Despite Economy, AIME Hosts Record Number of Attendees, Exhibitors

Never mind the global economic recession and the ruinous bushfires that tore through Australia last month. Reed Travel Exhibitions' 17th annual Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) still managed to attract a record-setting audience of attendees as well as exhibitors, it reported recently.

Held Feb. 17-18 in Melbourne, Australia, AIME 09 hosted 868 exhibitors and 3,584 attendees, including 467 hosted buyers, according to early, unaudited attendance figures. Compared with AIME 08, that's an increase of 5.5 percent in exhibitors and 9.6 percent in attendees.

"When you consider the current economic situation and the devastating local bushfires, these results are really incredible and reflect the resilience of the meetings and incentive industry," Paul Kennedy, MBE, Reed's group exhibition director, meetings & incentive events, said in a statement.

According to Reed, exhibiting companies represented 50 countries; 43 percent were from Australia, 9 percent from New Zealand, 32 percent from Asia and 16 percent from other international countries.

"AIME was an excellent event for Melbourne and Victoria, allowing us to present our meetings and incentive credentials to international hosted buyers and visitors," said Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Sandra Chipchase, whose combined Melbourne and Victoria exhibit was AIME's largest.

AIME 2010 will take place April 27-28, 2010, in Melbourne. For more information, visit www.aime.com.au.