March 21, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio

Melbourne turned on a big welcome for international and Australian buyers and media for the kick-off of AIME 2022 on Sunday.

Musicians, dancers, and performance artists greeted AIME guests arriving on international flights at Melbourne Airport ahead of a day dedicated to discovering what’s new for business events in the city.

Melbourne Convention Bureau delivered what may be a world-record-breaking welcome lunch in the grounds of the National Trust’s Rippon Lea Estate in Elsternwick. A 52-metre-long grazing charcuterie board was the centrepiece for the event highlighting how the gardens could be brought to life for an outdoor event.

A balmy afternoon provided the ideal temperature for a day of touring designed to give a new perspective on the city to the hosted PCOs, associations and incentive organisers.

Melbourne Convention Bureau’s general manager of sales, Beverley Williamson said the day was designed to give guests an immersive and unexpected experience of the city.

“When AIME comes to town, Melbourne turns it on and I think we’ve done that today.

“With support from the Victorian government, we’ve really taken it up a notch to deliver the very best of Melbourne as a destination to you over the next four days,” said Williamson.

The Uncover Melbourne itineraries included a range of locations – among them was Blender Studios in West Melbourne, an artists’ complex which includes studios and gallery that captures Melbourne’s laneway street art reputation. Over 24 artists use the premises to make both street art and fine art that is big and bold. AIME guests toured the premises and joined in stencilling a live piece being created to capture the spirit of Uncover Melbourne.

Among the other hotels, venues and experiences showcased was the Langham Hotel’s new “pink” boat tours of the Yarra, Federation Square’s new Mabu Mabu Indigenous destination restaurant, the recently opened Oakwood Hotel and Atlantic Group’s new venue Sophia in the Prahan Arcade.

Over the next few days at AIME, the stage will be shared with exhibitors from around Australia and around the world, all wanting to start conversations around new pieces of businesses. Leads generation, renewing relationships and presenting new product is the main act at what is a significant reopening event for the Asia Pacific region.

A fashion show takes place at Sophia in Prahran for AIME delegates