Led by new organisers, AIME’s reboot zeroes in on international buyers

Matt Pearce, CEO of Talk2Me Media and Events launches AIME 2019 at Monday's press conference

This year’s Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) in Melbourne has kicked things off with a greater focus on getting international buyers, and the creation of more networking opportunities for stakeholders.

AIME’s new organisers, Talk2 Media and Events, say they believe what they have on offer this year provides more value for both its Australasian and Asian participants, with 50 per cent more hosted buyers than last year and more than half of all buyers new to AIME.

Matt Pearce launches AIME 2019 at Monday’s press conference. Photo: Adelaine Ng

Also, 65 per cent of buyers represented are from overseas, compared to just 18 per cent last year, thanks to a more thorough vetting process. And out of the 65 per cent, 70 per cent hailed from Asia.

“There is a greater focus on the quantity, quality and geographic range of (these buyers),” Matt Pearce, CEO of Talk2Media and Events told TTGmice. “We’ve also vetted all the hosted buyers to make sure they fit the bill, (ensured) they have money to spend in the next five years, and that they are looking to spend that money in the region”.

Pearce also added new structures have been adopted to encourage the right business meetings to take place. For instance, technology using algorithms have been employed to match buyers and suppliers, although manual interventions have also been used to get better outcomes.

“For instance, the Northern Territory in the past may not have been as interested in Chinese visitors, but they now have a direct service to Guangzhou from Darwin, so China now becomes more important and more interesting to them. So we’ve worked with them to match (the right buyers),” elaborated Pearce.

Networking opportunities have also been given more priority with meeting spaces redesigned, and the welcome party adjusted for more food and less music to encourage talking.

Australian Podiatry Association’s events manager Pauline Taylor, who has attended more than 10 AIMEs, shared with TTGmice she appreciated the more personalised attention from organisers this year.

“(The organisers also recognised) that there were many international buyers who didn’t get taken out by local suppliers… so they’ve put on this whole new eat street, food truck-esque event on Tuesday evening. That was a nice touch,” she said.

Talk2Media and Events were tasked in 2017 to take over and rejuvenate AIME beginning in 2019, and halt the slide in attendance numbers over recent years. This year, more than 2,000 delegates have registered to attend the three-day event which ends on Wednesday (February 20).

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