Paula Rowntree, Head of Events, Australian Psychological Society and Founder, The Business Events Network and AIMEbassador, shared with us her passion for business events ahead of AIME 2023. As a business event leader with some 30 years’ experience, her insights are invaluable.
Brought to you by AIME 2023
It’s AIME’s 30th Birthday – any historical anecdotes to share?
I remember my first AIME. I picked up my name badge and attended the hosted buyer briefing. The energy in the room was palpable and watching the joy as so many people hugged, kissed and laughed as they came together again was like nothing I had experienced.
What’s changed in your time in the industry?
The increase of digital in our sector perhaps goes without saying. When I started it was good old fashioned recording and sending these out on VHS tapes.
What do you think our industry will look like in 30 years?
Immersive and experiential learning is growing and we need to learn how to create these educationally based experiences in our program.
Have you met any partners or made new business contacts through AIME?
Every year I meet new partners and business contacts at AIME. It’s one of the main reasons I continue to go year on year.
What are your top tips for networking?
If you’re on your own, don’t be afraid to approach that group and make conversation. Our industry is warm and welcoming. Let people know you’re flying solo – you’ll be building a network before you know it.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the industry?
There are a few things I could mention here but the skills shortage is key. Our industry is no longer seen as attractive to newcomers.. There is no clear pathway – especially for young people – for career growth and progression. We need to undertake career mapping and show how rich and diverse our industry is.
What are the key trends you are seeing in your area of specialty?
Within associations the need to reconnect in-person seems to be a key trend. With digital content, there are mixed feelings with some associations returning to in-person only and some maintaining a digital presence, as it relates to conferences.
What would you most like to learn about at AIME?
How can we unite as one industry to drive recognition through all levels of government, corporate and associations to increase our standing, appreciation and funding to drive more events into the Australian market.
What are some things you would advise someone to do who is attending AIME for the first time?
● Respect the time of the buyers. If you’re attending as a hosted buyer, attend every appointment. If you get behind schedule, go and see any appointments you missed to reschedule.
● Be open to learning!
If you could meet or chat to one person at AIME who would it be?
Julia Knowles! Julia was the person behind Her Majesty’s funeral. It was perfection in motion and such an example of the power of events.
What are some of your go-to places when you’re in Melbourne (food/coffee/experiences)?
Mamasita for some delicious Mexican; Hochi mama and Straight outta Saigon for Asian; walking everywhere and listening to the sights and sounds.
The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) is the leading trade event for the meetings and event industry in the Asia Pacific region. AIME is where industry decision makers connect, create and do business. Applications for AIME’s highly regarded Hosted Buyer Program close 13 December 2022. Find out more here.
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