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February 22, 2009
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AIME 09 breaks records as visitors numbers rise by 9.6%




Flying in the face of the prevailing global economic conditions, the 17th Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo, held in Melbourne this week, attracted more visitors and exhibitors than last year.

Some 868 exhibitors took stands at the show, a 5.5% increase on AIME 08, while  unaudited total attendance figures were up by 9.6%, with a record 3,584 trade visitors, including 467 hosted buyers.

“When you consider the current economic situation and the devastating local bushfires, these results are really incredible and reflect the resilience of the meetings and incentive industry,” said Paul Kennedy, group exhibition director, Meetings & Incentive Events at Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE).

Exhibiting companies represented 50 countries, with 43% from Australia, 9% from New Zealand/Pacific, 32% from Asia and 16% from further afield.

Hosted Buyers represented 25 countries, with more than 340 from Australasia, 70 from Asia and around 40 from other international destinations.

Speaking at the close of the event, Kennedy said: “Exhibitors are very positive about expected results, with high praise for the quality of the hosted buyers. Some expressed their surprise at how successful AIME had been, given the economic environment.”

Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB), whose combined Melbourne and regional Victoria stand covered the largest space in the event, initiated a special bushfire appeal. With significant contributions from RTE and MCVB, the total raised during the two-day event was over AU$15,000.

“AIME was an excellent event for Melbourne and Victoria, allowing us to present our meetings and incentive credentials to international hosted buyers and visitors,” said MCVB chief executive Sandra Chipchase.

“The industry’s support for the Victorian bushfires was wonderful, with many offers of additional support.”

AIME 2010 will be held from 27-28 April at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.


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