Regaining a regional focus AustralasiaFeatures

Talk2 Media and Events has taken over from Reed Exhibitions Australia as organiser of AIME. Talk2 Media’s CEO Matt Pearce talks to EW about partnering with the Melbourne Convention Bureau to return the event to its former Asia-Pac glory.

The Asia Pacific Incentives Meetings Event, otherwise known as AIME, has a proud heritage that we are keen to build on. Since being awarded the management rights, we have spent a good deal of time talking with key stakeholders, to understand what they are looking for in the show.

Our biggest stakeholder is the show owner, Melbourne Convention Bureau, and we have worked quickly to establish a strong-working relationship with them and, together, we have been able to clearly articulate and agree on what we see  as AIME’s future. We are excited by this, but know that we have a few immediate things to address.

AIME – Day 1

What became clear since our appointment is that AIME was increasingly seen as an Australian show, rather than an Asia-Pac event.Our research told us loud and clear that the hosted buyers needed to be coming from the Asia-Pac region and far more representative of the regional industry.

So we have hired a hosted buyer manager, one with experience on IBTM and ILTM, to drive this.

Our investment in delivering hosted buyers will be significant, but is key to our future success. To achieve the ambitious targets we have set ourselves we will work closely with exhibitors and convention bureaus across the region to ensure we have a strong mix of quality buyers attending the show next year.

Our other key focus is education. We are in deep discussion with a number of international associations to see how we can work more closely together to deliver meaningful, and where possible accredited, education. We firmly believe that personal and corporate development are important for all attendees and the plan is to open up the Monday prior to the show for a significant education offering.

The third priority for us is to increase the networking opportunities between all participants. Traditionally this has been the welcome party on the Monday night prior to the show opening on Tuesday, and this will continue.

But as well as this, we will add networking on the show floor on both days of the shows and we are also looking at the possibility of creating an additional Tuesday night function into the mix. Networking is important and the business that comes with networking can never be underestimated.

We have been really encouraged by the level of engagement by our exhibitors and visitors. Many have great ideas as to what we can do with the event and all are supportive of our changes. The key for us is to make sure we can deliver what we promise and so increasing the quality and quantity of international hosted buyers, giving greater emphasis to the educational offering and expanding the networking opportunities, we believe will all contribute immediately to the future of the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event.

Read the feature in Exhibition World (Issue 2 | 2018), here