Spice readers came out in full force to express their thoughts and feelings following Tuesday’s story regarding AIME. The response can only be described as passionate.
Feedback includes the following points:
- Appointment scheduling was ‘ridiculous’. Apparently hosted buyers were given gruelling schedules and there were some technical issues with the appointment system that meant there were double-ups, long gaps or the bulk of appointments taking place on one day with little to nothing on the other day.
- Knowledge seminars got good feedback but hosted buyers said that they didn’t have time to attend them and, and if they did manage to squeeze a break into the schedule, they had to pay extra for this. One buyer said, ‘It’s frustrating for people who do buy tickets hearing that others went for free.’
- The timing of the Saxtons showcase was not ideal as many buyers were invited to hosted events on the Tuesday night, meaning they missed half of the presentation. Most agreed that it worked better as a breakfast.
- All agreed that they prefer the original welcome function to the gala dinner. There was also some confusion about the gala dinner after party, with many people not knowing that there was one, and others not knowing where it was.
- The Thursday city tour was not popular with hosted buyers. They said that the walking tours should not be compulsory and mobility issues need to be catered for as some people were on crutches/canes.
- The Northern Territory function at Pei Modern was deemed a hit by all who attended.
- For Victoria-based buyers who attended the post-famils, there was a request that in future years, there be a Melbourne CBD drop off option for those attendees as opposed to a Melbourne Airport drop-off for everyone.
- The post-famils were very well-received, with one buyer saying, ‘It was perfect, I saw and sampled product I had not known of (amazing being that I am a Victorian)’.
- The overall feedback was that AIME should be condensed, with one buyer suggesting, ‘Fly everyone down Sunday afternoon, have welcome hotel functions on Sunday night, Monday/Tuesday appointments with a networking function for all buyers and exhibitors on Monday night, fly everyone back Tuesday night’.
Despite the points listed above one buyer said, ‘There were a lot of positives, buyers dealt with it, frustrated exhibitors worked around it, and overall, we all went into a mode that basically allowed us to resolve the issues, all elements of what we do daily for our clients.’
Spice attended AIME as hosted media and therefore had a different experience to hosted buyers, attendees and exhibitors. Hence, the reliance on industry feedback to ascertain how the show performed from those perspectives. The media program was, as ever, well run, incredibly hectic and very valuable.