AIME 2024 will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from 19 – 21 February with more than 400 exhibitors and 500 highly qualified hosted buyers expected to attend – an increase of 15% and 25% from last year respectively.
As planning ramps up, El Kwang, BEAM Founder and Chief Engager and 2024 AIMEbassador, speaks to CIM about engagement, mental fitness and making the most of your time at AIME.
What is the next big thing in immersive participant engagement?
In my opinion, the next big thing is really relevant content that is curated to facilitate a certain experience.
Generating immersive engagement is more than simply bringing delegates to a team building activity. It’s about linking the activity to really strong content, such as an empathy mapping exercise before a serious CSR activity. This enables participants to have a heightened sense of how they can contribute, and, more importantly, what they can take away for themselves. This could be something so private they don’t need to share it. That’s true CSR, not greenwashing.
Creating space for participants to check in with themselves and the opportunity to adjust their own attitude can make a real difference. Even if they aren’t having a good day, it allows them to focus on that, to ask themselves why they are here, what they are here to do. That to me is true immersive engagement.
Can you tell us a little more about ‘mental fitness’ or how to thrive through contentment?
It is true that many people strive for happiness, and positive psychology acknowledges the spectrum of emotions we experience. From zero to plus nine, we embrace happiness, while zero to negative nine represents sadness, depression, and stress.
While happiness is desirable, not everyone is prepared for anything less. In highly stressful professions like business events, it’s important to cultivate contentment. Contentment allows us to appreciate what we have and not constantly yearn for more. If I may ask, when you are content, what else do you need? Most often, the answer is minimal. This sweet spot of contentment strengthens our resilience, even when faced with adversity. We can empathise with others, offer support, and ask if they’re okay. Contentment empowers us to withstand challenges.
Mental fitness is an aspect of well-being that we often overlook. We invest so much time and effort in physical fitness, yet our mental well-being deserves equal attention. Just as the gym improves our physical health, we should find ways to exercise and nourish our minds. It doesn’t have to be complex or intimidating. It can be as simple as placing a post-it note on your fridge, reminding yourself that you are enough. These messages can offer gentle encouragement and help you make choices aligned with your well-being. Even something as fundamental as conscious breathing can have a profound impact on our mental state.
Mental fitness is all about embracing the small, simple steps that we can take to nurture ourselves and maintain that state of contentment that allows us to thrive.
What are your top tips for making the most of your time at AIME?
Firstly, keep it simple. Don’t think you are going to breeze through every appointment and remember everyone’s name. That is not going to be possible, so just do your best.
Secondly, keep it real. If someone asks you how you are, be honest. If you aren’t doing so great, don’t be afraid to share that. We’re at AIME to make genuine connections, and when people aren’t being true to themselves it can be a turn off (not the other way around).
Third, keep is ‘self-ful’. While you will be at AIME representing your workplace, keeping it self-ful is so important as it means you can improve both as an individual and as a business professional. That’s how you truly get the most out of your time at AIME.