Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) has today announced the cancellation of the 2021 event, which was scheduled to be hosted at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and online in March, due to concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Event organisers Talk2 Media & Events have shared that like many other event organisers, the event faced challenges brought about by international and domestic travel restrictions despite healthy interest for the event from exhibitors and buyers.

In a statement, CEO of Talk2 Media & Events Matt Pearce said: “As the past year has shown, it’s difficult to predict if border closures will be required to slow the spread of future outbreaks.

“As difficult as it is to cancel, we cannot in good conscience stage an event that devalues the quality of experience or accessibility of AIME in delivering meaningful interactions for exhibitors and visitors, alongside subsequent appointments with our international networks.

“The business events industry is facing many challenges and the entire Talk2 Media & Events team will be there to support our community, until we meet again at AIME 2022.”

With support from the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), AIME has begun contacting attendees, including those who have already registered, to manage existing bookings and arrangements, as well as event refunds.

Commenting on the cancellation, CEO of the MCB Julia Swanson said: “The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly supportive of our difficult decision, as the team at Talk2 Media make their way through contacting every single one of AIME’s buyers and exhibitors to update the latest developments and provide support in managing arrangements. It’s a real testament to our industry and we’re looking forward to delivering an even bigger and better show in 2022.”

Mr Pearce continued: “As we navigate through these trying times, we remain optimistic that business events will adapt, innovate and emerge stronger than ever. We cannot wait to see you all next year – to connect and reunite as a community.”