The Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) is experiencing an increased demand for exhibitor space giving further credence to reports that the meetings and incentives industry in Australia and the surrounding region is going from strength to strength.
AIME, owned by the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB) and organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on 21-22 February 2012 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), and based on early feedback from registered exhibitors, organisers expect exhibitor presence to be strong.
Sally de Swart, RTE Director for AIME, says she is impressed but not surprised with the interest from new exhibitors for 2012, as well as the desire for past exhibitors to expand their presence at the show.
“This year we are seeing destinations increasing their numbers of trade partners at the show and therefore needing to increase the size of their stands. Also organisations which have previously shared a stand are branching out and committing to their own stand in order to have more exposure at AIME,” Ms de Swart said.
“It’s fantastic to see that early interest in AIME is very promising and that the strong interest in the Asia-Pacific region as a MICE destination gives the industry a positive outlook moving forward.”
In June this year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported a three per cent year-on-year increase in convention and conference arrivals to Australia. The UFI, Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, also reported a 10 per cent profit increase for Asia-Pacific companies in the exhibition industry in 2010*. Both reports confirm the region’s growth in popularity as a meeting and incentives destination.
Australia is also proving to be a strong market for outbound conferences, which has led to AIME exhibitors like Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) to significantly increase their presence at the show.
Jane Scribner, Manager of Consumer Marketing & Business Tourism at HKTB in Sydney confirmed that Hong Kong has almost doubled their stand size at AIME for 2012 in addition to increasing the number of trade partners from 24 in 2011 to 35.
“Australia is one of the primary source markets for the meetings and events industry in Hong Kong and we have enjoyed strong growth from this segment in recent years,” Ms Scribner said.
“AIME 2012 will represent a milestone for HKTB as we mount the largest presence for any trade show in recent times where we are joined by 35 Hong Kong trade for what we hope will be another very successful show and start to the new year.”
Marriott International, a leading worldwide hospitality company, has previously been represented at AIME through individual hotels and on destination stands, however in 2012 they are expanding their presence by holding a dedicated Marriott International stand for the first time.
Avril Northridge, South Asia’s Regional Director at Marriott International, said they are delighted to be taking a major stand at AIME 2012.
“This expanded presence at AIME is part of Marriott’s group strategy and will assist in building awareness and increasing business for the many new, or recently refurbished, hotels and resorts in the Asia-Pacific region and across the globe,” Ms Northridge said.
“Marriott also continues to support country and city destination stands at AIME.”
New and returning exhibitors will join Hosted Buyers and visitors from around the globe for AIME 2012, taking advantage of the valuable meeting and networking opportunities for the business events industry.