AIME 2020 had its challenges
First, the US Department of State upgraded its travel advisory for Australia to “level two”, urging travellers to “consider postponing their trip to affected areas in Australia until the danger of natural disaster has passed,” noting fires “may continue” until April. A number of US buyers cancelled their attendance.
Then, an epidemic outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus – epicentre China, one of Australia’s largest inbound MICE markets, meant that more buyers and exhibitors were unable to attend.
Despite these challenges, the team at Talk2 Media & Events got on with the job and hosted what was deemed a very successful AIME. Tourism Australia’s message of “Event Here This Year” could not have been better communicated to our industry and the wider Asia Pacific region, than by the gathering seen over the last few days in Melbourne.
Against the odds, we thought AIME 2020 was awesome. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our highlights from the past few days…
1. Event Here This Year
More than ever before, the message is clear – Australia has an abundant supply of fantastic facilities and locations for meetings, conferences and events – and they’re open for business.
Our major cities are great, but so too are our regional areas. Walking the show floor at AIME there was a colourful and vibrant display of convention bureaus from all over the country. What impressed us the most is the quality of event facilities available, along with the unique and bespoke experiences that you can tailor to your event program.
Our top destination? Go regional! No matter where you choose, from Gippsland to Gladstone, Sunshine Coast to Shoalhaven, you’re bound to have a memorable event that’s full of rewarding experiences.
*Browse the AIME exhibitor list to find out more for your next regional event destination.
2. Sustainability Made Digestible!
Sustainability is a goal of many event businesses and planners, but as we’ve said before – it can be hard to implement. To help, MCEC and Harry the Hirer teamed up to present the Sustainability Hub on the AIME show floor.
Newly appointed, MCEC Sustainability Manager Sam Ferrier, said:
“The Sustainability Hub showcases practical ways to make events greener, including considerations around stand design, food and drink, venue choice and green power.”
We were delighted to learn more about MCEC’s own sustainability practices, including their 100-mile menu and the installation of 36 permanent Food Cubes in the courtyard. The food cubes can each grow 25kg of produce and will be used to grow herbs and other food for the onsite Goldfields Café & Bar.
3. Melbourne’s Coolest Beach Party!
At what was a relaxed and stylish affair, around 1000 guests were invited to dip their toes into the sand and enjoy a spectacular Melbourne sunset.
The catering by Atlantic Group was amazing. Highlights included succulent whole spit roasted marinated lamb, fresh lobster rolls and made-to-order fish & chips. The most talked about menu item – the old school, traditional potato scallops… they were worth the wait!
We absolutely LOVED the event styling. Large graphic signage for the food stations made a bold impact, as did the Instagramable bench swing on the beach.
4. Strawberry Fields Garden Party
Hosted in MCEC’s central courtyard, the food pods mentioned earlier became a focal point for the second evening event at AIME. Edible strawberry fields, crafted by MCEC’s pastry chef, Alessandro Bartesaghi were delectable!
5. If not “Here”, Then Over The Ditch…
We have to admit, the Kiwis always put on a great show at AIME. So, if you can’t “Event Here This Year”, then we highly recommend a look at the neighbours in New Zealand.
We were lucky enough to enjoy a seat at their hosted breakfast event and were suitably impressed.
The event included a cooking class with Justin North using fresh, native ingredients and an engaging presentation by Jayden Klinac from The Better Good (they make plastic water bottles from plant-based materials that can be broken down into compost and decompose in our lifetime).
The goodie bags were full of sustainable products, and one of the simplest things they did – that we loved – was to use fabric covers for food instead of plastic wrap.
In addition, Business Events Christchurch launched their campaign to put Christchurch on the map as a world-class destination for business events. Following major redevelopment in the city, Christchurch is now the most modern city in the country. They invite you to create a legacy for the people of Christchurch and make a real difference by taking your events to the city.
A few more highlights that we loved:
- Our famil trip to URBNSURF was a barrel of fun. It’s Australia’s first public surf park where you can arrange a totally gnarly team building event.
- Our comments from last year’s event on the brilliant floor plan, stand designs and central Atrium still ring true. It works so well and looks fabulous!
- MCEC out did themselves with the catering. From the creative and fun morning and afternoon teas to the delightful Garden Party on the second night, to the themed menus at the NZ and NT showcase events – MCEC proved they truly are the masters at curating an event menu.
Attending AIME is always a highlight for us. We love meeting event professionals and suppliers from all over the world – not just from our own backyard. It was encouraging to see that, despite all the global issues at the moment, AIME was able to showcase the very best of the Asia Pacific region, attract quality buyers from around the world and prove, they’re #notjustanothertradeshow.
See you there next year!