AIME gives numbers as favourite trade show gets underway

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AIME 2022, the first national tradeshow to welcome international delegates since the pandemic hit, is being attended by 225 exhibitors – including representatives from New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa.

There are 54 international exhibitors and 171 national exhibitors. Business is still largely domestic-based at present and out of the total 342 hosted buyers attending, 30 are international buyers and 52 are virtual buyers. The show runs live till Wednesday 23 March – then online from 28 March to 1 April.

Fifty percent of buyers this year are new to AIME.

Matt Pearce, chief executive of AIME partner Talk2 Media & Events, said AIME was the first event in two years that had produced any vibe for international business.

Pearce said 75% of respondents to a recent survey said they preferred face-to-face meetings when conducting business.

“Zoom just doesn’t do it,” Pearce said. Nobody says “you’re on mute” when you’re meeting in person!

Peter King, chief executive of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), told media that the MCEC had hosted AIME since 2008 and it was “one of our favourite events”.

Before Covid stuck in late 2019, business events were “very strong” in Australia, King noted. It represented “good, steady business” that brought in just over 1 million arrivals.

The numbers “went to zero very quickly.

The pandemic made Melbourne’s CBD look “pretty grim from quite a while”, King recalled, but shoppers and crowds are building back. Masks are used strategically and on transport, but no longer generally, and the city’s famous street life is building up fast.

“It’s events like this (AIME) that help bring it back,” King said.

AIME is in its 29th year and this is its fourth year in partnership with Talk2 Media & Events. (It’s their third year delivering AIME, as 2021 was cancelled).

AIME is being covered by 33 invited media representatives (hosted and non-hosted) from around the world, some in-person and others virtually.

More than 1500 visitor buyers and visitor suppliers are expected to attend the tradeshow over the next couple of days. 

    What’s new at AIME 2022:

  • The format of the show has changed. The show includes two options: a 3 day in-person event (21-23 March) and a 5-day virtual platform (28 March to 1 April) – AIME Online
  • AIME Online is for those buyers and exhibitors who are unable to attend in-person
  • AIME Activate and AIME Activate Live – featuring new products and suppliers on the show floor to help activate and up-level events
  • All exhibitors to have pre-scheduled appointments (PSA’s) and access to an open meeting diary during AIME online
  • Buyers will have access to winning over 40 prizes – including a 7-night stay in the Maldives for any buyers who apply for the AIME 2023 hosted buyer program by 31 May 2022
  • AIME Welcome Party takes place tonight at Centrepiece at Melbourne Olympic Park 

Written by Peter Needham

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