Who are we?


2017 was a great year ...

  • Three new conferencing clients (all from word of mouth), one of whom re-booked their bi-annual conference immediately
  • Implementation of new online registration system, more sophisticated and user friendly than previous system
  • CML now offers palm of hand contact: up-to-date conference information, speaker abstracts and bios, session reminders all via a purpose built app. Fully integrated websites can also be built for your conference.

Conference Makers is a Napier-based conferencing company. The Principal, Karen McLean, has 11 years of conferencing experience, organising everything from boutique events for 45 people to large conferences for more than 600 attendees.

Karen has conferenced from Paihia to Alexandra and many places in between. This has allowed her to build great relationships with providers throughout the country. She has an excellent knowledge of venues and suppliers and can use that, negotiating to your advantage.

Karen’s expertise lies in making the lists and ticking the boxes. She makes sure all the pieces are in place, allowing the conference committee and the delegates to get maximum benefit from the conference. Karen’s not afraid to give advice, to suggest alternatives. Equally, she likes to take new ideas, mould them and put them into practice.

Karen says "It all boils down to trust. I subscribe to being honest, having integrity, finding the solution, clear communication, strength with diplomacy … and to maintaining friendly professional relationships".

Karen knows that life is about balance. In contrast to her day job, she designs and makes silver jewellery which is exhibited and sold in galleries in Wellington, Napier, Whanganui, Mount Maunganui and Nelson. This “hobby” is a great outlet for her creative nature, and she uses her visual aesthetic in many aspects of conferencing. 

Karen is supported by:

  • Our accountant. Fiona looks after paying the bills, operating accounting programmes, doing the GST for each conference and then taking the accounts to audit.
  • Rachel Dahl – who works closely with Karen. She knows all the conference details, but her primary role is to handle registrations, communication with the delegates. She will be on-site with Karen at your conference. Rachel has experience in marketing, graphic design, and administration.  
  • Other contract assistance is brought in if required