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AIME business events forum sets the scene for AIME 2004

The AIME Business Events Forum, the lead event of AIME 2004, 12th AsiaPacific Incentives and Meetings Expo, held in…

The AIME Business Events Forum, the lead event of AIME 2004, 12th AsiaPacific Incentives and Meetings Expo, held in Melbourne on 17 & 18 February, will set the scene for the next two days of business.

The AIME Business Events Forum will take place against a backdrop of fairly optimistic news following the release of the latest FutureWatch 2004, a comparative annual outlook from Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and American Express.

The report states that the industry is expecting a healthy year-over-year performance as planners and suppliers equally forecast an average four percent growth in spending and revenue.

It points to a welcome upturn, including a likely 11 percent increase in outbound international meetings from North America, a key market that has been missing from Asia/Pacific for the last two years.

But challenges remain. According to Colin Rorrie, Jr., PhD, CAE, president and CEO of MPI, we are not out of the woods.

Budget and manpower declines of past years, plus new technologies and an evolving purchasing model, have changed how the business of meetings is conducted. Better communication and training are critical as market recovery creates different kinds of pressure and commoditisation concerns continue to surface, he said.

These issues, and more, will be addressed at the AIME 2004 Business Events Forum when moderator Yeoh Siew Hoon poses

challenging questions to industry experts lined up for the session.

Yeoh will question panelists on the key trends and issues the industry must recognize, and tackle, for the business to make a quantum leap.

Last year, the Asia/Pacific was battered by a health crisis and health concerns are now part of our global landscape, as are terrorism concerns. Are travelers learning to live with this new environment and how can we, as an industry, help our customers cope and adapt, even as we cope and adapt ourselves?

Beyond these immediate issues are dynamic trends that are changing the face of our business – new technology, new ways of doing business, new markets emerging.

This forum will address the big picture as well as discuss current issues confronting the industry, said Yeoh, who is Editor At Large for Reed Travel Meetings Asia, which publishes TravelWeekly and EVENT.

AIME Forum Panelists include:

Mary Power, President & CEO of the Convention Industry Council (CIC). Ms Power was selected by Meeting News magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in the Meetings industry in 2002 and 2003, and was selected by Tradeshow Week Magazine as one of the 25 most influential women to know in the meetings industry.

Edward Liu, Managing Director of CEMS. Once dubbed The Exhibition Man, Mr Lui has 25 years of industry experience behind him. He owns and operates Asian exhibition and event management company, CEMS. He is the founder president of the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organizers & Suppliers (SACEOS).

Martin Sirk, ICCA`s Chief Executive Officer. Martin Sirk heads one of the most prominent organizations in international meetings. He has developed an intimate knowledge of the meetings industry in a career which spans tourism authority, convention centre, hotels and consultancy work to conference organisers and destinations.

David Gool, Director, Travel Services, Inmark Pty Ltd. With offices in Sydney and Melbourne, David Gool`s company Inmark handles over 50 corporate events and incentives each year, in Australia and offshore. David has over 30 years experience in the airline, travel, cruising and hotel sectors, moving to the incentive and event management side in 1992.

Forum Moderator

Yeoh Siew Hoon is one of the best known writers on the tourism industry in Asia and a keen observer of the business events sector globally.

The AIME Business Events Forum will be held at 8am, Tuesday 17 February at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. The Forum is part of AIME, the 12th AsiaPacific Incentives and Meetings Expo, at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 17 & 18 February, 2004. AIME is the largest and most economically significant event of its kind in the region, attracting more than 2,600 people from around the world.

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