February 10, 2023 | By Bronwen Largier | Australian female jet fighter pilot Em will be on the Afterburner stand

With AIME-related famils kicking off this weekend ahead of the Knowledge Program and the welcome event at Marvel Stadium on Monday, micenet offers a few morsels for what to expect at this year’s major trade gathering for the world’s business events industry in Asia Pacific, as the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event gears up in Melbourne.

International buyers and destinations are back

After a scaled back international presence last year, due to Australia’s international border opening just a month before AIME, international hosted buyers and exhibiting destinations are very much back in 2023. Around 100 international hosted buyers will attend AIME in 2023 and plenty of international destinations and products are returning to the exhibitor pool this year.

Among the international exhibitors on the show floor are representatives of Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, a large contingent from Japan, Monte Carlo, Germany, Qatar and Thailand.

After a big return to business in 2022, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is one of those returning to AIME in 2023, for the 14th time.

“We are delighted to be back at AIME, it’s always a great way to kick-off the new year, especially after the positive bounce-back of the Malaysian business events industry we witnessed last year, which reinforces our attractive destination proposition,” says the centre’s general manager, Alan Pryor.

“AIME provides an ideal platform to engage with clients, many of whom, are Australian-based and have continued to return to the Centre for many years. Australia continues to be an important market for us.

“We are a proud member of the ASM Global family, which is well represented in Australia by its world-class facilities. We often collaborate with our sister venues to share knowledge, promotional activities and best practice models, which provides us with a more in-depth understanding of the Australian market. This allows our team to personalise our end-to-end solutions to better meet the needs of Australia-based clients and Malaysia-based Australian companies.”

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is coming to AIME armed with more sustainability initiatives under its belt, new menus and evening packages for organisers.

Tākina, the soon-to-open convention and exhibition centre in New Zealand’s capital Wellington

New Zealand is bringing its biggest ever contingent to AIME

After having a hybrid presence in 2022 due to Australia’s Omicron COVID wave, Tourism New Zealand’s business events team will be bringing along 27 partners to AIME in 2023, offering its largest presence on the show floor to date.

“This is our largest ever contingent travelling across the Tasman for AIME, with nearly 60 members of New Zealand’s business events industry on stand,” says Tourism New Zealand’s general manager of New Zealand and business events, Bjoern Spreitzer.

“We’re extending an invitation to event organisers who seek more through extraordinary travel. New Zealand has the world-class venues, aspirational activities, and innovative research and content to ensure a successful business event. But New Zealand also rewards those who come looking for deeper, more meaningful connections.

“We’ve seen an increase in business events that encompass a broader Australasian and Asia Pacific regional approach. There’s a move to grow and develop the knowledge and networks in our region, which business events can facilitate.

“We’re in a growth phase, with three new convention centres open or opening in our major cities. We want to showcase our new venues and attractions, and the team approach that makes holding an event in New Zealand so appealing and so easy.”

At the New Zealand stand, visitors can create their own pepeha, a traditional structured introduction in Māori culture that connects people to place and sample some New Zealand wine, while catching up with the destinations, hotels and experiences on the stand.

Inside Capella Sydney, set to open in mid-March

There will be plenty of new and upcoming product to explore

Alongside recently launched hotels and experiences, like The Jackson, Kimpton Margot Sydney and The Langham, Gold Coast, which all made their debuts in 2022, there’s a strong exhibitor presence from upcoming openings and debuts.

New hotel Capella Sydney, which opens next month, has a presence, while the Marriott team will no doubt be plugging its two flagship luxury Australian openings for 2023, The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne – opening in March – and W Sydney, opening in October.

The Star Brisbane, which is expected to open as part of the new $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf development in late 2023, will have a presence at AIME, as will Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, which has just announced a new Indigenous storytelling light and drone show in Australia’s red centre, which will begin in May.

New Zealand’s two in-development convention centres, Tākina – opening in June 2023 – and the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) – scheduled to open in 2025 – will be part of the New Zealand stand.

 TFE Hotels will also be on show, with an imminent opening in Melbourne this year, as well as a new Collection hotel for Sydney in 2024 and two new Docklands openings in Melbourne set for 2026.

And for something a little bit different…

Afterburner, with Cheeky Food Events founder Leona Watson now at the helm in Australia, is relaunching itself to the business events market at AIME 2023. With keynotes and exercises led by real life fighter pilots or “Top Guns”, Afterburner is bringing something different to the team building landscape.

To augment its AIME presence, Afterburner is bringing Australia’s first female jet fighter pilot to the show – simply known as Em – to discuss what event delegates can learn from someone who flies at 1,500 miles per hour and has a 98 per cent mission success rate.