Experiential agency George P. Johnson (GPJ) has expanded opened an office in Auckland and appointed Kiwi Tomaz Kljakovic as New Zealand country manager.
Kljakovic previously led GPJ’s business development team in Australia. He has also held senior national and regional sales and operations roles with Exhibitions and Trade Fairs, as national sales manager for IMG Culinary, as senior account manager for Asia Pacific at McCorkell & Associates, and as regional account director at Zomato.
“I’m looking forward to bringing GPJ’s global knowledge, experience and network to the brilliant Kiwis and Kiwi brands increasingly being recognised globally," Kljakovic said in a release. "Consumers increased desire for adoption and integration of experiences makes it a very exciting time to be working in this space. It’s great to be home with my whanau and friends and lead GPJ’s local operations to assist brands establish themselves in NZ and increase the country’s experiential profile.”
Ben Taylor, Asia Pacific CEO of Project Worldwide said it was the right time to formally launch GPJ into the NZ market. “We are seeing exciting growth in exports by New Zealand brands and increasing interest in New Zealand as an experiences destination from clients globally," he said, adding that Project Worldwide recently acquired Auckland agency Darkhorse, which is "already enjoying great collaboration and synergy with GPJ".
Caleb Bush, senior vice president and managing director of GPJ ANZ and managing director of Project ANZ, cited the opening of the new International Convention Centre in Auckland as another factor. "[Its] impressive roster of international sporting and political events slated for NZ will create even more opportunities for GPJ, our clients and the country to shine on the domestic and world stage,” he said.
GPJ has been working in the NZ market with IBM since 2000, established Transformation Day for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and delivered major events including the opening ceremony of the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Christchurch.