my work as a cinematographer, and although I will not be the person operating the camera at the event, I’ll be the person hiring the crew, providing the equipment and co-ordinating with the client to ensure a consistent product at a transparent price.” 

Meanwhile, the Govern­ment has again signalled it’ll heavily invest in the lucrative conference market over the next few years. 

In a pre-Budget statement, Prime Minister John Key last Sunday said $34 million will be spent during the next four years to expand a nationwide focus on international business events, conferences and conventions. 

Queenstown’s own plan­­­­ned convention centre, likely to be on council-owned Lakeview land at the top of Man Street, is proposed to be a $50m facility with capacity for 750-800 delegates. 

Queenstown Lakes District Council has selected a preferred consortium led by major property players Ngai Tahu Property and Morrison & Co PIP Fund – and to be operated by Auckland-based casino conglomerate SkyCity Entertainment Group.