The feedback for the 24th annual AIME event held last week in Melbourne has been largely positive, with both exhibitors and hosted buyers expressing their approval of the updated matched appointment system, saying that it saved everyone a lot of time and focused everyone’s efforts.
AIME first timer Melbi Langton, event manager Funktionality, said, “2016 was my first time to AIME as a hosted buyer. What a marvellous and valuable experience. The information I received through the hosted buyer appointment program was both educational, exciting and engaging. I have taken back generous amounts of knowledge from hosts and peers alike. It was invaluable and the energy at MCEC was buzzing. The welcome event was an evening full of colour and vibrant iconic visions of Melbourne which was transient through the presentation of food, beverages, entertainment and venue. Pulling off such an impressive event for events professionals is no easy feat – well done and hats off the AIME team. See you next year.”
Dean Jones, director of regional sales, Australasia for IHG said, “The reinstatement of Tuesday evening’s hosted event was a welcome return to the AIME schedule with IHG selecting The George Ballroom, St Kilda to put on a stellar celebration of the year’s achievements with 25 IHG team members and 65 Key clients and media in attendance. This included representation from hotels in Tokyo, Danang, Saigon, LA, London, Fiji and Singapore.
“Highlights from the event showcase included a number of strong MICE leads; a substantial number of new signings to the IHG Business Rewards program for bookers; and sharing news about the upcoming launch of the Holiday Inn Express brand with the opening of Macquarie Park Sydney in April,” he said.
Heritage Hotel’s group conference and incentive sales manager Shelley Eastwood said, “As always it was a busy show right from the welcome cocktail event, which was good to have back on the agenda to catch up with clients informally. During the appointment streams, we found the level of interest strong for our new product offering of exclusive hire – ‘buy out’ conferences and events at selected hotels, in particular Heritage Queenstown and Hanmer Springs,” she said.
Adam Niewand, managing director Mr Milford, said, “The absolute standout for me was the Sunday night hosted buyer function hosted by Melbourne and Olympic Parks at their beautiful terrace venue, ‘Vista’. The evening was glorious, the view and the ambience was incredible. It’s very rare that an event, designed for event managers is able to boast such a high standard and impress.
“The food presentation was spot on, it was creative and themed without being tacky. The menu carefully crafted and brilliantly executed, the styling was perfect, the staff were delightful, the entertainment was wonderful – every detail was superb and on point. Everything right down to the quality of the wine served was just such a treat. What a fabulous way to welcome all the guests to AIME for 2016,” said Niewand.
On the downside, some industry sources said that the welcome event was too dark and too loud for effective networking. Some people also complained that the quality of the food and wine wasn’t at a standard to justify the $150 price tag.
Gwen O’Toole, director of The Ideas Library, said of AIME, “It’s a great place to catch up with clients and colleagues from all over Australia and see everyone in one spot.”
Ben Curtis, group sales and marketing manager, A LIST Guide, said, “Great to have the welcome reception back and the live performance was a definite stand-out. As exhibitors, A LIST Open House enjoyed a successful show, meeting lots of new quality contacts and cementing existing relationships.”
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