This week, End2End Events attended the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME). It’s held every year at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and is specifically for organisations that work in business travel, meetings, corporate incentives and events.
The two days we spent there didn’t disappoint, with thousands of people attending to exhibit, hear from keynote speakers and network with like-minded individuals from across the industry.
It kicked off with an impressive Welcome Event at Ormond Hall – a heritage listed building inside the Ormond Collective (a food and entertainment hub by The Big Group) located on St Kilda Road. It was imaginatively executed and colourful, which combined with the nostalgic feel of the venue was set to create a magnificent night. Everything we love about creating events – from choosing a venue that immerses guests in the experience, to surprise people with great music and entertainment, and offering a simple yet fun way for guests to connect – was all present at the AIME Welcome Event. On arrival, we were pleased to see that they’d incorporated everything from a Cheese Station to a Taco Station, Waffle Corner, Glow Bar and much more!
Those who attended the Hosted Buyer Cocktail Evening at Melbourne Gaol were also treated to an evening of history and culture. We love that the event organisers used this space to get guests out of their comfort zone and offer a unique topic of conversation over drinks and canapés!
Exhibitors came from every Australian state and territory, and countries all over the world, to showcase their locations as the perfect place to host a destination or incentive event. I was excited to meet and help the team from the Egyptian Tourism Board, who were there to showcase the beauty of my native homeland and encourage people to visit for events.
I also attended a few of the Saxton Speaker Sessions. Topics of note included meeting and event destinations, mindfulness and human behaviour, event trends and industry forecasts, and Artificial Intelligence and its predicted effect on the event and hospitality industries in coming years.
My favourite session was one on resilience and acceptance, where people who had overcome adversity spoke about their experiences and shared lessons learned – leaving us all feeling very motivated and inspired.
At the end of the two days, everyone converged on St Kilda beach for the final networking event of the conference. It was another unique venue, and a great way to relax after an exhausting couple of days!
Conferences can be so intense that it’s so important to incorporate events like these to allow time for socialisation. It not only helps break the ice and create a more harmonious mood, but it’s essential to give people time to wind down and really connect with others, who may end up playing a significant role in their lives.
Overall, we really enjoyed AIME this year and will look forward to attending next year. It’s always beneficial to stay on top of industry trends, and forge relationships with others in the industry; particularly those who think and feel as passionately as we do about events!