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February 25, 2016

AIME Charts Course for Australia's Events Sector

Speakers at the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) press conference at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre talked what's next for the event and Australia's MICE sector. 

Photo by Freeimages.com/John Sepulveda

“Our expertise in delivering business events ensures a rewarding experience for delegates. In 2014/15 we hosted 203 business events secured in partnership with the City of Melbourne, bringing 72,000 delegates to the city, worth around $308 million,” said The Right Honorable Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle

Providing an update on Business Events Australia’s work, John O’Sullivan, managing director of Tourism Australia, outlined the dedicated activities being undertaken to showcase Australia on the world stage in partnership with the Australian business events industry.

“In 2015, we focused our efforts on markets and sectors where our work can provide the greatest return on investment, including a stronger commitment to the associations sector, and more strategic partnerships with Australian Convention Bureaux, professional conference organizers, and the business events industry.

“And we will continue to deliver results for the industry in 2016, with dedicated activity including; the Business Events Showcase at Australia Week in China where over 60 buyers and media will meet with 29 Australian products; A strong presence at international trade shows including IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX America, and the Associations World Congress, and an integrated marketing, trade and PR strategy in partnership with industry, to drive awareness and conversion of business for our country,” said O’Sullivan.

Karen Bolinger, CEO, Melbourne Convention Bureau, outlined new investment and infrastructure underway to further support the city’s business events sector. 

“2016 and beyond are years of important development in Melbourne and Victoria with an additional $210 million being invested by the state government in the expansion of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, which will add 20,000sqm making it the largest centre in Australia. Plus 7 new hotels will open in Melbourne, creating 1,400 new rooms in the city and increasing our capacity by 7 percent in just two short years. 

“Business events are the highest yielding sector of the Victorian tourism industry, delivering an economic contribution of $9.98 billion each year and approximately 65,000 jobs,” said Bolinger. 

Ian Wainwright, event director – AIME, Reed Travel Exhibitions, outlined what's new for AIME this year. 

“This year, we have focused on capturing the knowledge and experience of our industry and delivering this content in tangible packages through our knowledge program, free for all exhibitors and visitors for the very first time. Plus we’ve added a dedicated series of education sessions for our Hosted Buyers – both significant outcomes from our first ever Advisory Board who were brought on board to influence the strategic development of the show.

“We also welcome our ibtm events global partner, the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau for the first year, who is leading a strong contingent of international exhibitors," said Wainwright. 

AIME took place February 23 to 24. 

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