REGISTRATIONS for AIME’s 2021 Hosted Buyer program open today as organisers vow to kickstart the industry and offer some certainty to the trade show’s participants amid challenges being faced by meetings and incentives organisers.
With border closures in question because of the Covid crisis, AIME’s Hosted Buyer program will welcome physical hosted buyers to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 15-17 and virtual hosted buyers via the online event platform from March 15-26.
This new hybrid experience is designed to ensure that international buyers can participate at AIME (Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event) to do business, network and learn.
The 2021 show is set to bring together more than 450 Australian and international hosted buyers who have been vetted and are ready to do business in the region. In 2020, 50 per cent of hosted buyers were new to the show and AIME says it is continuing to target more new buyers for 2021.
“Finding the right buyers has always been important, and after the impact we have all felt this year, it is critical now more than ever to reconnect and kickstart the business events industry together,” said Matt Pearce, CEO of Talk2 Media and Events.
“The landscape has changed, and we can no longer take our connections and network for granted.”
The traditional AIME Hosted Buyer program has been adapted to recognise the challenges of attending virtual events. Physical hosted buyers will still commit to 32 pre-schedule appointments (PSAs), while virtual hosted buyers only commit to 16 PSAs.
By reducing the number of appointments for virtual hosted buyers and extending the period in which virtual appointments can be conducted, AIME says attendees can better manage their screen time without suffering “Zoom fatigue”.
The new look program also includes an updated meeting matching approach, virtual access to all Knowledge program content, and new features including a Buyer Lounge, virtual networking events and a new buyer activation that will be launched in the coming months.
Bernadette Panton, AIME Hosted Buyer manager, said: “We as an industry are rebuilding what we once knew, and since opening the program in mid-July we have seen buyers from across the globe registering to take part. A clear indication that the industry is ready to get back to business.”