Hi there! My name is Ashleigh, I’m Nectar’s Project Administrator. If we haven’t met, I work across Nectar’s administration, events, marketing and everything in between.
I recently attended the 25th annual Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME). It’s a four day extravaganza organised by the Melbourne Convention Bureau for event professionals like ourselves. It connects local and international event professionals to suppliers by the means of appointments, education sessions, and networking events.
This was my very first AIME! It was such an action-packed few days out of the office and I’d love to share it with you…
And we’re off! After landing in Melbourne, I attended Uncover Melbourne: The Magic of Flemington. There were prizes to be won, oysters to be shucked and race horses to be pat. It was an opportunity to meet my fellow hosted buyers!
We (hosted buyers) ventured to Cargo Hall located in South Wharf for The Charm of the Yarra breakfast. This waterfront venue had views of Melbourne City and the Yarra River. It was absolutely spectacular!
We all sat down at a long table which was dotted with rustic flower arrangements and different pieces of wood. Something so simple yet effective…
Following breakfast, we walked to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) for the Melbourne Edge Series. Before we got too comfortable in our seats, BeChallenged had us “boomwhacking”. Curious? Click here. It was interactive, energised the room and brought everyone together.
After “boomwhacking”, we got down to business! We explored technology, industry trends and people with a panel of professionals including the Melbourne Convention Bureau’s CEO and a representative from Airbnb.
Attendees were able to interact with the panel by the means of live polling. For instance, attendees were asked “which generation is currently the biggest staffing and management challenge for you?” Generation Z received 42.86% of the vote. Don’t know how I feel about that!
For lunch, MCEC’s culinary team created a delicious packed lunch box for attendees. My favourite treat was the zucchini souffle with fresh mint and goat’s curd! By this point, I had to loosen my belt…
After a short break, we were captivated by MCEC’s Symphony of the Senses. This included a live performance by the Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra which was complimented by a spectacular audio-visual production. Definitely the highlight of my trip!
I had heard from my fellow hosted buyers that the Welcome Event always impressed those that attended. I can definitely say that AIME’s 25th Anniversary Welcome Event did not disappoint!
The venue itself had uninterrupted views of Melbourne’s skyline and a variety of spaces for attendees to nibble, network and dance. As per usual, I bounced from one buffet table to another.
There was a constant stream of entertainment that evening. LE SOUL performed, 15 ballet dancers pranced onto the dance floor and poet, Rupert McCall recited an ode to Melbourne.
What a couple of days! I was able to taste, touch, smell and hear a variety of products and I hadn’t even reached the exhibition floor. In Part 2 of my Insider’s Guide to AIME, I’ll walk you through my show floor experience. Stay tuned!