The region’s premier meetings and incentives event, the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), has expanded beyond the show’s traditional industries to incorporate business travel for the very first time.
Held this week in Melbourne (26-27 Feb), the move has seen more buyers and exhibitors from the business travel sphere attending AIME, as well as a dedicated, business travel stream in the show’s education program, ‘AIME Knowledge’, sponsored by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).
Sally de Swart, Reed Travel Exhibition’s Director for AIME, said the addition is the direct result of feedback from previous shows and is expected to increase the return on investment for exhibitors and buyers.
“In 2012, 42 per cent of Hosted Buyers told us they organised business travel and 15 per cent were corporate buyers – this clearly revealed potential for an increased focus on business travel at AIME,” de Swart said.
“Adding business travel has allowed AIME to attract a wider range of buyers and visitors, including those responsible for the procurement and management of business travel programs, and increase the return on investment for our exhibitors.”
Exhibitors have welcomed the addition, including Starwood Pacific Hotels and Resorts’ Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, Daniella Tonetto.
“Business travel contributes significantly to Starwood’s total revenue stream, and the importance of this segment has increased as globalisation has created a new global travel pattern, and driven economic growth in emerging markets,” Tonetto said.
“To have another platform to directly reach this target market and showcase our extensive corporate services and SPG loyalty program is invaluable to us as a business.”
Business travel buyers attending the show in 2013 include Corporate International Travel and Tours, The Lido Group, Donna Barlow Travel, E-Oz Energy Skills Australia, and The Global Travel Movement Limited.