AIME (Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Exhibition) held annually in Melbourne, Australia, is just around the corner. The event organiser, Matt Pearce, gave The Iceberg some insight into the sudden proliferation of events being staged in the region.
China and India are both showing demand for outbound, Pearce confirmed, and subject to developing the connection between business events and capacity building in key sectors within these future powerhouses of the sector, so Pearce anticipates the same for inbound assuming that effective national convention bureaus emerge. Certainly the infrastructure offer is complete, punctuated when CNCC II in Beijing opens its doors in 2025. The intra-regional trade and professional association markets are maturing, and this will ensure growth in business events serving both the sectoral and professional communities.
AIME enjoys its 31st edition in February and The Meetings Show Asia-Pacific out of Northstar Travel Group debuts in Singapore in April while IBTM Asia-Pacific is slated for its first edition in Hong Kong, also in April, next year.
“Everyone wants to spread themselves as far and wide as they can,” says Pearce, but observers will see that unless DMO budgets increase commensurate with the proliferation of events in the sector, then something will likely have to give in the form of the amount of exhibitor event space being acquired, the omission of one of the global platforms in favour of the regional calendar as seen at IBTM World with both the Australian and New Zealand contingents choosing to sit it out, or the failure of at least one of the new regional offers failing to gain market support.
AIME is set to break records this year but competition for the regional market is growing
The advantage for AIME as the established regional stronghold is that it comes quality assured with 30 years of market delivery. It is also underwritten by its host – the City of Melbourne. It’s likely to mean that at least one of the young pretenders in Singapore or Hong Kong will fail, but Pearce refuses to be complacent, explaining that decisions surrounding these event investments on the part of both exhibitors and delegates remain anchored in market fundamentals. “If you`re giving a good return and your exhibitors feel they are picking up business as a result of exhibiting, then they will continue with you,” he said.
AIME takes place 19th-21st February in Melbourne, Australia.