The AIME Welcome Reception was hosted by the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau and supported by Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The evening was orchestrated by the MCVB, with decor and themeing produced by Solution Red and catering delivered by The Atlantic Group. More than two-thousand guests gathered at the St Kilda Sea Baths to enjoy some of Melbourne’s renowned hospitality.
An event of this magnitude unearths some remarkable statistics. Here’s a snapshot of what went into the night.
Urban – The courtyard of the Sea Baths, which forms part of the Republica Restaurant and the ground floor had a trendy, relaxed and chilled feel. Key components were:
- A Jazz band
- An open garden space
- Projected images across the concrete walls
- The main bar and furniture constructed entirely from shipping palates.
Zen – The mid-level was a nod to organic, clean living. The key components were:
- The ceiling draped with festoon lights and rice paper lanterns
- The floor was completely covered with turf
- Select furniture consisted of glowing white pieces
- A sushi wall.
Rooftop Resort – A distinctive resort feel was created and represented the perfect place to watch the sun go down. The key components included:
- Cabana style tents in groups with sun lounges and patio furniture
- Colourful Missoni striped accents used against a white background
- Colourful Moroccan lanterns and silk flags
- A central sided bar built into a marquee pavilion.
Five food stations served up the following cuisine:
- Paella Station – with smoked king fish, mussels, chicken, chorizo and saffron
- Oyster Bar – the best oysters the Australian coastline has to offer with a selection of condiments, salts and lime
- Sushi Bar – with a selection of nigiri, California rolls and sashimi
- Salad Bar- with chefs freshly tossing Thai Beef and Nicoise salads
- Fruit Cup Station – A selection of choice seasonal fruit.
Canapés on offer to guests throughout the night included:
- Confit tiger prawns with roast garlic cream
- Smoked scallop pizza with pistou
- Vichyssoise arancini with salsa verde.
For something more substantial, bowls of cooked food included:
- Beer battered sustainable fish with French fries, lemon wedges and rough cut tartare
- Island style braised lamb with sweet potato puree
- White cut chicken with wheat grass slaw, green chilli, savoy and wafu dressing.
Style and Entertainment
From the moment they arrived, guests were entertained, pampered and treated to first class hospitality. Key entertainment included:
- A ‘Flash Mob’ group of dancers performed on St Kilda beach, with a finale that captured the words – Melbourne, Australia’s Business Events Capital
- Pamper Room guests were attended to by Spa Angels, whilst enjoying local sparkling wines and canapés
- The Aqua Velva Bar served the aqua Velva cocktail, along with local Victorian and sparkling wines
- Roving performers entertained guests on all three levels
- A jazz band entertained guests in the ground level garden space.
The Night in Numbers
- More than 2,200 guests enjoyed the Welcome Reception
- More than 500 Hosted Buyers were in attendance
- 66 of the world’s media were in attendance
- 200 crew were hired for the evening
- 1200 canapés were served
- 1000 glasses of champagne were poured
- 7000 food bowl items were served.
ASE took the opportunity to interview a few people behind the scenes of the AIME welcome party
Hatem Saleh, Managing Director of the Atlantic Group [v] and Adam Toomey, Executive Chef-Catering Operations