Congresses, incentives bouncing back for AIM

Gianluca Buongiorno tells of a return to association events in a market once hit hard by Covid but is now active under a new normal

A SHARP restart is underway in the events market – well, that is what’s happening from where where are at this international congress organiser in Italy!

Buongiorno Gianluca

The last part of the year is proving to be a real restart period for us here at AIM Group International, with a sharp reboot of in-person events including many international conferences with large audiences.

From the end of August to December, AIM Group is managing 35 major events with more than 100 in-person delegates and involving about 15,000 participants overall.

This involves all types of events: association and corporate meetings (pharma and non-pharma), CME (continuing medical education) courses, DMC activities and incentive travel – even from overseas. They are taking place in virtual, but more often in hybrid, formats with a large in-person attendance.

We are experiencing an enthusiastic response to in-person events from association and corporate clients and from the delegates, happy to leave for a trip, meet their international colleagues face to face, exchange ideas, chat freely and strengthen new relationships in a safe environment.

Safety is a major concern, so all the protective and preventative measures are in place, with delegates feeling comfortable and confident and adjusting well to this new normality.

Big events have been successfully organised such as the European ESOT Congress 2021, which brought together 1,200 delegates for an in-person in Milan joined by 1.400 delegates online. The Cibus International Food Fair in Parma, the General Assembly and Scientific Symposium (GASS) of the International Union of Radio Science are other significant conferences planned across Europe: (Austria, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, etc.). There is even an incentive group being organised from Mexico to Portugal.

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We are really excited about these results. Our ability to support clients making important decisions in a very difficult context, our capacity to change and to adapt with flexibility, our promptness and availability have meant that we have maintained long-term client relationships and acquired new clients and events.

Since the pandemic, we have experimented by using different formats with our clients and helped them pivot to new solutions and technologies. We have had some stunning results, for example the SIAARTI ICare tour or FIMP House were recently recognised with international innovation awards.

Faced with our new realities, we are committed to completing this transformation, pushing it forward and towards a new way of designing events and supporting clients.

It is all about persistence. After we geared up for the initial phase, the next challenge is to fulfil the entire process, despite the difficulties. We are sure that the recovery of the events industry and its new face and identity will emerge only if we don’t let go of our obsession with making it happen.

Gianluca Buongiorno is president of AIM Group International, which has been operating in the meetings and events industry for nearly 60 years

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