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AIME draws to close and opinions flow

February 23, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

As the 25th annual Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) drew to a close in Melbourne yesterday, attendees gave their opinions of the show.

Most enjoyed the expo, which brought together event professionals from over 20 countries, and said they found it productive. “Just great, I liked it!” was one view.

While delegates felt AIME 2017 had run smoothly and the show’s vibe was positive, a few thought activity on the floor was a “little quieter than usual” – although that’s a perennial comment. One delegate from Sydney, a long-time AIME attendee, noticed the absence of Middle Eastern countries. The UAE states, Oman and similar have been represented in previous years. Not now.

“And where is Qantas?” the delegate added. Where indeed? Vietnam Airlines had a stand at AIME, but not Qantas.

A Melbourne-based buyer said the quality was good and her schedule was packed but she also perceived fewer people on the floor. “I think these days a lot of them work out exactly where their market is and they just do one-to-one business,” she said.

Another delegate said she suspected companies were increasingly sensitive about the cost of a booth or stand, which they had to justify before becoming involved.

The AIME welcome event in the stunning Carousel by food&desire, next to Melbourne’s iconic Albert Park Lake went down well, though some found the volume rather too high for networking and conversation, though the action itself was brilliant. The location, not far from Melbourne’s CBD, gives an uninterrupted view of the city skyline.

Melbourne Convention Bureau chief executive Karen Bolinger said AIME’s 25th anniversary was a great representation of the strength, creativity and diversity of the business events industry.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary, AIME launched two awards recognising exceptional achievement by industry members.

The winner of the Rising Star award, which recognises upcoming business event talent, was Jessica Abbey, Leverage Marketing and Events.

The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Sue Calwell, who as an industry stalwart is celebrated for her dedication and commitment to the business events industry over several years.

Ian Wainwright, event director – AIME, Reed Travel Exhibitions expressed his delight with “the high calibre of exhibitors and attendees” which he said was indicative of the industry’s excitement and commitment to AIME. The show floor is awash with colour and movement, with many exhibitors sharing new offerings and products to the delegates.

“We are thrilled with how everything has come together and the energy on the show floor, all the exhibitors have produced outstanding stands inspiring business connections,” Wainwright said.

The AIME Knowledge Program by Saxton Speakers Bureau provided insights into the future of the industry with speakers including Ita Buttrose, Marita Cheng, Chris Riddell, Kirk Pengilly, Michael Carr-Gregg, Cosentino, Holly Ransom, Brad Seymour and Andre Eikmeier.

Other highlights included a visit from Matt Wright the Outback Wrangler, who visited the Northern Territory stand on Tuesday to discuss the appeal of the NT for business travellers.

As the largest show of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, AIME brings together MICE industry leaders, decision makers and influencers annually at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

Written by Peter Needham

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