Meet the Team

Successfully serving the conference industry since 1991, Conferences & Events have an experienced team of professionals to ensure delivery of a first class event.

We are a medium sized company with a national presence. Our team is large enough to cover changes in staff and small enough for us to work closely together and add another level of experience and support to each member of our team.

The Conference Manager is the main point of contact for the organising committee; managing meetings, juggling agendas and smoothing the way with advice, support and attention to detail.

Your Conference Manager will capture the conference vision, be proactive and ensure that the overall picture and all the details are brought together to smooth the way for the steering committee and present your organisation and conference in the best possible way.

Get in touch. We love to talk about conferences!


Janet Matheson

Managing Director CEM

Janet entered the world of conferencing in London in the 1970s.  She established C&E in 1990 and with decades of experience, enjoys supporting and mentoring her dedicated team and representing the company.  Her role includes inspiring her team and clients to raise the bar so that each conference exceeds expectations and people leave with new ideas, learning and motivation.

Janet spent her formative years in London and has been involved in theatre life on the stage and behind the scenes.  Her knowledge of what it takes to put on a good show, born out of this passion, is another invaluable ingredient in the company ethos.


Amy Abel

Head of Events CEM

Amy has worked as Professional Conference Organiser since 2005 having spent her career organising national and international conferences in the UK and Europe, and since 2011 here in New Zealand.

Amy has experience organising conferences and trade exhibitions for clients in a wide range of sectors including medical, educational, engineering and scientific at venues all over the country. Amy is passionate about the events industry in New Zealand and loves the collaborative nature of how people work here.

In her spare time, Amy likes to take advantage of what her adopted home of Wellington offers. Music, restaurants, cinema, galleries, and of course the great events the city puts on each year.


Drew Matheson

General Manager

Drew rejoined the Conferences & Events team at the beginning of 2019 after working in education for six years. He has a great enthusiasm for the systems, processes, and positive relationships that enable people to work effectively and efficiently. Drew enjoys having the opportunity to work with people from all sectors and ensuring that the conference experience is a rewarding one for all involved.

In his own time, Drew keeps busy with music, running, gardening, and spending time with his family.


Kerry South

Senior Conference Manager

Kerry joined Conferences & Events in 2017 bringing with her seven years of experience as owner and operator of a niche event management business, specialising in science and academic conferences. Prior to becoming a PCO she worked in science research where she would often gravitate towards organizing logistics and events so really it is no surprise she makes an excellent PCO!

Kerry has organised national and international events ranging in size from 20 to 1500 delegates and thrives under pressure with a very solution-oriented attitude.  Kerry loves to connect like-minded people and the platform for networking, discussion, development and publicity that conferences provide.

Ali Howard

Ali Howard

Conference Manager

Ali has returned to being a PCO after a career which has included being a hotel manager in the Caribbean, superyacht crew, venue manager and hotel-barge captain in France.  This varied background and a higher diploma in hospitality management gives Ali a practical and creative outlook combined with a love of working with a team and bringing people together.  

Ali volunteers with a couple of community groups and allows her husband to cook the dinners while she escapes to the river with her dog.

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Jen Bailey

Senior Conference Organiser

Jen joined Conferences & Events in 2018 and brings her experience as an Event Coordinator at a membership organisation to the C&E team. Jen’s enthusiasm for organising conferences, her can-do attitude and keen eye for detail bring together a seamless process working within her team and with clients, suppliers, speakers and delegates.

In her spare time Jen is kept busy catching up with friends and spending time with her partner, two young children and her two Siberian Husky dogs.


Beatrice Giorgi

Senior Conference Organiser

Beatrice has over 6 years of international experience working in events. After her Master’s degree (cum laude) in Events and Multimedia Production, she covered a good variety of roles that gave her the opportunity to work with different event format within multiple industries: from corporate to entertainment, not-for-profit, creative industries and the arts.  
In her spare time, Beatrice keeps herself busy travelling or planning her next adventure. She also practices belly dancing and cat toy shopping for her furry little tabby she calls “Calcetin”. 

Luxor McGowan

Luxor McGowan

Conference Organiser

Luxor joined Conferences & Events in April 2023, after moving from her home in Scotland. She brings with her a degree in Event Management and experience in organising UK national and international conferences. She also brings experience in working in festival production in the UK and USA.

She enjoys travelling and in her free time she loves exploring what New Zealand has to offer. She can often be found spending her sunny days off with friends at the beach.


Jaimini Patel

Conference Organiser

Jai joined Conferences & Events in January 2022, following 16 years’ experience in hospitality as a chef and managing busy kitchens in Wellington.  Jai is off to a flying start in her exciting new career in conference and event management.  Her can-do attitude and great humour have already proved invaluable to the C&E team and clients.    

In her free time, Jai loves to explore dog friendly beaches and bush walks New Zealand has to offer with her partner and 2 boxer dogs, Barney and Fred.