Next year’s AIME exhibition is set to be one of the largest Melbourne, with the organisers expecting to see up to 500 buyers networking, sharing and purchasing at the major business event.
Event director Sally de Swart told e-Travel Blackboard this week that every year international and domestic buyers are invited, with organisers expecting to see up to 30 countries in attendance next year.
Ms de Swart said the majority of international buyers will be based in the Asia Pacific region.
“So if they say they want buyers from New Zealand, we are attempting to get a good percent from New Zealand.”
Targeting exhibitors’ needs, Ms de Swart said that would mean AIME “can reach the right market to recruit buyers”.
Receiving interest are buyers from India and China, with Ms de Swart revealing that a portion of this year’s international buyers will come from the two countries while the US will make a small contingent of the foreign group.
New additions to the exhibitors’ side are also expected next year, with the addition of American Express along with a few smaller and new companies.
Meanwhile major Japanese exhibitors are attending separate from their JNTO umberella while the Marriott will exhibit on its own stand for the first time.
Hong Kong will also be back but twice the size as it has “generated overwhelming interest at this year’s event”.
The event director added that organisers have “made so many changes” to next year’s event to increase networking opportunities and maximise the benefits of attending and exhibiting.
Looking for more hours to showcase their product, Ms de Swart said next year hospitality sessions will be held after the last meeting of the day on Tuesday to avoid overlapping with meetings.
She said prime networking hours will be between 4.30pm to 6.00pm on the Tuesday.
2012 the Club Night will be replaced by twentieth birthday celebrations, with Ms de Swart explaining the company wanted to offer exhibitors and buyers networking opportunities in a quieter atmosphere.
“We are not hosting the Club Night this year but trying something different, it will still be an evening event but a little earlier and it will allow buyers and exhibitors to network without trying to talk over music.”
Other changes next year will also be the addition of a new restaurant on the floor, the SingaporeXpress, hosted by Singapore while education sessions will also get a makeover this year with six new sessions that address challenges faced by attendees.
“We are adding strength to our educational,” Ms de Swart said.
“Working with new association partners, the new sessions will target and address the challenges of their members.”
AIME will be held in Melbourne over 21-22 February 2012.