The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) has returned for the first time since 2020, launching last night at Melbourne’s newest premier conferences and events venue, CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park.
With 300 hosted buyers and a rush of over 200 new exhibitors confirmed for the two-day tradeshow, CENTREPIECE treated 800 guests to a dazzling night of entertainment and gourmet hospitality at the Welcome Event, giving attendees a taste of what the venue has to offer.
AIME’s event director, Silke Calder says, “AIME is finally here, and we’re looking forward to delivering an extraordinary show that’s set to propel the revitalisation of business events! As Melbourne’s newest venue, CENTREPIECE was the ideal host for the 2022 conference’s Welcome Event, as we reunited our AIME community both domestically and abroad for the first time since the pandemic began.”
CENTREPIECE Sales Manager, Laura Reddaway said “We were thrilled to host the AIME 2022 Welcome Event, showing our world-class events and conference venue CENTREPIECE in full flight and herald in the return of live international events. It has been a bumpy couple of years for our industry, but it was a special moment seeing our suppliers, partners, and industry peers celebrate last night with CENTREPIECE the stage for what was a truly spectacular evening.”
Guests arrived by boat on the banks of the Yarra River at Birrarung Marr, greeted and guided by roving acrobats and stilt walkers as they made their way to the central terrace of Melbourne Park, flanked by the precinct’s world-class sporting and entertainment arenas.
The Welcome Event kicked off to the sounds of Melbourne brass band, Horns of Leroy as delegates delighted in a range of canapes from steak tartare to freshly shucked oysters while taking in incredible views of the city skyline.
Moving into CENTREPIECE’s impressive Grand Hall to commence the evening’s main acts, guests were treated to aerial performances and ten live food stations, all composed of locally-sourced fare true to CENTREPIECE’s Victorian-first philosophy.
The menu consisted of, but was certainly not limited to, a Harvest Bar featuring cured and smoked meat, truffle honey, Victorian olives, grilled seasonal vegetables, house-made dips and Victorian cheeses, as well as a BBQ bar boasting Victorian lamb, beef brisket, BBQ pork ribs and whole free-range chicken, accompanied by fresh Victorian produce and condiments. And at the bar, beverages from Victoria’s renowned wine regions and quintessentially Melbourne craft breweries were on offer.
Rounding out a very intentional moment for both national and international guests to reconnect for the time since the pandemic, acrobat artists performed an aerial synchronized hoop spectacle before guests were ushered through large LED screen doors. Awaiting them on the other side, a stage and dance floor ready to take the night to the next level, ripe with photo-friendly opportunities including a floral mesh photo wall, AIME light up letters, a shimmer wall and GIF booth.
With show-stopping performances by the Melbourne Gospel Choir, belting out an inspiring rendition of “Sky Full of Stars”, and Australian singer-songwriter Mia Wray, CENTREPIECE transformed their Grand Hall to reflect their aspiration of reviving the events industry. Putting on a stunning dessert activation, featuring an edible CENTREPIECE artwork designed by Executive Chef, Asif Mamun, the venue came alive with a sense of anticipation as guests revelled in the excitement and sounds of Midnight Mix.
With a focus on global industry recovery and creating meaningful connections, AIME will once again welcome international exhibitors to Australian shores – the first national event to do so since the pandemic began.
International exhibitors include New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and more.