This week organisers of the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) announced the cancellation of the 2021 event, citing concerns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Already the industry has taken to social media to commend the efforts of the organisers, express disappointment at the outcome and look ahead with optimism to 2022.

“It’s a blow to the industry with lots of suppliers hoping to showcase their product and services and many involved in the event build,” national education manager at Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) Jo Child said.

“I hope it comes back bigger and better next year and encourage us all to commit to attending or exhibiting or supporting this however we can.”

Director at MICE & Holidays Ezee Fly Solutions Shekhar Sharma adopted a similarly optimistic attitude.

“Let’s make hope our decision, and look forward with hope and optimism. Very soon everything will be great,” they said.

Managing director at WALDRONSMITH Management Kate Smith commented: “The team at Talk2 Media and the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) fought valiantly to try and make this a reality. Thank you for your tireless efforts. It’s disappointing on so many levels but the stark reality our industry is facing. Look forward to a strong return if AIME in 2022.”

In a statement earlier this week, CEO of Talk2 Media and Events Matt Pearce said that the team could not in good conscience stage an event that “devalues the quality of experience or accessibility of AIME in delivering meaningful interactions for exhibitors and visitors.”

Silke Calder, who took on the position of AIME event director for the 2021 event, has also commented on the cancellation.

“Not being able to run AIME 2021 is devastating for the entire AIME team,” she said.

“They put 110 per cent into this show and I couldn’t be prouder. We are all heartbroken and are counting down the days until we meet again in 2022!”