Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) owners, have kickstarted the business event’s industry for Asia Pacific by hosting the first international tradeshow, AIME 2022, since Australian international borders reopened.

As the leading trade event for the meetings and event industry in the Asia Pacific region, AIME 2022 brought together international and local buyers to access 225 exhibitors and 342 hosted buyers from around the world to learn, connect and uncover Melbourne.

MCB Chief Executive Officer Julia Swanson said Melbourne is renowned as Australia’s events capital and AIME 2022 has provided a significant recovery platform for the business events industry in Victoria.

“After a lengthy hiatus, momentum is building in the business events scene. Through AIME we have seen key decision makers come together in-person, reigniting connections, and creating business opportunities.

Melbourne knows how to put on a show. Partnering with integrated experiential agency KREATE and content creator Snackable, a ‘Very Melbourne Welcome’ came to life at Melbourne airport as international arrivals were greeted by the faces of Melbourne’s celebrated arts and cultural hub providing moments of joy and on-ground ‘buzz’.

From the ballerina as she moved through the crowd with grace, to the lofty brass band tunes, the Wes-Anderson inspired concierge highlighting the city’s world-class service and hospitality and a graffiti artist creatively working on masterpiece artwork synonymous to Melbourne’s famous laneways, the tone was set for an epic Uncover Melbourne at AIME 2022.

“It’s been two years since we’ve hosted an event of AIME’s calibre in the city, and with the support of the Victorian State Government, this event has been our first real opportunity to show the world that Melbourne is back in action and ready for business,” said Ms. Swanson.

Showcasing to the world that Melbourne and Australia are back in action, hosted buyers and media experienced Melbourne's world-class business events capability as part of the Uncover Melbourne immersive experiences that demonstrated why Melbourne is a benchmark city for business events.

Led by MCB, the Uncover Melbourne program at AIME is immersive and unexpected. This year hosted buyers and media revelled over a four-day program that showcased the best of Melbourne as a destination, challenged expectations and revealed new perspectives to Australia’s events capital that has struck a chord with event buyers and planners boosting confidence to plan and book their events in Melbourne.

Highlights included a spectacular MCB Hosted Buyers and media Welcome lunch at Rippon Lea Estate by Showtime Event Group, the official AIME Welcome Event for 900+ guests at CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park, and MCB’s Networking Reception hosted at THE LUME Melbourne, supported by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. As the largest stand on the AIME 2022 show floor custom built by Harry the hirer, the Melbourne Stand was the place to connect with the city’s best business events suppliers with the introduction of many exciting new exhibitors.

With a knack for curating the finest bespoke experiences, MCB infused the city’s art par excellence into a hosted media familiarisation with a creative introduction to Melbourne’s flagship art and event spaces at the Australia Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) following its recent reopening after a $34.5 million development and Australia’s most popular art gallery the National Gallery of Victoria international (NGV), demonstrating why Melbourne is a benchmark city for business events.

Following a successful Uncover Melbourne program at AIME 2022, Swanson said she is very optimistic about Victoria’s business events sector future.

“There is pent-up demand for in-person events, with companies eager to bring people back together and we can’t wait to host a monumental 30th AIME in 2023.”

Melbourne has on its books right now 127 international and national business events to be hosted between now and the end of 2023, which are expected to attract 95,000 delegates, filling 212,200 room nights - enough to fill the city 10 times over, and inject $476 million into the Victorian economy.

In addition to new business development and maximising leads across the tradeshow floor, AIME 2022 in-person attendees also benefitted from professional and personal development gathered from inspiring sessions offered through the Knowledge Program and gained new insights from the Ideas Academy. A highlight included the BestCities Global Alliance Legacy Workshop for organisations looking to create legacy visioning into their forward planning and practical takeaways that can be implemented in business.

For those who were unable to join in person or virtually, view the highlights reel of the ‘Very Melbourne Welcome’.