Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA April 2014 Contents to support future growth of the industry and open the event up to
Attendance figures revealed 54 per cent of the 492 hosted
buyers at the show were attending for the first time. There was
also an 18 per cent increase in the number of domestic hosted
buyers and an overall increase of 0.61 per cent compared to last
“The economy has forced us to work smarter in order to remain
relevant,” Ms Timmins said.
“That’s why our focus for 2014 and beyond is about
partnerships – this means leveraging the experience and
knowledge of others to continue to identify new and improved
ways to work towards the greater good of the industry.”
As such, the Sabre-sponsored Innovation Zone made its debut
on the show floor this year, showcasing new event technologies.
One company leading the charge in terms of technology is
Haycom, which not only introduced some innovative products, but
revealed its new brand image and business direction.
“Haycom is coming out of a transformative year, with the
successful merger with t7 Event Solutions, a business review,
rebrand, and the opening of our Adelaide office wrapping up
2013,” said Haycom’s Mario Valenti.
“After more than 38 years in the business, it became evident
that Haycom’s branding needed to evolve and more accurately
reflect the company’s strong reputation and unique position in
New technology the company was showcasing included:
robotic tele-presence, `Ghost Host’, and `Musion’ or holograms.
(Visit www.haycom.com to learn more).
Despite new offerings such as the Innovation Zone, comments
gathered from attendees suggested that, due to the high cost of
exhibiting at AIME, the show lacked variety and imagination.
After attending this year’s event, Conference Focus managing
director, Max Turpin, said the show’s content seemed driven by
the sponsorship dollar, and not thought-leadership.
“AIME is a great place to find out (more) about new or emerging
destinations, hotels, and venues, which provides a good reason to
attend. But if you're looking for ideas, and innovations that will drag
our industry out of the time warp it’s currently in, AIME isn't the place.
“We need to go beyond logistics by allowing smaller players to
exhibit with less budget to provide a more diverse range of
exhibitors because there’s so much more to meetings than logistics.
“AIME shouldn’t be just a commercial exercise; as the peak
industry show it should be leading the way with innovation and
showcasing more AV and event technology, not just hotels and
destinations,” he said.
There were also criticisms of this year’s AIME Knowledge
educational program, which despite its comprehensive line-up,
was deemed costly ($55.00 per session) and ran throughout the
show. This meant many hosted buyers and exhibitors were unable
to attend due to their pre-scheduled business appointments.
Despite this, sessions were well received by those who did
manage to attend, and included 17 seminars covering topics like
old and new media, leadership, and the art and science of
behavioral change. A standout performance was given by Earth
Hour co-creator and ABC TV panelist Todd Sampson, who spoke
about the delicate relationship between creativity and fear,
encouraging delegates to have creative courage and “be brave for
five minutes longer” in order to ensure corporate organisations are
gardens of creativity, and not prisons.
The Saxton Speaker Showcase wowed once again, proving the
early rise (7:40am start time) was well worth it with the likes of Vinh
Giang, a young magician with a sense of humour; a tear-jerking
speech by former British solider John Peters (who was tortured by
the Hussein regime during the Gulf War); Michelle Bridges of The
Biggest Loser; and an envelope-pushing performance by Australian
beatboxer, Tom Thum. Singer/songwriter Darren Percival also made
an appearance, serenading delegates while entrepreneur Matthew
Michalewicz carefully examined the science of success.
Another event highlight was, of course, the AIME Welcome
Reception at the inner-city park, Birrarung Marr, produced by
Peter Jones Special Events. Perched along the banks of the Yarra
River, the pop-up event, initially shrouded in secrecy, celebrated
Melbourne’s vibrant urban character with food trucks serving
gourmet street eats like Vietnamese Banh Mi rolls, fish tacos,
pulled-pork sliders, and dumplings and dim sum; a live band; and
colourful street performers. Epicure catered the event, further
showcasing the city’s culinary flair and ensuring attendees were
kept well fed and well watered throughout the evening. The open-
air space and carnival theming encouraged casual networking
and, as the sun went down, a lively DJ set ensured festivities
carried on well into the night.
Dockside commits to Sydney
Dockside Group demonstrated its commitment to keeping Sydney
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