The Asia Pacific Incentive and Meetings Event (AIME) has kicked off today at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), marking the first international tradeshow since the pandemic hit.
Thirty international hosted buyers are joining 342 hosted buyers who will connect with 225 exhibitors across the three-day event.
Over the three days, AIME will facilitate over 14,000 meetings, with more than 1,500 visitor buyers and visitor suppliers expected to attend the tradeshow.
As part of the show opening, AIME has launched new research revealing how the industry intends to spearhead recovery.
The global survey, conducted with over 450 business events professionals, revealed 1-in-2 cite face-to-face meetings as the leading factor to boost business growth for the industry – with the lead reason being that it cements vital relationships (67%).
Interestingly, when it came to the most exciting opportunities for business events, over half of respondents (54%) cited creative events, followed by innovative technology (38%).
“We are beyond thrilled to finally kick-off the 2022 event, after what has been one of the most challenging times ever for many industries around the world,” said Silke Calder, event director at AIME.
“This year, we are looking forward to driving more meaningful moments as we focus on our recovery and revival. We were also delighted to receive industry feedback from our survey that revealed 96% cite AIME as an important event for the industry’s recovery, with 68% of respondents citing it as critical.
“After listening to our community, we also found that over half of those attending AIME were most excited about networking and reconnecting. We cannot wait to catch-up with so many of you on the show floor, in what is sure to be one of our best events yet.”
Kicking off the show, the Knowledge Exchange connected delegates to a day of innovative education and community building.
MCEC chief executive Peter King said it was also an opportunity for the industry to celebrate following the reopening of international borders.
“With international borders now open, AIME will be a celebration of the resilience of our industry and a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and welcome people back to Melbourne and MCEC,” said King.
“In Australia, an average of 440,000 business events are delivered annually, making a direct contribution to the economy and supporting 230,000 jobs, AIME is a chance to ensure this continues and expands.”
The format of the show has also changed and includes a 5-day virtual platform available from March 28 to April 1.