Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Events has been running for over 15 years bringing event professionals together to connect and do business. Attending AIME helped me build community within the events industry, gave me insight into 2020 market trends for events and gave me the opportunity to upskill in my own professional development.
AIME, not just another trade show
With little knowledge of what I was walking into other than “you have to be there” messages from some of my well respected and long-term event industry friends, I packed my bag, rented an Air BNB and flew to Melbourne to participate.
AIME’s program was jam packed with workshops, networking events, short story presentations and a two-day exhibitor floor. I listened eagerly to inspiring speakers do short talks about purpose, mindfulness, efficient business practices and marketing trends. I took notes as panels discussed the rapid emergence of tech as an essential for events and the rise of experiential learning. And even though Melbourne turned on its iconic sunshine to hailstorm in 3 minute weather, I enjoyed a garden party networking night.
AIME has an international delegate turn out and clearly focuses on bringing event professionals from Asia Pacific together. But after 3 days of being immersed into my first AIME, I’ve realised it’s #notjustanothertradeshow and I will be heading back in 2021, even though I don’t organise international events. Here are three reasons I suggest you join me there.
Community is crucial for event coordinators
Research has been consistently showing that event coordination is in the top 10 most stressful jobs in the world. Wow! That blew me away. We sit in the top 10 alongside careers where people literally put their lives on the line. Roy Morgans State of the Nation report states that stress is the most common mental health issue facing Australians. Although low levels of stress can be healthy and protective, consistent high stress has numerous negative health implications. Reduced immune system function, impacted sleep, digestive and reproductive system interruptions can all occur from chronic stress.
What my personal experiences have taught me is that when I feel a sense of community and connectedness, my stress levels are lowered. Funnily enough, research shows that it’s not just a gut feeling. It’s noted that around 50% of Australians are not asking for the help they need.
Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who are able to share similar experiences and new coping techniques is essential to building resilience, avoiding burn out (so common with event pros) and bettering our industry. AIME not only provided a space for our community to come together, it also promoted the fostering of sub-communities through networking, matched meetings and a super easy contact sharing tech platform.
Join the revolution and be a leader in marketing and event trends
72% of event creators said sustainability was a top priority for their 2020 events (jumping from 11% in 2019 – something I’m personally so damn happy about!). AIME provided me with some practical tips, demystifying the “how-to” by talking with suppliers leading the way with this sustainability trend and all other trends. I will share more direct take aways next month!
60% of event professionals surveyed said they will be hosting more events in 2020 than in 2019. That means more options for your delegates and an ever-growing necessity to stand out. Being unique in this industry is a must for career progression, getting bums on your event seats and scoring high in the post event guest surveys.
I’m often told by clients that coming up with unique event ideas and venues are two of the most challenging parts of the event planning process. AIME offers an informal learning environment where you can surround yourself with industry leaders and trend setters from around Asia Pacific.
My hot tip, don’t just look at the stalls and the marketing material or listen to the presentations. Delve deeper. Find out what people and business are thriving in and be curious. Amazing what new trends, common challenges and marketing gold you can find if you simply ask.
You are people too! Personal and professional development, it’s important for everyone.
We often put ourselves last as event professionals. We are generally a group of givers. Every week I talk to event creators who are telling me about their massive efforts pre event to pull everything together within budget, to meet deadlines whilst adhering to unusual briefs. Not to mention on event days when we are often expected to work extraordinary hours.
Reversing the event industries often-unrealistic expectations will only happen to the extent we grow ourselves. This is made possible through personal and professional development by us, you and me, the industry professionals and leaders. Attending events that fly the selfcare banner high is a must. AIME is one of them.
It was empowering to experience workshops and talks that gave real, actionable suggestions for us as individuals and an industry to move forward in healthy, conscious ways. This ethos that is so close to my heart personally filtered through every part of this 3 day event. Let’s start listening to those amazing speakers and interactive learning experiences we book for our conferences and delegates and make them a priority to be a part of for ourselves. From this, we progress and we can create improved experiences for our event guests and ultimately better commercial outcomes.
Why I would go to AIME again
I’ve been to industry trade shows before. AIME felt different. There was an electric buzz amongst guests. People were genuine with connecting and the event program was relevant and appealing. Ultimately, what our industry boils down to people and ideas. The event industry is full of amazing people with brilliant innovations and ideas. To learn from them, build a strong community to support your career in this industry and grow yourself, I suggest you join me at next years AIME. See you there!
Find out more about AIME
Written by Ash Newton, BDM