AIME 2021 reveals new dates, hybrid format

Asia Pacific Incentive and Meetings Event set for March with physical format in Melbourne, virtual exhibitions and meetings beamed worldwide

NEW dates have been announced for AIME 20201 with the Melbourne event being held in a hybrid format combining physical and virtual elements for the first time.

The Asia Pacific Incentive and Meetings Event is scheduled for March 15-17 based at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. 

With uncertainty around international travel as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the AIME team have developed a show model that combines virtual and live event components, to ensure the industry can still meet, exchange knowledge and do much needed business, wherever they are in the world.

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A poll conducted during the APAC webinar on the Joint Meeting Industry Council Manifesto for Economic Recovery using Business Events, revealed that 89 per cent of attendees expected to see hybrid events in 2021.

“We understand that we all have a role to play in driving business events to help rebuild global economies and the new hybrid AIME is being designed to quickly help kickstart our industry in 2021,” said Matt Pearce, CEO of Talk2 Media & Events, which manages the event.

“By moving the show to March, we are giving the industry some extra time to adjust to post-Covid conditions as well as providing them with a road to new business opportunity,” he said.

An AIME spokesman said exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors could attend either in person in Melbourne or virtually via the AIME online event portal. Content from the Knowledge sessions would be accessible live or after broadcast.

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Meetings will no longer be restricted to the physical show dates, while international virtual exhibitors and visitors can schedule meetings best suited to their time zone. 

All exhibitors will form part of the virtual exhibition, with those able to travel still taking part on live show floor in Melbourne. An increased number of buyers, particularly those who have previously been unable to attend, can now do so from their own locations.

All buyers that form part of the AIME Hosted Buyer program, whether they be virtual or hosted in Melbourne, will continue to be vetted to ensure that they have business to place. 

The AIME team has commenced buyer recruitment and anticipate a large increase of buyers attending AIME virtually or in person in 2021.

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“The recovery of Australia’s business events industry will depend on careful planning, unity, and the industry coming together,” said Penny Lion, Tourism Australia’s executive general manager for events.

“If all things go as planned, AIME 2021 will be an early opportunity to renew business relationships, to be inspired and to start planning the events which will put the industry back on its feet,” Lion said.

Improvements are also planned across the show, including an updated meeting-matching process, which will adopt an enhanced filtered approach designed to deliver better meeting outcomes for exhibitors and buyers, virtual networking opportunities and new activations on the show floor.

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