AIME’s 30th anniversary event kicks off

Marking its 30-year legacy with a spectacular launch party, AIME has welcomed delegates from 25 countries who will turn the event's showfloor into a hive of activity over the next two days.

The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) team, together with the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), has officially kicked off at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCCEC).

Taking place 13-15 February, the leading trade event for the meetings and event industry in the Asia Pacific region officially launched its 30-year celebratory event yesterday, welcoming delegates from 25 countries, with more than 400 hosted buyers, 350 exhibitors, 2,000 visitors and 12,000 meetings expected over the next two days.

L to R: Talk2 Media & Events CEO Matt Pearce, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos, MCEC CEO Natalie O’Brien, MCB CEO Julia Swanson, Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison.


Speaking at yesterday’s opening press conference, held at THE LUME, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, the Hon. Steve Dimopoulos MP said AIME gave Victoria a huge opportunity to harness the benefits that business events can deliver for the economy now and into the future.

“International business events like AIME bring thousands of visitors to Melbourne, providing a boost to local hotels, restaurants and shops, while also showcasing our city’s strength as a world-class events destination,” Minister Dimopoulos said.

Managed by Talk2 Media & Events, AIME began in 1993 with only domestic destinations and local suppliers and has gone on to become the flagship trade show for the APAC region.

“The last time we were here the world was still tentative, emerging cautiously from an extraordinarily testing time,” Talk2 Media & Events chief executive officer Matt Pearce said.

“Whilst our industry has bounced back strongly, the need to future-safe and inspire events of the future has brought with it an unprecedented workload. For many of us, this has been our biggest year yet.

“We are bringing these vast learnings to a jam-packed AIME 2023 program guaranteed to leave attendees inspired and to drive more positive commercial outcomes than ever before.”

MCB chief executive officer Julia Swanson said AIME’s 30th anniversary was a really significant milestone, not just for the event itself but also for Melbourne.

“Last year as we emerged from COVID, AIME was the first international tradeshow to be held in the country – so in many ways we were the canary down the coal mine,” Swanson said.

“But we’re also very proud of the leadership that we showed and being able to show the industry how to restart, that it can be done and how to build confidence. And aside from building confidence, our research shows that $120 million worth of business events were transacted as a direct result of AIME last year, so if AIME has been around for 30 years, that is an incredible economic contribution over that period.”

This year’s unmissable new event features include The Accor Hosted Buyers Lounge, a ‘Tech’ area, and a Wellness Café, while a huge kangaroo and special anniversary lanyard featuring First Nations’ artwork, are some of the ‘touches of Australia’ featured throughout.

AIME’s Knowledge Program was the highlight of day one, which enabled delegates to come together and immerse in learning. The program included a keynote from Australian tennis star, Jelena Dokic, and saw a mix of industry business leaders and renowned professionals and keynote speakers share their knowledge and experience.

To wrap up AIME’s first day, the highly anticipated Welcome Event saw guests celebrate on the Marvel Stadium oval where they enjoyed a pearl-themed catering menu by Victorian producers Delaware North before kicking off a dance party to DJ Hot Dub Time Machine’s homage to AIME’s 30-year legacy, complete with spectacular pyrotechnics display.

Delegates fill out Marvel Stadium for AIME Welcome Party. Image credit: Lana Bogunovich.

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