Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) hosted over 3,000 people ready to connect and do business last week at the 2023 Asia Pacific Incentive and Meetings Event (AIME).
AIME brings the business events industry together, connecting event planners with exhibitors, building knowledge and inspiring events of the future.
Business events generate significant activity across economies. Pre-COVID, they contributed around $36 billion to Australia’s economy, and leading industry bodies put the global contribution at $2.5 trillion.
The AIME team, in partnership with event owners, Melbourne Convention Bureau, put on a spectacular event held over three days (13-15 February). AIME 2023 stayed true to its theme of ‘More buyers. More connections. More business’. More than 350 exhibitors showcased at AIME, including convention bureaux, partners and suppliers from every Australian state and from Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, Qatar, the Philippines, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and more. The 400 hosted buyers were spoilt for choice and kept busy with over 12,000 meetings held.
Designed to ignite and inspire, the program included the two-day tradeshow, a knowledge program, leaders forum, formal and informal networking opportunities, and a gala event to celebrate AIME’s 30th Anniversary.
MCEC showcased all it has to offer, from versatile and welcoming spaces to world-class food and beverage, dynamic digital content and event expertise.
Visitors loved the cocktail and mocktail pods prepared by mixologists on the tradeshow floor. Goldfields Café + Bar was a popular place to relax, refuel and network with an all-day menu catering to all tastes and diets and an onsite DJ pumping out epic tracks.
AIME also introduced the industry to a future Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Opening in 2026 and operated by the same Trust that manages MCEC, the Geelong centre will include a hotel, commercial spaces, a plenary venue and 3,700 square metres of multipurpose space – located on Geelong’s waterfront.
The new centre is being developed as part of the Geelong City Deal, a partnership between the Australian and Victorian Governments, together with the City of Greater Geelong.
Natalie O’Brien AM, MCEC Chief Executive said MCEC is proud to have supported AIME since first opening its doors in 1996.
“MCEC is the home of AIME. This is a flagship event for our industry and a favourite event for us at MCEC,” she said.
“AIME 2023 is the perfect forum for the business events industry to come together, to celebrate our resilience, and to confidently look to the future. And MCEC is the perfect venue for an event of this scale and influence.”
“As Australia’s largest convention and exhibition space, we’re well placed to create spaces for people to connect, collaborate and learn. We have 70,000 square metres of flexible event space in the heart of Melbourne and our riverside location makes for spectacular settings to celebrate 30 years of AIME."