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Three things from AIME: New tech, a Brisbane partnership and Accor’s latest meetings campaign

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Three things from AIME: New tech, a Brisbane partnership and Accor’s latest meetings campaign
There was a flurry of industry announcements last week as local and international business events stakeholders gathered in Melbourne for the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME).

Connected Event Group announces new tech

Connected Event Group, headquartered in Sydney, showcased a variety of new products for 2024 to media at AIME.

These included digital wayfinding technology for exhibitions, including in-place, interactive wayfinding screens as well as augmented reality solutions that attendees can use on their own devices, providing real time guidance to booths or other places around the event, complete with time and distance estimates and on-screen promotions.

New 1.5mm pixel pitch LED digital signage is also new in 2024, offering paper-free communication to event participants, that can be updated throughout the day. The smaller pixel pitch offers a high resolution. Connected Event Group believes a 1.5mm pitch is not currently locally available in Australia for digital signage.

The business is also introducing corner and flexible LED products which enable new installations at business events.

On top of this, Connected Event Group debuted its podcast booth, which was used on the show floor at AIME to record the event’s first podcast, as well as podcast production services. Connected Event Group already create the Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA) podcast, which has proved popular.

BCEC and The Star Brisbane reaffirm partnership

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) and The Star Brisbane reaffirmed their partnership at a joint press conference at AIME.

A new pedestrian bridge, the Neville Bonner Bridge, will connect the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf, which is 50 per cent owned by The Star Entertainment Group, and the South Bank precinct, in which BCEC is located, providing direct access across the Brisbane River between the two venues.

Queen’s Wharf is set to have several event venues – alongside a large ballroom, the new precinct will offer a 250m wraparound suspended Sky Deck which can be activated for business events and various outdoor spaces within its 12.5ha footprint.

“Between us, our key riverbank precincts, we think it’s a unique experience that no one else in Australia can provide,” said BCEC’s general manager, Kym Guesdon at AIME.

“We see it as an extended offer to our delegates and PCOs where they may be able to enjoy a bespoke experience walking across the Neville Bonner Bridge to their social function held at The Star.”

The Star Brisbane’s chief operating officer for hospitality, Kelvin Dodt, shared more about how the new bridge could be included in event experiences shared by the convention centre and Queen’s Wharf.

“We’ll be able to activate that bridge, particularly for delegates and events, whether it be lighting up the bridge to reflect company colours or alternatively having fireworks or staging events physically on the bridge.”

Queen’s Wharf will begin a staged opening “towards the end of August” according to Dodt. Several hotels, restaurants and bars, alongside event space, will all be part of Queen’s Wharf once it is fully open.

Read more about the opening of Queen’s Wharf in our special edition magazine for AIME.

Three things from AIME: New tech, a Brisbane partnership and Accor’s latest meetings campaign
Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru in the Maldives

Accor launches new campaign

At AIME, where the hotel group already has a sizeable presence in part to its sponsorship of the hosted buyer lounge on the show floor, Accor announced a new campaign for its loyalty program for event organisers.

Called “We must start meeting like this” the new initiative offers event planners the chance to win a monthly prize of a $1,000 gift card and one of two major prizes – trips to Paris or the Maldives.

Planners who follow all the steps to take part in the campaign will also receive double reward points for the events they host at Accor properties in the Pacific during the period the initiative is running.

Points can be used to cover up to 15 per cent of their event bill and to redeem exclusive experiences at Accor Stadium and Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park.

Holding a press conference at AIME, Accor’s senior vice president of commercial for the Pacific, Anne Gill, revealed some meetings planners were attending Taylor Swift concerts at Accor Stadium over the weekend through Accor’s loyalty program.

During their time with the media, Accor highlighted properties opening in the region over the next 18 months, spoke about why they chose to sponsor the hosted buyer lounge and shed more light on their sustainability actions.

The hotel group has set a target to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 46 per cent by 2030 and its scope 3 emissions by 28 per cent. The end goal is to be at net zero by 2050.

“We’re seeking to be a major player in the green energy market in Australia,” Accor’s director of sustainability, David Young, told media.

The hotel group has taken major steps to reduce its guest facing single use plastics and is now looking at how to remove plastics from back-of-house operations.

As previously announced, Accor has forged partnerships with both Ecotourism Australia and Qualmark in New Zealand to raise the sustainability of their hotels in the region.

Read more about Accor’s future plans in our special magazine edition for AIME.

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