AIME where the Asia Pacific Events Industry meets: A vision for future growth

The post AIME where the Asia Pacific Events Industry meets: A vision for future growth appeared first on TD (Travel Daily Media) Brand TD.

While at AIME, Brand TD spoke with Matt Pearce, CEO of Talk2 Media and Events. The discussion focused on Australia’s dynamic landscape of business events and the sector’s future potential. Taking a forward-thinking attitude, Pearce voiced confidence and enthusiasm for the future of business events, acknowledging its critical role in Australia’s tourist economy.

Pearce expressed satisfaction with the event’s success, noting that while the number of exhibitors was the largest, the focus was not on the amount of space they occupied. “Some of these things become a vanity,” he said, pointing out that an exhibitor taking twice the amount of space without having the right meetings or seeing the right people would be a waste of money.

The emphasis, Pearce explained, was on “getting the right buyers, meeting the right sellers.” This approach, he believes, makes the event more sustainable. He also noted a greater investment by exhibitors in their stands and presentations, a reflection of the intense competition in the market.

Pearce highlighted the return of the US team, which had a significant presence at AIME over 20 years ago. He noted that the combination of the Australian dollar versus the US dollar and cheaper flights have made the market attractive for them again. “They’re coming back; they know that there’s interest in the US from Australia, and so they’re very pleased with what they’ve had so far,” he said.

Looking ahead to next year, Pearce acknowledged the high expectations following this year’s successful event. He stressed the importance of managing expectations and focusing on the quality of the people attendees meet rather than the sheer number of people on the show floor.

For the 2025 event, the hosted buyer programme will start earlier to attract new people. Pearce also mentioned the importance of feedback in planning for the next event. Surveys will be sent out to exhibitors and visitors to gather their opinions on what they liked, didn’t like, and would like to see on the show floor.

Pearce explained that many of the features introduced this year, such as the DMC zone and boutique event spaces, directly resulted from feedback from last year’s surveys. “We had to completely redesign what we were thinking because it was obvious they had a specific price point, and they wanted to be here,” he said.

The biggest challenge, according to Pearce, revolved around technology. The team at Talk2Media launched a meeting matching system, which required collating vast amounts of data. “Sometimes you feel you’re at the bleeding edge of it rather than just the leading edge,” he admitted, adding that any data corruption could grind the system to a halt, leading to sleepless nights for the team.

Despite these challenges, Pearce is proud of the outcome. “We think we’ll end up with about 16 1/2, maybe a bit more than that, meetings,” he said. These meetings were a combination of pre-scheduled and free-flow meetings where visitors could request to see other exhibitors.

Transportation, another potential challenge, was fine this year. Pearce noted that Melbourne now has more flights into India than before the pandemic, opening up new opportunities.

Pearce also touched on the importance of relationships in assessing the event’s success. “We pride ourselves in our relationships with our hosted buyers and our exhibitors,” he said. This and the survey feedback form the basis of their strategy for future events.

Pearce acknowledged that data, while a rich opportunity, can also be a significant challenge, especially just before the show opens. He also mentioned the logistical challenges, such as ensuring sufficient transportation for the hosted buyers. However, he noted that transportation was less of an issue this year, with more flights into India and Melbourne airport operating at 110% capacity.

Assessing the success of the event involves more than just surveys. Pearce emphasized the importance of relationships with hosted buyers and exhibitors. “We pride ourselves in our relationships with our hosted buyers and our exhibitors,” he said. While surveys provide a clear view of the event’s success, Pearce and his team also engage with stakeholders to validate the survey results and react accordingly.

Pearce also touched on the complexity of catering to their stakeholders’ diverse needs, including exhibitors of destinations, venues, and suppliers. He stressed the importance of constantly getting feedback to ensure they meet the needs of all attendees.

On sustainability, Pearce shared that it’s a real journey. One of the steps they took was to consider not putting down carpets. However, they found that carpet squares have been reused in Australia for years, making it better than initially thought.

Pearce acknowledged the potential of AI in enhancing the matching process for events. He noted that AI could pick up on behaviours and represent new or potential matches based on what users do, not just what they say.

Reflecting on the evolution of media, Pearce pointed out that while each new technology was once feared as the “death” of the previous one, they all coexist and enhance each other. He sees AI as part of this ongoing evolution.

However, Pearce also expressed concerns about the misuse of AI, such as deepfakes, and the challenge of discerning truth in the digital age. He believes that sanity and sense will prevail and AI won’t be embraced as the answer to everything but used judiciously.

Pearce emphasized the importance of intelligent and disciplined use of AI. In his work, he uses AI as an editing tool in marketing to refine phrases and capture the essence of what they want to communicate. However, he cautioned against over-reliance on AI, stating, “We just take that little bit. We never use the rest, of course, because that’s when it becomes dangerous.”

With a successful event behind him and plans already underway for the next, Pearce and his team at Talk2Media are committed to making AIME an even better experience for all attendees.






The post AIME where the Asia Pacific Events Industry meets: A vision for future growth appeared first on Brand TD.


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