by Meetings & Conventions Asia | December 04, 2018
Thailand and Dubai will be making a comeback at Melbourne's Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Meet (AIME) after notable absences in the past few years.

They headline a list of international exhibitors who are returning to the leading meetings and conventions event in the region to connect with the pool of international buyers. The event has already registered attendance of buyers from across 32 different countries, with 48% newcomers to AIME and 65% originating from outside of Australia.

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) last attended AIME in 2017 while Dubai Business Events & Convention Bureau (DBE) had been missing from the exhibitors' list since 2016. 

The notable returns of the two countries' MICE organisations come as a result of AIME's refreshed vision, which has overhauled the way exhibitors take part in the event. The change has also sharpened the focus to a positive return on investment through rigorous curation of the buyer programme and format that meetings are delivered.

TCEB Australia representative Nicole Tingey said, "Australia and the broader APAC region have strong ties with the Kingdom of Thailand, and AIME presents the perfect opportunity to promote Thailand as a key destination for business events due to its excellent reputation for service, aviation links, high-quality hotels, convention centres and appealing choice of experiences for incentive groups."

Other exhibitors attending the 2019 event include the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism Republic of Indonesia, the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau - who will reveal a new rewards campaign, and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LATCB) - who will be showcasing their new Banc of California Stadium and highly anticipated renovation of the LA Convention Center.

Matt Pearce, CEO of AIME organiser Talk2 Media & Events, said, "The interest we've received from both international and regional exhibitors has been monumental. Whilst they span very different industries, they are all signing up for the same reason - to meet and connect with more quality buyers from across APC who are ready to do business."

Last month, AIME also announced the launch of its meetings software for its 2019 event, which will match 32 guaranteed pre-scheduled appointments (PSAs) between buyers and exhibitors.

In partnership with Centium Software, the custom-designed algorithm will match the preferences of buyers with the services and capabilities of exhibitors through the EventsAir portal. 

Once buyer registrations are reference-checked and approved, they are able to begin their preference selection, which includes a range of criteria questions spanning preferred destinations, capacity, product strength, buyer types and budgets - all of which will then be used to match most relevant and mutually beneficial meetings with AIME exhibitors.

Approved hosted buyers and confirmed exhibitors will be given the opportunity to pre-connect via the buyer zone portal, which opens in mid-January, or through the AIME app which will launch in January. Both parties can then begin the exchange of relevant business information to ensure the most effective use of time at the event.

"It's common knowledge in the business events industry that PSAs are usually voluntary and can be either under-organised or not organised at all. We undertook a thorough exploration of events software to find a technology partner who would carefully match buyers with exhibitors, creating more business for both parties", said Pearce.

"Previously, delegates had expressed that there often wasn't enough time to walk to your next scheduled meeting, contributing to missed opportunities. This new meetings software ensures that they will be rescheduled automatically, creating a more seamless event experience."

AIME 2019 will run from Feb 18-20 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.