by M&C Asia | November 14, 2017
Melbourne will host the returning edition of Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) from February 20 to 21, 2018. (Photo Credit: Oliver_Koch/Getty Images)
For two days in February, Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) 2018 will see a gathering of buyers to Melbourne.

Held from February 20 to 21, the show will open its doors to allow domestic day buyers to be a part of the official Buyer programme for the first time. The flexible programme enables domestic buyers to participate in AIME on their day of choice, with no mandatory events as part of their schedule. They will also enjoy unlimited access to exhibitor appointment diaries, the show floor and the Welcome Event. 

The revamped programme looks to cater to the growing area of shorter business trips, with one- to three-nights stays growing by 13% to 14.4 million while longer trips of four or more nights saw a 4% drop to 5.5 million over the last financial year according to figures by Tourism Research Australia.

"We know from previous years domestic buyers often attend AIME as visitors, because they can come and go as they please. The new Day Buyer program allows the ultimate flexibility with no mandatory sessions, but makes the most of the exhibitor diaries and invitations to attend networking events," said Angela Sciacca, project manager of AIME.

"There has never been a better time to exhibit at AIME. 2018 will see great destinations, brands and bureaux returning, including Business Events Australia, New Zealand, Perth Convention Bureau, ICC Sydney, Hyatt Hotels, TFE Hotels, Centium Software and Harry the Hirer," added Sciacca.

This year's edition saw approximately 76% of hosted buyers at the senior management level, with a cross section of industry represented: 45% from agency, 39% from corporate and 16% from associations. In 2018, these numbers are expected to increase with an acquisition scheme that utilises the global ibtm events portfolio.