Reed Travel Exhibitions has announced an increased attendance at AIME 2006, held earlier this month at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.The event which moved from its usual annual time of February, attracted a total of 2,644 trade visitors, Hosted Buyers and media, an increase of 5.2% on the previous year. (Figures audited by Circulations Audit Board).
A record number of 835 exhibitors from 49 countries participated in AIME 2006, covering more space than previous years.
“The exhibition covered a record 11,200 square metres of space, exhibitor numbers increased and our total audience grew,” said Rosemarie Sama, AIME Event Director.
“All our feedback to date has been that the quality of the Hosted Buyers and trade visitors was excellent. AIME obviously attracts the right audience and that comes back to the quality of our exhibitors. Many of the buyers and trade visitors we spoke with at AIME were very pleased with the variety of exhibitors AIME showcases,” she said.
Ms Sama said that holding the event in June, a move caused by the staging of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, impacted on AIME in ways they could not foresee.
“The World Cup and other meetings and incentive events in Europe affected our international Hosted Buyer numbers this year. In New Zealand, a public holiday and other industry events also had an impact. In some markets June was the preferred time to visit Australia and in other markets it was not.
“Of the 935 applications we received for our Hosted Buyer Programme, we qualified a record 501, which was well above our target of 480. Buyer cancellations were higher than usual, with many buyers citing time pressures and increased commitments in the month prior as the reasons for being unable to attend. This reduced our final Hosted Buyer numbers to 411.”
Ms Sama said that exhibitors and Hosted Buyers favoured the move back to February for AIME 2007 and that she expected that Hosted Buyer numbers would increase based on this year’s experience.
AIME 2007, 15th AsiaPacific Incentives & Meetings Expo will be held on 13 and 14 February at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.