Our Team

Debbie Paardekooper

Managing Director

Debbie is a senior event manager with an interest in creating modern, environmentally friendly, and fabulously delivered conferences, expos and festivals for clients.  She has worked in the event industry for over 10 years and has been a part of major corporate events since attending her first conference aged 6 weeks. From day one her goal has been to find out everything there is to know about the industry in order to passionately deliver superb events for her clients. 

Amy Hodgkinson

Events Coordinator

Amy comes from a background in communications, events, politics, and tourism. She has recently built a campervan with her partner and spent seven months road tripping around the South Island. She has been described by colleagues as knowing how to just 'get stuff done'. 

Amy enjoys spending her time exercising her burgeoning green thumb, reading anything she can get her hands on, and getting outside for a good hike. 


Events Assistant & Administrator 

Ames brings 25+ years hospitality and event management experience and a genuine love of people, knowledge, and celebration.  

Service is at the heart of everything she does and anyone she does it for. Home, business, and community. 

Based in Ōtautahi/Christchurch Ames co-parents a free range four-year-old boy and continues to guide her three young adult offspring. If ever there’s spare time you’ll find her in the garden, listening to Soul & R’nB, or learning indigenous healing & medicine. 


Events & Marketing 

Hannah comes from a background in Marketing and Event management. With a 'can do attitude' and a passion for events she strives to execute everything she does with perfection.

Hannah is passionate about life and loves spending weekends away in Tāupo on the lake or going for walks up the Tongariro River.

Hannah enjoys reading, going to the beach and taking her miniature Dachshund Ned for "short" walks.

Check out some of our locations

That's right, our staff are located throughout Aotearoa!

Debbie - Carterton Taratahi 

Amy - Christchurch Ōtautahi 

Hannah - Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

Amy - Havelock North Te Hemo - ā - Te Atonga

What our clients have to say

Daniel Evans

"Panda Events supported the delivery of our 2021 hybrid event. We were very nervous to be using new technology but they removed all our fears and the conference was a huge success!

Having Panda Events onsite meant the delivery of our largest conference ever was seamless, they provided an experienced event manager who took on responsibilities immediately with minimal direction and great results.

I would definitely recommend using Panda Events to support and deliver a large- or small-scale event."

Recreation Aotearoa

Charles Mabbett

"In recent years, we employed the services of [Panda Events] for two significant public conferences. We were very impressed by how both events progressed smoothly and successfully in ways which can only be attributed to the high level of professionalism, commitment and organisation of the team. We have no reservations in recommending them and would welcome the opportunity to work with them again. "

Office of the Privacy Commissioner Te Mana Mātāpono Matatapu

Tim Waldron

"[They] provided a comprehensive and professional service covering every aspect of organising and running a major two-day conference. Every detail was managed efficiently, with nothing missed. The team were exceptionally easy to deal with and very proactive in the lead-up to the Conference, which was extremely well received by delegates.  I highly recommend the team at [Panda Events]."

Market and Business Development 
Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Dr Averil Coxhead

"[Panda Events] are the driving force of innovation and inspiration. I believe a major strength with [the team] is their shared vision for organising conference or an event that everyone will remember for good reasons. As a convenor, I know I can relax and actually attend the conference, because they are absolutely on the ball. They provide vision and support beyond expectations."

School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Victoria University of Wellington

Jake McLaren

"Luke Paardekooper and his crew are probably the most experienced firewalking guys in the country. People may not know that, over the years, Luke and co. have included firewalking in many of their team-building weekends for corporate groups. He has facilitated more than 1000 people to take those steps over the fiery coals…. There’s a lot of skill in building the fires, monitoring them till the coals are “just right” and being aware of safety issues... Rest assured - no burnt feet!"


Professor Stephen May

"[Panda Events] have organised five major international academic conferences on my behalf. All of these conferences were an outstanding success, not least because of the organisational prowess of [Panda Events]. The team are clearly comfortable and familiar with organising large international conferences. The systems that they have in place are exemplary and the team itself are highly personable and unflappable. I would have had absolutely no hesitation in employing them again."

Te Puna Wānanga Faculty of Education and Social Work 
University of Auckland

Mon Bruce

"Panda Events manage the communications, marketing and logistics of our Koha Chiro community events in the Wairarapa. We had the idea to take chiropractic care into our local community but were unsure where to start, Panda Events helped us get our clinics up and running and provided all the knowledge we need around best practice for events, COVID-19 compliance and logistics management. They also make sure our social media is up to date, our sponsors are happy and our audience is engaged. The process is smooth and enjoyable with the Panda Events team providing excellent service and communication. Since our first event, Koha Chiro has tripled in size, both with what’s on offer but also in the community numbers that attend, we could not be happier, we are so grateful to be teamed up with Panda Events and would highly recommend them.” 

Wairarapa Chiropractic

Peter Thompson

"[Panda Events] were very professional in their approach and nothing was ever a bother. They had an excellent understanding of the financial aspect including the importance of achieving budget. In fact, the conference returned a greater surplus than budgeted for which was especially pleasing."
School Business Managers’ Association 2019

Judy Taligalu McFall-McCaffery

"[Panda Events] commands an excellent understanding of not only our diverse cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand, but in working with Pasifika. As a Samoan, this was very important as this was the first time we as Pasifika professionals from across the Information Management Sector gained the opportunity to convene the 2019 LIANZA conference."

Pacific Information Managers' Network
LIANZA Conference 2019