The Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) celebrates 20 years of success this week at its home in Melbourne.
Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB), owner of the exhibition, said the milestone recognises the achievements of the region’s most productive and long-standing meetings and incentives show.
“This is a significant achievement and one that we are extremely proud of, especially as we are the only convention and visitors bureau in the world to own such an event,” said Ms Bolinger.
“Exhibitors, Hosted Buyers, media and visitors alike have been coming to Melbourne for two decades to participate in AIME, for what has been the industry’s ‘must attend’ event since its inception.”
Originally known as The AustralAsian International Meetings Expo, AIME had its humble beginnings at Melbourne’s World Trade Centre in March 1993. Attracting around 200 exhibitors and approximately 1000 visitors, including more than 300 companies from every state in Australia and organisations from 11 countries, the event fought off three competing regional events to become the first truly international expo for the meetings industry in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) took over the show’s management in 2002, AIME has seen more than 7800 exhibitors attend from more than 50 countries, hosting close to 28,000 visitors, as well as over 4000 Hosted Buyers.
“We thank RTE for their commitment and support over the past 10 years and acknowledge their considerable role in continuing to grow AIME into the world-class expo it is today,” said Ms Bolinger.
The success of AIME in recent years saw the event inducted into the national Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) Hall of Fame in 2011 after being awarded ‘Exhibition of the Year’ for the third consecutive year, a testament to the outstanding reputation the event has achieved.
Ms Bolinger also acknowledged the support of AIME’s long-standing supporters.
“Most significantly we recognise Qantas and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre as supporters and sponsors of the show for its 20-year history. The backing of these organisations has ensured the event’s longevity and success.”
The 2012 show will see more than 780 exhibitors and 515 Hosted buyers in attendance, with visitor numbers expected to reach 3400.
“More than ever before AIME continues to deliver on excellence and quality, attracting delegates from around the world and providing invaluable business and networking opportunities to the many industry representatives who attend each year,” said Ms Bolinger.
“This year’s program of guest speakers, master classes and networking opportunities promises to surpass expectations met in previous years as we deliver an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.”