Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) 2019, held last week in Melbourne (18–20 February), has successfully delivered a refreshed industry event, with the new format driving strong inroads for AIMEs in the years to come.
Across the three days, there was an upbeat vibe and consistent drum of activity, as more quality buyers met with exhibitors, a result of Talk2 Media & Events’ sharpened focus on delivering increased opportunities for connection and relationship-building.
“It was clear from exhibitors, buyers and visitors that AIME needed a fresh lens, and it’s been so rewarding to be recognised for the positive changes we introduced this year. We are so proud of what the team has achieved, delivering the new vision on behalf of the industry, and have already started planning for 2020. We will continue to listen to valuable feedback from the exhibitors and visitors alike and consider the adjustments and new initiatives we want to make,” said Matt Pearce, CEO, Talk2 Media & Events.
With over 2,500 total attendee registrations, the 2019 event saw 50% more hosted buyers than the previous year, with 62% coming from outside Australia and 55% never have attending AIME before.
Opening with the much-anticipated Knowledge Program, the 2019 event saw over 600 participants attend the education program, with 15 thought-provoking sessions across the first day that challenged the status quo and formed the launching pad for networking within the AIME community.
“As the Major Partner of the Knowledge Program, we are incredibly proud of the comprehensive ideas-sharing and inspiring educational content delivered at this year’s event. The feedback has been incredibly positive. When the media, repeat exhibitors and attendees who are all so vocal tell me that AIME has improved significantly, it’s a win,” said Karen Bolinger, CEO, Melbourne Convention Bureau.
As the day’s formal business wound down to the more relaxed networking evenings, over 1,200 people attended the AIME Monday Welcome Event celebrating cultural diversity across the region, and a further 800 at the more informal outdoor Tuesday Networking Event.
“Having the two networking events and the scheduled breaks was a game-changer as far as networking opportunities go. I also loved the scanner on the app, with a few new contacts scanned on the dance floor,” commented Julie Ford, Director, Business Events Sales, Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef Australia.
Over the three days, there were over 8,400 meetings conducted through the carefully matched algorithm on the new AIME app, which also featured a rating function. Hosted buyers gave an average of 4.4/5 for their exhibitor meetings.
With plenty of discussions around expanded space for 2020, 20% of exhibitors have already booked in for the 2020 event, a testament to the positive return on investment from 2019.
AIME 2020 will take place from 17–19 February 2020 in Melbourne. For expressions of interest or for more information, please visit aime.com.au.