MCEC takes AIME with return of Australia’s biggest conference for the $36 billion business events sector  

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) welcomed the return of APAC’s largest business events gathering for the Asia Pacific Incentive and Meetings Event (AIME) this week (March 21-23).

Pre COVID-19, business events contributed around $36 billion to Australia’s economy, and the leading industry bodies put that figure globally at $2.5 trillion.

AIME was the first national tradeshow to welcome international delegates since the pandemic hit, MCEC will welcome international visitors from its key trading partners across APAC including New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Africa.

This event showcased MCEC’s ability to host international events of this scale as it hosts 225 exhibitors as well as 342 hosted buyers.

MCEC has hosted the event since its inception and facilitates the stakeholders in the industry to network, transfer knowledge, foster learning and realise the power of connection and community.

Over the three days, AIME will facilitate over 14,000 meetings, matching buyers needs with the destinations and services on offer.

1,500+ visitor buyers and visitor suppliers are expected to attend the tradeshow next week where MCEC will host a zero-waste cafe, and an immersive experience to illuminate blue-sky thinking, with botanical cocktails and sweet treats developed by executive pastry chef, Alessandro Bartesaghi.

Pre COVID-19, the business events sector was a strong performer for Australia with 1.04 million arrivals, spending $4.5 billion, making international business events visitors the second-largest yielding market for Australia.

According to Tourism Australia’s International Visitor Survey 2019, business events visitors spend on average 74% more per night compared to leisure visitors.

MCEC CEO, Peter King said MCEC is thrilled to welcome back its largest business industry event and all it has to offer.

“With international borders now open, AIME will be a celebration of the resilience of our industry and a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and welcome people back to Melbourne and MCEC,” King said.

“In Australia, an average of 440,000 business events are delivered annually, making a direct contribution to the economy and supporting 230,000 jobs, AIME is a chance to ensure this continues and expands.”

The show includes two options: a 3-day in-person event and a 5-day virtual platform called AIME Online for those unable to attend in person.

Featured Image: Twitter/@MCEC