The Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) expands beyond the show’s traditional industries to incorporate business travel for the first time when the event opens in Melbourne tomorrow (February 26).
The show's organisers daid the move would see more buyers and exhibitors from the business travel sector at the two-day show, as well as a dedicated business travel stream in the show’s education programme - AIME Knowledge that is sponsored by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).
Sally de Swart, Reed Travel Exhibition’s director for AIME, said the new addition was the direct result of feedback from previous shows and would increase the return on investment for exhibitors and buyers.
“In 2012, 42% hosted buyers told us they organised business travel and 15% were corporate buyers – this clearly revealed potential for an increased focus on business travel at AIME.”
Adding business travel has allowed AIME to attract a wider range of buyers and visitors, including those responsible for the procurement and management of business travel programmes and increase the return on investment for exhibitors, she added.
Companies like Flight Centre Group Travel; Port Douglas Incentive Group, Virgin Australia, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts said the inclusion of business travel was an important factor in driving their attendance at AIME in 2013.
Business travel buyers attending the show in include Corporate International Travel & Tours, The Lido Group, Donna Barlow Travel, E-Oz Energy Skills Australia, and The Global Travel Movement Limited.
AIME, in partnership with ACTE, has added four education sessions focused on business travel to the AIME Knowledge programme, which will help attract more visitors responsible for booking business travel to AIME.
Andrew Kelly, regional director - ACTE Australasia, said that the education programme was important to the industry and would be key to attracting more business travel buyers to AIME.
“Previously, regular business travel and that of meetings and events were managed by quite separate areas within an organisation. We are now seeing travel programmes of corporate and government evolve to span both.".
The AIME knowledge sessions on business travel offer engaging sessions with intelligent and topical insights from industry experts for attendees to directly apply to optimise their travel and meetings/events programmes, added Kelly.