Event professionals reunite in Melbourne as industry stakeholders look to fast track economic recovery.
The business events industry is buzzing with excitement as Melbourne, Australia welcomes international visitors back to its shores over the last few days for the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) trade show.
Reconnecting after two long and tumultuous years, visitors, exhibitors and hosted buyers brought with them a renewed sense of optimism and enthusiasm for meeting face-to-face once again as travel restrictions and Covid protocols gradually ease around the world.
“We have been quick to activate our reopening strategy – focusing on conversion-driving activities that tap into short to mid-term business while positioning Australia for long-term growth.
“Earlier this month, we held the Business Events Australia Asia Showcase 2022, which brought together 110 incentive planners and corporate decision-makers from South and South East Asia and Greater China. The event provided a platform for customers to connect virtually with Australia’s top industry sellers and learn more about our destination’s new and exceptional business events offerings. Feedback has been very positive, with buyers gaining new knowledge about promoting our incredible itineraries and experiences.
“Soon, we will ramp up our familiarisation programme to bring qualified planners and media from key markets including South and South East Asia to Australia to experience our world-class offerings first-hand. And we also have some upcoming developments in the marketing space that will really build on the reopening momentum and let the world know we’re back open for business.”
Over the three days, AIME will facilitate over 14,000 meetings, matching buyers’ needs with the destinations and services. More than 1,500 visitor buyers and suppliers attend the trade show at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).
MCEC Chief Executive Peter King said MCEC is thrilled to welcome back its largest industry event and all it offers.
“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,” he said.
“In Australia, an average of 440,000 business events are delivered annually, directly contributing to the economy and supporting 230,000 jobs. AIME is a chance to ensure this continues and expands,” he added.
The business events sector is the largest yielding market for Australia, with 1.04 million arrivals spending AUD4.5 billion pre-Covid.
According to Tourism Australia’s International Visitor Survey 2019, business events visitors spend an average of 74 per cent more per night than leisure visitors.
The show includes a three-day in-person event and a five-day virtual platform called AIME Online for those unable to attend in person. AIME is owned by Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and managed by Talk2 Media & Events.