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ICCA delivers Hot Debate & Business Exchange at AIME 2019

This February, the meetings industry did not stop talking about the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME).  The event concluded successfully from February 18 – 20 at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia, bringing people together for networking, knowledge and commerce. Led by organiser Talk2Media & Events and owned by the Melbourne Convention Bureau, AIME is one of the largest industry tradeshows dedicated to the meetings and event industry in the Asia-Pacific region. As one of the ICCA Supported Shows, the refreshed event united a community of over 2,500 attendees from across 38 different countries, including 300 exhibiting companies, 350 hosted buyers, and exhibition visitors, industry media, and students.

The advocacy of knowledge-based sharing remained a key pillar at the event, and AIME partnered with PCMA, ICCA, SITE and Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) to design “outcome-based learning” Knowledge Exchange for the AIME community. ICCA, as one of the Strategic Education Partners, was involved in the framing and delivery of the AIME Knowledge Program, which opened the three-day show.

For the first time ever, ICCA debuted a Hot Debate session on Monday, before AIME’s two-day exhibition, themed around the question, “Why do you need a PCO?”. This provocative and inspiring session saw both associations and exhibitors, especially the PCO community, debating the role and relevance of professional conference organisers (PCOs). Two international association representatives, Carola van der Hoeff (International Pharmaceutical Federation - FIP) and Pauline Taylor (Australian Podiatry Association), kicked off the discussion by putting forward arguments for and against outsourcing - a hot topic with both suppliers and clients! The opposing PCO side was represented by Erin Kelly (Arinex) and Abigail Krause (ICMS), allowing further opportunity for both the association sector and suppliers to connect and share.

This interactive session discussed how associations professionalise their meeting management process, as well as some very important implications for how suppliers market themselves and their services to the association clients.

In addition, ICCA’s integral Business Exchange was anchored at this year’s edition of AIME. The inclusion of ICCA’s Business Exchange in the Knowledge Program was a valuable tool for attendees (ICCA members only) to exchange leads and forge business connections. Synonymous with providing industry know-how, the leads-swapping session was open to worldwide members.

A total of 11 participants took part and exchanged critical information about events they have recently managed, in particular information crucial to the bidding process, such as contacts, budgets, and the decision-making process - incredibly beneficial know-how for negotiations with potential association clients

AIME will return to Melbourne for another edition next year, heating up the meetings floor from 17 – 19 February 2020. For more information, please visit