Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA August September 2014 Contents The cost of exhibiting at the industry’s annual leading event
is leaving many long-time supporters questioning their
participation, with some citing similar costs to exhibit at
business event shows in the U.S. to that of exhibiting at AIME.
Some believe that the show is not providing a good cross-
section of all the elements that go into making a conference or
incentive travel reward effective, believing that the cost of
purchasing a stand is too expensive for small operators and is
hurting the event as a whole.
As all meeting planners would attest to, a conference is the
sum of many parts, not simply the destination and venue.
Despite this, small suppliers to the meetings industry are not
being represented at AIME. What this potentially means is
buyers are not being given a true marketplace of everything that
is available to make their events work.
One exhibitor, who wished to remain anonymous, told micenet
AUSTRALIA they struggle each year to attract diversity of product
on their stand due to the costs associated with exhibiting.
“We believe that this is preventing us from showing the great
depth of product and services available in our destination.
“It is now only the bigger players that can afford to exhibit. We
have endeavoured to come up with incentives and initiatives to
encourage smaller operators to join us, however, due to the high
costs of us exhibiting we aren’t in a position to heavily subsidise
smaller operators. We are also finding that the bigger operators,
the ones that you used to be able to rely on year on year, are
reconsidering whether they will exhibit due to the costs and the
increased need for this activity to deliver ROI to their business.
“As a destination we want to support AIME because it is an
excellent show and it does provide a great forum to meet face to
face with potential decision-makers, however, it is becoming
more and more challenging to get product and services to join
us. Each year we need to review our participation and it is
becoming harder to get the number and range of products and
services to exhibit alongside us.”
One long-time New Zealand exhibitor told micenet
AUSTRALIA they are presently debating the value of exhibiting at
AIME because of the costs.
“It has got to the point where I’m really questioning the value.
The exhibition stand and pre-scheduled appointment costs are
close to $10,000. Add to that the costs of a stand build and we
are looking at $15,000,” the exhibitor said.
“We have exhibited at IMEX America for the past three years
and the cost to us including airfares and six nights’
accommodation is less than the cost of exhibiting at AIME.
These costs make it impossible for smaller operators to even
consider AIME which is a shame as it dilutes the product offering.”
Another exhibitor said the cost of exhibiting at AIME was
double the cost of exhibiting at a number of European and U.S.
“The high price means many exhibitors we know are currently
assessing whether they will attend AIME,” they said.
Another exhibitor agreed that AIME was expensive but did not
believe comparisons could be made to exhibiting at international
events which are often heavily subsided by an umbrella
marketing body. They did agree, however, that it was difficult to
get smaller and more unique products at AIME due to cost.
The individual said this was a negative for regional areas that had
a lot of small businesses working in the business events space.
“Destinations that are serious about the business events
industry but don’t have big budgets are really caught because
your absence is noticed if you are not there,” they said.
Director of Managing Australia Destinations, Byron Kurth, said
MAD exhibited at AIME for about 15 years in one form or
another until they stopped doing so a few years ago.
“No matter which way we did it we were always questioning
The cost of exhibiting at AIME
in Melbourne could have a
negative effect on the show in
the years to come. BY BRAD FOSTER
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