Group exhibition director, meetings and incentives events, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Paul Kennedy MBE, has announced that AIME 09 had set a new record with exhibitor numbers totalling 868, representing 55 countries. More than 200 of these were new to the Melbourne show this year, Kennedy claimed.
“Given the state of the economic environment these are wonderful results. Buyer numbers are expected to be similar to last year,” said Kennedy, speaking after The Hon Tim Pallas MP, Minister for Major Projects and Minister for Roads and Ports, had officially opened AIME 09 this morning in Melbourne.
The Asia-Pacific meetings industry trade show, owned by the Melbourne CVB and organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions, takes place this year against a dramatic background of bushfires in the state. Minister Pallas said the bushfires in Victoria had caused a disaster for the state on a scale never believed possible.
“Since this tragedy unfolded, Australians have banded together to do what they do best, dig deep and support the victims.”
Chief Executive of the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sandra Chipchase, called on exhibitors and media at AIME to support the Bushfire victims by making a gold coin donation at the Melbourne and Victoria exhibition stands.
“On behalf of the Chairman and the Board of MCVB, Reed Travel Exhibitions and the Regional Victoria Conference Group, I ask you to support our Bushfire Appeal in support of the work of the Red Cross,” she said.
The Minister also said the Business Events industry had an important role to play in the Victorian economy. “With government support, the city continues to attract a growing number and size of business events, particularly in the high profile areas of medicine and science,” he said.
“Melbourne’s reputation as a world leader in this industry continues to increase as a result of the city’s superior infrastructure such as the new Convention Centre which is due to open in July,” he added.
AIME 2009, the 17th Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo is on 17-18 February at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.