Craig Hudson

Managing Director New Zealand & Pacific Islands, Xero


As managing director, Craig is a key member of the global leadership team, responsible for driving relationships with government, financial institutions, enterprise, and promoting the small business economy in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Craig has been with Xero for several years, and in 2017 he returned to New Zealand from the United Kingdom, where he led Xero’s entrance into Europe, the Middle East and South Africa markets.


Craig is a father of four and a successful former rugby player who spent more than eight years playing professionally in New Zealand, France, England, and Wales.


About Xero


Born in the cloud, Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use platform for small businesses and their advisors. Xero provides its 1.8 million subscribers with connections to a thriving ecosystem of 800+ third party apps and 200+ connections to banks and financial service providers. On the inaugural 2018 Financial Times FT1000 High-Growth Companies Asia Pacific list, Xero was the fastest growing tech company in the $200 million+ segment. Xero won ‘Bookkeeping software of the year’ from the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers UK in 2018, and was rated by Canstar Blue as the best accounting software in Australia from 2015- 2018 and in New Zealand in 2019.


Kirsten Patterson

Chief Executive, Institute of Directors

Kirsten Patterson (known as KP) is the Institute of Directors Chief Executive. She is a qualified lawyer and Chartered Fellow of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand.

A strong advocate of diversity, KP was one of the founding members of Global Women’s  ‘Champions for Change’, a group of senior executives and directors who commit to diversity in the workplace. She is also a founding member of WiSPA, an organisation promoting women in sport, and mentors a number of business leaders.


She is currently Chair of the Wellington Women’s Homeless Trust, a Director of the New Zealand Rugby Foundation, and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee for Te Tumu Paeroa.


Brent Ireland

Director, Collab Digital


With a background in marketing and events, Brent has worked for the country’s biggest publishers along with a stint for NewsCorp in Australia on campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands. With a passion for all things digital, Brent returned to New Zealand in 2016 and formed Collab Digital, a specialist social media and digital content agency based in Tauranga.


Fast forward to now, Collab has grown exponentially and now represents a long list of NZ’s most recognisable brands online, plus over 6,000 attendees to their social media training events which are run nationwide and are designed to show business owners, marketers and managers how they should be using social media to grow their business. Brent is able to apply a relatable approach to complex digital marketing conversations, delivered in a way that is fun and engaging.

Smarter Business Event

The National Business Network – Smarter Business Event 2020 is set to help Kick-Start your business by bringing together hundreds of business people from corporates to SME’s in one location for one day across 30+ business industries attracting business owners, decision makers, managers and staff.


The purpose of the event is to bring Bay of Plenty wide businesses together and help each other navigate the challenging times ahead and to drive business forward.


You’ll hear from well-respected business leaders and network with over 100+ businesses from 30+ business industries across The Bay of Plenty.


One day only.


This is a ticketed only event that is trackable and traceable meeting all Ministry of Health guidelines.


This event will be the Biggest Business Event in The Bay of Plenty for 2020 with currently 100+ business confirmed in attendance.


 Together, let’s make it ‘The Event’ to attend for your business in 2020.

Learn From Business Leaders &
Experts on how to run your Business
Smarter in 2020


Directorship and Governance

Social Media and Content Marketing


Extra individual tickets available per business upon request at
$80 + GST each after purchase of main business ticket


Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre (QEYC)

Cnr Devonport Rd & 11th Ave, Tauranga

Promotional Partners

For great deals from our promotional partner services leading up to the event click on the What to bring tab in the menu.

Booking Deadline Wednesday 7th October