The figures are in for the recent Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) 2019, backing up new event organiser Talk2 Media & Events ambitions of delivering a revamped event with a focus on international buyers, more social networking opportunities and an expanded education program.
With over 2,500 total attendee registrations, the 2019 event saw 50 per cent more hosted buyers than the previous year; with 62 per cent coming from outside Australia and 55 per cent never have attending AIME before.
Opening with the Knowledge Program, the 2019 event saw over 600 participants attend the education program, with 15 sessions across the first day.
More than 1,200 people attended the AIME Monday Welcome Event, and a further 800 at the more informal outdoor Tuesday Networking Event.
Over the three-days there were over 8,400 meetings conducted, through the new AIME app, which also featured a rating function, with hosted buyers giving an average of 4.4 out of five for their exhibitor meetings.
“It was clear from exhibitors, buyers and visitors that AIME needed a fresh lens, and it’s been so rewarding to be recognised for the positive changes we introduced this year,” said Matt Pearce, CEO of Talk2 Media & Events.
“We are so proud of what the team has achieved, delivering the new vision on behalf of the industry and have already started planning for 2020. We will continue to listen to valuable feedback from the exhibitors and visitors alike and consider the adjustments and new initiatives we want to make.”
There were some standout moments this year, with the booked-out Dialogue in the Dark sessions on the Monday getting everyone talking. The Northern Territory-hosted lunch on the showfloor also wowed attendees with bona-fide cowboy and ‘Golden Guitar’ award-winning country musician Tom Curtain from the Katherine Outback Experience belting out a tune while standing on one of his horses.
“As the Major Partner of the Knowledge Program, we are incredibly proud of the comprehensive ideas sharing and inspiring educational content delivered at this year’s event,” said Karen Bolinger, CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau.
“The feedback has been incredibly positive. When the media, repeat exhibitors and attendees who are all so vocal tell me that AIME has improved significantly, it’s a win.”
Plans are afoot for next year’s event, with a fifth of exhibitors having already booked in for AIME 2020.