Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) has pushed back its annual show a month, with the 2021 instalment now confirmed for 15 to 17 March 2021 (was 22 to 24 February) at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Next year’s show will incorporate a virtual format in a first for AIME.
With uncertainty around international travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AIME team have developed a show model that combines virtual and live event components, to ensure the industry can still meet, exchange knowledge and do much-needed business, wherever they are in the world.
A poll conducted during the APAC webinar on the Joint Meeting Industry Council Manifesto for Economic Recovery using Business Events revealed that 89% of attendees expected to see hybrid events in 2021, further validating the move to the new show model.
“We understand that we all have a role to play in driving business events to help rebuild global economies and the new hybrid AIME is being designed to quickly help kickstart our industry in 2021. By moving the show to March, we are giving the industry some extra time to adjust to post-COVID conditions as well as providing them with a road to new business opportunity,” said Matt Pearce, CEO, Talk2 Media & Events.
The AIME hybrid model will see exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors attend either in person in Melbourne and virtually via the AIME online event portal.
The hybrid format means that meetings will no longer be restricted to the physical show dates. International virtual exhibitors and visitors will have the freedom to schedule meetings best suited to individual time zone schedules. In addition, the Knowledge program content will be accessible at any time.
All exhibitors will form part of the virtual exhibition, with those able to travel still taking part in the vibrant live show floor in Melbourne. They will also benefit from an increased number of buyers, particularly buyers who have previously been unable to attend and can now do so from the comfort of their own office.
All buyers that form part of the AIME Hosted Buyer program, whether they be virtual or hosted in Melbourne, will continue to be vetted to ensure that they have a business to place. The AIME team has commenced buyer recruitment and anticipate a large increase of buyers attending AIME virtually or in person in 2021.
“The recovery of Australia’s business events industry will depend on careful planning, unity and the industry coming together. Engaging with businesses across Australia on the importance and value of events will also play a role in ensuring they are ready and willing to meet and do business when the time is right. If all things go as planned, AIME 2021 will be an early opportunity to renew business relationships, to be inspired and to start planning the events which will put the industry back on its feet,” said Penny Lion, Executive General Manager Events, Tourism Australia.
Further improvements are also in the works across the show, including an updated meeting matching process, which will adopt a more enhanced filtered approach designed to deliver better meeting outcomes for exhibitors and buyers, virtual networking opportunities and new activations on the show floor.
Images: AIME 2020 event (supplied)