INTERVIEW: Event director, AIME, Jay Martens


Jay Martens, the event director of the Asia Pacific Incentives Meetings Event  – AIME (the leading trade event for the meetings and event industry in the Asia Pacific region) speaks exclusively to Tatiana Tsierkezou about the next edition of the show and its significance to entities from the Middle East and North Africa region.

TTG: In a nutshell, how successful was AIME 2019?
Success for AIME 2019 can really be measured by attendee feedback and commercial results. Feedback on the show floor and post event surveys highlighted that attendees loved the new look and feel, as well as the format. Alan Mark Pryor, the general manager at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, told us he had the best appointments and results in many years. From a commercial standpoint, the number of exhibitors reinvesting and the fact that the show floor is almost sold out, speaks for itself. We have had several old exhibitors returning to AIME for 2020 based on the feedback they have heard from the 2019 show. The industry has given us the thumbs up and are keen to join us on this new AIME journey.

TTG: How will AIME 2020 differ from AIME 2019? What can attendees look forward to?
We learnt a lot from 2019 and have listened to exhibitor and buyer feedback. We are continuing with the same look and feel and have been spending our time tweaking and perfecting the format.

IMEX Frankfurt 2020

Our Knowledge Programme was a highlight of the 2019 show, and I am happy to say this has evolved for 2020. The team is currently in the process of locking in the programme features. We are launching some new and exciting ideas for 2020, which I look forward to sharing with you very shortly.

TTG: How many MENA entities attended this year’s event? Can you name them? Has there been any interest in the 2020 event so far?
2019 saw AIME supported by Dubai Business Events who attended as an exhibitor. We also had a small group of buyers from the MENA region attend the show.

AIME 2020 has seen an increase in demand from the region. Several exhibitors waited to see how the new AIME format worked in 2019 and have been keen to join us in 2020. We are also increasing the number of hosted buyers from the region. In the coming months I look forward to travelling to the MENA region to conduct face-to-face meetings with key players.

TTG: Why should buyers from Middle East and North Africa attend AIME 2020?  How is this event of value to them?
AIME is the trade show focused on the MICE industry for the Asia-Pacific region. It is a one-stop shop to meet with key APAC exhibitors, conduct business and expand your knowledge of the region.

With a focused approach and a curated meetings programme, we offer a great ROI for buyers regarding time spent sourcing destinations, contact and connections for buyers wanting to conduct business in Asia Pacific.

TTG: Please tell our readers about the hosted buyer programme.
Our hosted buyers have access to the full AIME experience including travel and accommodation, 32 pre-scheduled appointments with exhibitors matched to their needs, up to eight networking events, including our much talked about welcome party, and a full education programme across the three days of the show.

We curate the hosted buyer experience by not purely relying on tech to arrange the hosted buyer/exhibitor matching – we use good old-fashioned legwork. We work closely with both the buyers and exhibitors to fully ascertain their needs to assure the best meeting matches.

Due to demand, we opened hosted buyer registrations early and the response from the industry has been fantastic – we are now over half full.

The custom journey we create for our hosted buyers is designed to inspire passion and give first access to the amazing products on offer, giving them a true competitive advantage throughout the year. AIME is the little black book that every event professional needs.