The 22nd Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) begins tomorrow at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, bringing more than 3,800 attendees from 29 countries together for two days of business meetings, professional development sessions and networking opportunities.
In her first year as Reed Travel Exhibitions Director for AIME, Jacqui Timmins said that the 2014 event is focused on partnership and collaboration to support the growth of the business events industry.
“AIME is well known for being a great place to do business and this year we are taking this further by fostering strategic partnerships to open the event up to new audiences while adding value to those that have been attending the event for many years,” Ms Timmins said.
“Our new partnerships with Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and Sabre Pacific complement our alignment with other associations including Exhibitions and Events Association of Australasia (EEAA) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
“They also enable us to achieve our strategic objectives of developing our presence in the business travel sector, showcasing new technologies to our audiences, and ensuring attendees can benefit from having the opportunity to meet with key figures in the industry.
“This year we have seen an increase in the number of Hosted Buyers and Visitors that will be attending the show, and with 54% of Hosted Buyers attending for the first time, Exhibitors have greater opportunities to place business with new contacts and companies.”
As part of AIME’s commitment to offering audiences the opportunity to develop their professional and personal skills, the AIME Knowledge education program has been expanded for 2014.
With 17 seminars covering a range of topics such as creativity and innovation, the program features a first-class selection of inspirational speakers including Todd Sampson, co-creator of Earth Hour and ABC TV panellist; and Dr Adam Fraser, one of Australia’s leading educators, researchers and thought leaders in the area of human performance.
Attendees at AIME will have the opportunity to experience the latest event technologies and discuss technology trends in the Innovation Zone, sponsored by Sabre Pacific. Featuring sessions examining the impact of virtual technologies such as webcasting and elevator pitch presentations from leading event technology companies, visitors to the Innovation Zone will also be able enjoy a live stream of the Saxton Ultimate Event Experience.
Returning to AIME for the fifth consecutive year, the Saxton Ultimate Event Experience features 12 outstanding presenters including Forbes columnist and best-selling author Maggie Warrell and Michelle Bridges of The Biggest Loser.
Extending the range of networking opportunities available to AIME attendees is a new event, the AIME Farewell Bubbles, which will take place on Wednesday at the International Food Market from 3.30pm – 4.30pm. The AIME Awards will be presented during this event, recognising the most innovative and environmentally sustainable stands, in addition to announcing the AIME industry person of the year.
Other new initiatives for 2014 include:
- Dedicated support and networking opportunities for first time Exhibitors and attendees
- Tour leaders for Chinese Hosted Buyers to assist them in making the most of the event
- New sponsorship opportunities to allow Exhibitors to increase brand awareness at the show
- Two redesigned restaurants
- Pre-event promotion for exhibiting destinations via AIME’s Destination Inspiration emails
AIME is the centrepiece for Business Events Week 2014, an initiative of the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), the owner of AIME.
Business Events Week is returning for a second year with an expanded program designed to showcase the value of business events to Australia. More than 60 events will take place between 17 and 21 February.
Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer of MCB, said that the goal of Business Events Week is to put the spotlight on the industry and educate the wider community about the significance of business events.
“AIME is the leading event in the Asia-Pacific region for the meetings, incentives and exhibitions industry and the perfect vehicle to illustrate the contribution of business events to Australia’s economy, knowledge sector and tourism industry,” Ms Bolinger said.
“Over the course of two days, Exhibitors have the opportunity to share in excess of $250 million worth of business by meeting with Hosted Buyers and Visitors that attend the show specifically to book events and business travel.”
AIME will take place at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 18 and 19 February, 2014. Visitor tickets are available to purchase on the door for $25 per person. Visit www.aime.com.au for more information.