AIME 2023 kicks off one of its biggest years yet

(L-R) Talk2 Media's Matt Pearce, Tourism Minister Steve Dimopoulos, MCEC CEO Natalie O’Brien, MCB's Julia Swanson and Tourism Australia's Phillipa Harrison.

The 30th Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) has opened its doors with more than 400 hosted buyers, over 350 exhibitors and 2,000 visitors expected to attend over the two-days.

Talk2 Media & Events CEO Matt Pearce said the event had come a long way since its launch three decades ago.

“From humble beginnings with only domestic destinations and local suppliers to becoming the flagship trade show for the APAC region, AIME has blossomed over the years and its 30th anniversary event is not to be missed,” he said.

“The last time we were here the world was still tentative, emerging cautiously from an extraordinarily testing time. Whilst our industry has bounced back strongly, the need to future-safe and inspire events of the future has brought with it an unprecedented workload. For many of us, this has been our biggest year yet.”

Marvel Stadium hosted the Welcome Event, marking only the second time the stadium has hosted an event on its hallowed turf.

Melbourne Convention Bureau’s pipeline of business events for Melbourne is strong, with 141 international and national business events confirmed from now until 2028.

This May is shaping up to be massive with 23 events scheduled to take place across the city including the Rotary International Convention, the International Conference on Software Engineering and SpineWeek, with close to 17,500 delegates expected across these three events alone.

“For Melbourne to host AIME for 30 years proves the significance of the event and demonstrates its importance to the global business events industry,” said Melbourne Convention Bureau chief executive Julia Swanson.

“We are also seeing significant growth in the business sector with 24 association and incentive events secured for 2023.

“The key to this is aviation, and we are seeing it return quickly, particularly from Asia. In the past few weeks we have seen Melbourne Airport welcome back six airline partners from China, which is back to 50% capacity, and growing quickly.”

When AIME first debuted in 1993, Melbourne had a hotel capacity of 4,000 rooms. This year the number is close to 45,000 statewide, testament to Melbourne’s evolution into a global city.

For Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre’s new CEO Natalie O’Brien, this year’s AIME is the perfect introduction to the role.

“This is my fist AIME since I started five weeks ago and already this incredible space feels like home,” she said.

“I’m particularly excited to lead our team to create a memorable experience for all our visitors. AIME 2023 is the perfect forum for the business events community to come together to acknowledge the resilience of the industry and confidently look forward to the future.”