Speakers for the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) press conference Monday 22 February at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, announced how AIME will continue to evolve to reflect the vibrant Australian business events industry whilst highlighting the very best of the Asia-Pacific region.
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle emphasised the value of business events to the Victorian economy.
“Our expertise in delivering business events ensures a rewarding experience for delegates. In 2014/15 we hosted 203 business events secured in partnership with the City of Melbourne, bringing 72,000 delegates to the city, worth around $308 million,” said Mr Doyle.
Providing an update on Business Events Australia’s work, John O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Tourism Australia outlined the dedicated activities being undertaken to showcase Australia on the world stage in partnership with the Australian business events industry.
“In 2015, we focused our efforts on markets and sectors where our work can provide the greatest return on investment, including a stronger commitment to the associations sector, and more strategic partnerships with Australian Convention Bureaux, professional conference organisers, and the business events industry.
“And we will continue to deliver results for the industry in 2016, with dedicated activity including; the Business Events Showcase at Australia Week in China where over 60 buyers and media will meet with 29 Australian products; A strong presence at international trade shows including IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX America, and the Associations World Congress, and an integrated marketing, trade and PR strategy in partnership with industry, to drive awareness and conversion of business for our country,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Karen Bolinger, CEO, Melbourne Convention Bureau outlined new investment and infrastructure underway to further support the city’s flourishing business events sector.
“2016 and beyond are years of important development in Melbourne and Victoria with an additional $210 million being invested by the state government in the expansion of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, which will add 20,000sqm making it the largest centre in Australia. Plus 7 new hotels will open in Melbourne, creating 1,400 new rooms in the city and increasing our capacity by 7% in just two short years.
“Business events are the highest yielding sector of the Victorian tourism industry, delivering an economic contribution of $9.98 billion each year and approximately 65,000 jobs,” said Ms Bolinger.
Ian Wainwright, Event Director – AIME, Reed Travel Exhibitions outlined the many firsts for AIME in 2016 and discussed the ways in which AIME will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the business events industry.
“The knowledge and creativity that abounds in our industry is what makes the business events industry exceptional. This year, we have focused on capturing the knowledge and experience of our industry and delivering this content in tangible packages through our knowledge program, free for all exhibitors and visitors for the very first time. Plus we’ve added a dedicated series of education sessions for our Hosted Buyers – both significant outcomes from our first ever Advisory Board who were brought on board to influence the strategic development of the show.
“We also welcome our ibtm events global partner, the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau for the first year, who is leading a strong contingent of international exhibitors.
“AIME will never stop evolving and never stop striving to meet the needs of all participants. We look forward to bringing new, creative and inspiring ideas, reflective of our buzzing community, to you for many years to come,” said Mr Wainwright.
Sallie Coventry, ibtm event Portfolio Director concluded, commenting on the strength of the Australian business events industry.
“The pace of the business events industry in the Asia-Pacific region is experiencing rapid growth, and Australia stands out as a leader. Our ibtm events across the globe, like AIME, give businesses the opportunities to connect, creating a strong and cohesive community,” said Ms Coventry.