Melbourne. Exhibitor numbers rose to 868, a 5.5% increase on AIME 08. Unaudited total attendance figures were up by 9.6% on last year, with a record 3,584 trade visitors, including 467 Hosted Buyers, visiting the two-day event. The unaudited figures released today by Reed Travel Exhibition (RTE) and Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB) do not include revisits to the show, or exhibitors. Final figures will be released next month once the event is audited by the Circulations Audit Bureau.
“When you consider the current economic situation and the devastating local bushfires these results are really incredible and reflect the resilience of the meetings and incentive industry,” said Paul Kennedy MBE, Group Exhibition Director, Meetings & Incentive Events, RTE. Exhibiting companies represented 50 countries with 43% of exhibitors from Australia, 9% from New Zealand/Pacific, 32% from Asia and 16% international.
Hosted Buyers represented 25 countries, with more than 340 from Australasia, 70 from Asia and around 40 from other international destinations. Speaking at the close of the event, Paul Kennedy said: “Exhibitors are very positive about expected results, with high praise for the quality of the Hosted Buyers. Some expressed their surprise at how successful AIME had been, given the economic environment.”
MCVB, whose combined Melbourne and regional Victoria stand covered the largest space in the event, initiated a special bushfire appeal. With significant contributions from RTE and MCVB the total raised during the two-day event was over 7,600 euros. “AIME was an excellent event for Melbourne and Victoria, allowing us to present our meetings and incentive credentials to international hosted buyers and visitors,” said Sandra Chipchase, CEO, MCVB. “The industry’s support for the Victorian bushfires was wonderful, with many offers of additional support,” she said. AIME 2010 will be held from 27 – 28 April at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. www.aime.co.uk