We’re a team of event stylists who love to have fun and get creative putting together your event theme.
We think outside the box and, with 30 years of experience, we know what it takes to deliver truly creative, memorable & unique events.
Be the best in the business at providing bespoke, creative and bold experiences for clients nationwide.
Deb Gee – Director
Deb got into the events industry by accident, but fell in love with it instantly. She loves the feeling of seeing a finished event through the eyes of attendees and how powerful it is for a company to have their staff in one room for staff morale and to showcase the company’s vision. She has now been in the industry for almost 20 years and loves connecting with colleagues, industry partners and clients.
She joined forces with Activities & Events Unlimited in 2021 – after seeing them in action within the industry. She loved their company culture and what they delivered to clients and sees an opportunity to grow the business alongside the original team, who’ve stayed on.
Deb says of working in events: He aha te mea nui o te ao. What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is the people, it is the people, it is the people. I love bringing people together, seeing people experience new things through their eyes, the planning and putting together an event is all part of the enjoyment, watching all the moving parts come together to get the best end result for the client is addictive!
On the weekends, you’ll find her horseriding, spending time with her daughters, and getting outdoors for a run or to the beach.
Ian Mexted-Dykes – Director
Ian is the driving force of Activities & Events Unlimited. With nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, Ian has the knowledge, passion, creativity and ability to transform the smallest of ideas into the most amazing reality. He is a qualified builder, which often comes into play for his amazing prop builds and creations. Ian is also an experienced tour guide within the Rotorua area and around New Zealand. Ian’s on-job but off-key singing is often heard at our event set ups along with his great creative impact and team minded energy.
Maddy Skilton – Event Manager / Creative Designer
Maddy has worked in the events industry since she was a teenager and loved the variety from day one. She first found her interest in events running a youth charity ball as a homeschooled teen, to make sure she had a school ball to attend. She organised the event at the Rotorua Museum in 2015 and again in 2016 before it was closed due to earthquake risk. She learned the ropes of the industry and honed her skills with Ian here at Activities & Events Unlimited. After some time away in Melbourne, she returned to the business at the end of 2018 and got the chance to level up her skills, both within the company and industry wide.
She says of working in events: “I have always been an organised and hyper detail-oriented person, even as a teenager, so the actual planning and management of organising an event was really enjoyable. But the feeling I got entering that beautiful space all themed out, filled with people who paid to attend an event I had dreamt up, nothing could beat that amazing feeling. Having the opportunity to create that emotion not only for myself but for my clients is what it’s all about for me”.
Maddy has always loved dancing from a very young age, and studied it full time before moving into events. In her spare time, most nights and weekends, you’ll find her attending or teaching dance classes! She also enjoys spending time with her partner and finding some sunshine to enjoy.
Fun fact: Maddy wanted to be a secret agent when she was a kid!
Daniela Olphert – Event Manager
Daniela has been in the events industry for about 16 years! After leaving university, she was offered a job at the Rotorua i-Site. There, she got a great understanding for the tourism industry in Rotorua and moved into the conference department within a couple of months – where she first worked with our very own Deb. Since then, her life has been all about planning and organisation getting those little details right that make all the difference. She’s been with Activities & Events Unlimited since April 2021.
She says about her love for events: “Events bring people together – I love bringing events to life and seeing people happy! I have such a sense of satisfaction when an event is delivered, and a sense of pride reflecting on the challenges we went through to successfully run the event is a reward in itself! Events definitely test my organisation, time management, creativity and problem solving skills that’s for sure!”
In the weekends (every weekend actually!), you’ll catch her at Mitre 10 or Bunnings finding bits for home renos and new plants for the house. She’ll also be spending time with her family including hubby and kids, whether attending sporting events or taking a walk through our beautiful forest.
Fun fact: Daniela has started to LOVE gardening, hence the weekly trips to Mitre 10 and Bunnings!
Demelza Smith – Business Development
Demelza has worked on the other side of the industry for many years and is a relative newcomer to the “behind the scenes” of events. She worked for many years around the world with a number of players in the Healthcare and Medical fields in business development and sales roles. She dabbled a bit in the events industry and loved it, so when the opportunity came to work within the industry, she grabbed it! She’s been with Activities & Events Unlimited since April 2021, coming over with Deb and Daniela.
Demelza says of her love for events: “I just love the process, the feeling when it all comes together, and you help to create a truly memorable event for your client. No two days are the same, and while we may go to a venue a number of times, the client and the other companies you work with make it a unique experience every time.”
On the weekends, she loves to hang out with her family at the beach, take a walk through some of the beautiful spots in our region, or cook up a storm.
Fun fact: She secretly loves the piano accordion!
Jacquie Wootton – Marketing Consultant
Jacquie has been working in Marketing and Sales since she finished university in 2011. She is originally from Rotorua, and first worked for a hotel in the area in events and marketing. She has been with Activities & Events Unlimited, also moving across with Deb.
Why she loves Marketing & Events: “I’ve always loved connecting with people. Events brings a collective experience to people, and Marketing offers a way to share a message with them. Through social media, it has also become a way to communicate and connect with our clients and partners!”
In her spare time, she’ll be finding new food spots or the latest brewery with a few friends. She’s always planning the next adventure – with a passion for hiking and traveling.
Fun fact: She’s been in many bands and musical groups – playing roles from saxophone player to lead singer.