Entertainment Meetings & Events

Opening doors to a new AIME in February

Over a year in planning, Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) opens in Melbourne 18 – 20 February.

Late in 2017, Talk2 Media & Events was appointed to manage and deliver AIME. From this time onwards, the company engaged in consultation with the industry, uncovering past experiences and opportunities, what the industry felt was distinct to AIME and worth building on, and identifying the elements and practices that could be replaced.

Arising from these discussions the vision for AIME was built. An event that is worthwhile, that delivers real economic value to the delegates; a re-alignment of the benefits that need to be realised from the investment – in terms of marketing budgets, energy, time from the office and commitment to the whole event.

Delivering a meaningful return on investment meant ensuring that not only are quality buyers brought to AIME, but that there needed to be an injection of new buyers; buyers who hadn’t attended before, creating new networking opportunities for exhibitors. With only a month before AIME opens, 350 hosted buyers are committed to AIME. With buyers from over 35 countries, 60% of these are from outside Australia and 55% have never been to AIME before.

Buyers will be connecting with exhibitors through carefully matched pre-scheduled appointments (PSAs); meetings that are aligned by the destinations and services of the exhibitors against the event solution needs of the buyers. Centium’s EventsAIR software runs an algorithm that schedules these meetings, even going to the extent of calculating walking time from one side of the show floor to the other, ensuring all meetings are also logistically practical.

Many exhibitors have elected to invest in the all-inclusive packages, complete with new stand designs, 32 PSAs and invitations to all the catered networking events. Simplifying the stand design and build process, the package allows exhibitors more time to focus on relationships and connections to drive their interactions at AIME. With the exhibitor list almost complete, there will be some significant representations from previous Australasian exhibitors, particularly Meet in Regional NSW, Tourism New Zealand, Business Events Tasmania and Melbourne Convention Bureau, and also some international exhibitors returning to AIME including Malaysia, Dubai, Samoa, Korea, Indonesia, New Caledonia, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Hawaii.

Understanding that positive relationships are fundamental to contracting good business, Talk2 Media & Events looked for additional opportunities to bring buyers and exhibitors together. In previous years, the leading Knowledge Program was only open to hosted buyers and media, and for the first time in 2019, this immersive day of information exchange and learning is open to exhibitors as well. Brought together in this robust learning environment, the Knowledge Exchange sets the tone for positive engagement, discovery and creativity, and is an experience that is shared between buyers and exhibitors.

The Knowledge Program, with major event sponsor, Melbourne Convention Bureau, has partnered with pre-eminent international organisations, PCMA and ICCA. Spanning three days, the Knowledge Exchange on Monday 18 Feb is themed around concepts of community and inclusivity, with Swiss entrepreneur and community builder, Fabian Pfortmüller brought in as the program Content Weaver. Joined by a strong list of international presenters, sessions range from topics on inclusive leadership, to thriving in a culture of innovation and challenging the meeting norms.

For the first time, ICCA’s Business Exchange will be anchored at AIME, open to all ICCA members, providing an opportunity for crucial high level business exchange on the event bidding process. An invitation only Leaders’ Forum brings together industry executives to hear from expert speakers on the current and future state of the industry, and the powerful connection between technology and business events, before breaking out to round table discussions on industry challenges and opportunities. PCMA will be holding a mini Hackathon, and Guide Dogs Victoria will launch their first pop-up workshop of the international program ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ where participants will confront their perceptions of ability and inclusivity.

Following this integrated, transformative day of shared experiences, the event is officially launched with the Monday evening welcome function. In 2019 this will be hosted at the Atlantic Group’s Peninsula, a soaring 9m high function space, inspired by London’s Tate Modern Museum. The Atlantic Group share Talk2 Media & Events’ vision of creating a moment that reflects the future needs of the community, of pushing expectations, of working together to create the outstanding. AIME will focus on the personal experience while embracing the diversity of the whole community.

Across the two days on the show floor, delegates are again encouraged to focus on networking and relationship with twice daily catered breaks. Stepping away from the meetings diaries, these are opportunities to extend conversations, cement interests and extend networks beyond the known contacts.

Tuesday evening is another opportunity to step away from the rigours of the show floor, with a second networking evening, held under the summer skies at Showtime’s Event Centre on South Wharf Promenade. Themed to reflect the Asian Pacific region, this casual affair demonstrates how the organisers are focused on bringing the industry together, across multiple experiences, to deliver an event that builds enduring connections and delivers an experience that defies expectations of the continuation of the previous AIME experience.

In 2019 the experience for visitors is enhanced with the Knowledge Program extending across the two show days with the Ideas Academy. Short bite thought-provoking sessions continue the themes of community and connection, as well as some focused sessions designed for Executive Assistants. These sessions are programmed throughout the day, are free to attend, and deliver professional and personal value for participants.

Registration to visit AIME is now open, and is free online ($25 on the door). Corporate, Government, Incentives and Associations buyers are welcome to register to attend AIME.

With many valuable buyers unable to commit to the full three days of AIME, registered buyers can opt to upgrade to one of the four networking packages. Ranging from $85 – $515, the packages provide options for inclusion in the Monday Knowledge Exchange, choice of the Monday or Tuesday networking evenings, and options to have access to the catered networking breaks each day across the show floor. Visitors can pick and chose when they attend AIME, ensuring the maximum use of their time.

To register to visit AIME check the website for full details or click https://aime.eventsair.com/aime-2019/visitor/Site/Register

When Asia Pacific Meets