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by Matt Alderton | February 24, 2015
Its Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) is changing course with a new brand and a new strategic direction, organizer Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) announced yesterday.

The two-day exhibition, which takes place each February in Melbourne, Australia, will now feature a hybrid event model focused on year-round engagement of the business-events industry through virtual education and networking. The annual trade show will continue, but will be extended all year long through the creation of an online "AIME community."

"The value of face to face networking is consistently reinforced by business and industry professionals and the desire to meet is human nature," said Karen Bolinger, CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau. "However, due to technological innovations and new digital media the way we now conduct business has shifted to a hybrid of face to face and digital touch-points to connect and converse."

To facilitate community building before, during, and after the show, organizers have made numerous changes to the show floor.

"We have introduced the Community Hub in the center of the show floor, designed to facilitate the AIME Community connecting and engaging. The central Hub includes roundtable coaching sessions to inspire, 'silent seminars' where attendees can listen to influential speakers, and a networking area to provide a unique meeting space to connect in a relaxed, informal setting," said AIME Exhibition Director Jacqui Timmins. "The entire show floor has also been redesigned for ease of access and an enhanced attendee experience. Specific sections including geographic regions, hotels, venues, and products and services have been allocated to different 'zones' so that all attendees are able to easily and quickly find the suppliers they wish to connect with."

Bolstering the new experience is a new brand supported by a new logo and the new tagline, "Where inspiration begins."

"Our vision is to support and bring the business events community together, creating a new experience for exhibitors, hosted buyers, and visitors. Understanding what their needs are prior to, during, and after the event are fundamental to the new initiatives this year and how the AIME experience continues to evolve," Timmins continued. "AIME 2015 marks the beginning of a new strategic direction that will ensure we continue to lead the industry and provide added value to the business events community and its business growth."

The re-imagined AIME is on display at this year's show, underway Feb. 24-25 in Melbourne. For more information, visit www.aime.com.au.