This year AIME celebrates 30 years and I reckon I have attended around 25 of them.
At that time of the first AIME in 1993 I was working as a production manager and lighting designer on mostly corporate events and fashion parades.
I attended AIME a few times in the late 90s as an interested punter, and then after I launched Australasian Special Events I have attended each year since 2001.
The sort of business events that most interest me are the parties along with opening and closing ceremonies – more so than destinations. So naturally my reviews focussed a lot on the functions.
My first AIME review was published in 2001 and I wrote…
The Welcome party was hosted by the MECC who commissioned Peter Jones Special Events to interpret Melbourne’s Big Events.
The first thing to strike me as I entered Hall 19 of the MCEC was a Formula 1 race-car (under the ever watchful eye of a security guard all night) mounted on a dais surrounded by a mass of people. Surrounding the masses were a range of sporting activities.
So here are a few more memories with links to our archive site (where some of the galleries no longer work)
2008 Atlantic group at Central Pier – memorable for the boat that was moored next to the venue – and slowly sank during the event.
2009 Flying into Melbourne and observing the smoke from the Black Saturday Bushfires, then the Welcome Function at Victoria Markets with the temperature still in the 30s.
2012 My review opened with, The Melbourne Pavilion is new to the city’s event scene. So new in fact that our bus driver had trouble finding it. The venue is mostly used for boxing and occasional concerts, so this was quite an eye popper for the AIME delegates and exhibitors.
The redevelopment of the wharves around the MCEC has presented a unique opportunity for conference organisers to hold functions right next to the Convention Centre at South Wharf Promenade and the first to do so was AIME 2013.
This could very well have not been the best AIME Welcome party so far. But the Melbourne weather gods smiled, and it was.
2015 The most memorable event of the lot was produced by Peter Jones and featured MCB CEO Karen Bolinger in a dance routine – Strictly Melbourne – AIME Gala Dinner sparkles at Central Wharf
2018 was very entertaining – AIME Welcome Event delivers quirks and crowd-pleasers
Conservative went out the window as Solution Entertainment took charge of their second consecutive AIME Welcome Event, bringing an eclectic mix of fringe festival style performers and a range of musical acts to The Ormond Collective in St Kilda, a new Melbourne event venue, most recently home to the Belgian Beer Garden.
2020 AIME happened just in time. A couple of weeks later the whole events industry was shut down – Best AIME networking event in a long time
And this gem. I can’t remember the year. Hosted buyers and media were taken on a tour of the MCG. We started under the stands and then emerged onto the ground itself. One Indian delegate was so overcome that he dropped to his knees and kissed the turf – such is the power of cricket.
And so I look forward to this year’s welcome function at Marvel Stadium – once again produced by Peter Jones.
And it is not just the welcome events – there have been breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well.
And one of the great treats was to be in Melbourne a few days before AIME to experience White Night from 2013 to 2019
Here is a taste of what we have experienced over the past couple of decades
2015 – Strictly Melbourne