Hosted Buyer FAQs

General Information About AIME

Where and when is AIME 2025?

AIME will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC). The program commences on 10 February until 12 February:
  • Monday 10 February – Knowledge Program (11.30am - 5.30pm) & Welcome Event (7pm - 10pm)
  • Tuesday 11 February – Day 1 Tradeshow including the Ideas Academy (9am to 5:30pm)
  • Wednesday 12 February – Day 2 Tradeshow including the Ideas Academy (9am to 5pm)

What's the latest on Covid-19?

Travel restrictions and Covid-19 requirements have been relaxed across Australia. It is no longer mandatory to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to enter, Australia, the state of Victoria or the AIME 2025 venue, Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre. It is also no longer mandatory to wear masks, however, we recommend you make your own judgement on whether you would prefer to wear a mask. We also recommend keeping this in mind if you have an upcoming event in the weeks immediately leading up to or following AIME. As AIME 2025 gets closer, please also keep up with developments via the

What is the basic program outline for hosted buyers?

  • Saturday 8 February - International arrivals
  • Sunday 9 February - Domestic arrivals / Uncover Melbourne Experiences
  • Monday 10 February - Domestic arrivals / Knowledge Program / Welcome Event
  • Tuesday 11 February - Tradeshow & PSAs
  • Wednesday 12 February - Tradeshow & PSAs / Departures – domestic & international

Buyer Commitments

Who can be a hosted buyer?

Hosted Buyers (HBs) are:

  • Experienced and senior event planners with at least 5 years’ experience in the business events industry organising events.
  • These experienced planners can come from different sectors of the business events industry including, associations, PCOs, event management agencies, corporate in-house event planners, incentive planners etc.
  • Event planners who research, organise, influence, contract and make budgetary decisions for business events.
  • Planning and/or booking business events on a weekly or monthly basis - at least on average 5+ per year with 50+ attendees.
  • Venue ‘finders’ or venue sourcing companies with a history sourcing venues for business events

Note: planners from outside Australia must be:

  1. Organising 6+ business events per year outside their home country with at least 50+ attendees at each event.
  2. Some of the events must have been held in Australia in the past or there are definite plans to organise events in Australia as well as the Pacific or Asian destinations in the next two years.
  3. Business event planners and not travel agents organising group travel for a business event.
  4. Relatively fluent in English - enough to conduct meetings at the show without an interpreter.

Note: Business events are association or corporate conferences, corporate incentives, corporate events. We do not consider weddings, school groups, community / special interest groups etc. to fall under the umbrella of business events.

What countries do AIME buyers represent?

Buyers who are selected to attend AIME are business event professionals who are looking to place business (predominately) within Australia and the Asia Pacific region as well as other key regions around the world. Buyers represent and are accepted from the following countries:
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • South-East Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia)
  • North Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea)
  • India
  • Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Israel)
  • The Americas (USA and Canada)

What am I committing to if I come as a hosted or semi-hosted buyer?

The most important commitment for hosted or semi-hosted buyers is to attend the tradeshow on Tuesday and Wednesday to fulfil the total number of allocated PSAs – this is the primary reason we host buyers at AIME.

Note: Additional commitments which are mandatory for International buyers include:

  • The Uncover Melbourne Experience on Sunday, 9 February
  • Knowledge Program on Monday, 10 February
  • The Welcome Event on Monday, 10 February
Note: Whilst the Uncover Melbourne Experience and Knowledge Program are no longer mandatory for Australian and New Zealand buyers, they must attend the Welcome Event on Monday, 10 February

Other activities available to all hosted buyers on a non-mandatory basis include:

  • special 'invite only' events from partners, sponsors and hotel partners
  • post-show famils from Wednesday or Thursday (depending on the destination)

As a hosted buyer, how long do I have to be at the show?

Domestic and international hosted and semi-hosted buyers are expected to be on the show floor all day Tuesday, 11 and Wednesday, 12 February. They must also attend the Welcome Party on Monday, 10 February.

International hosted and semi-hosted buyers must also attend on the Uncover Melbourne Experiences on Sunday, 9 February and Knowledge Program educational sessions on Monday, 10 February. These are optional for Australian and New Zealand buyers.

Hosted Buyer Benefits & Costs

What is the cost to attend AIME as buyer?

It is complimentary to attend AIME, and as a hosted buyer you can take advantage of:

  • economy flights to/from Melbourne
  • group coach transfers to/from Melbourne airport
  • accommodation - 2, 3, 4, or 5 nights depending on your location, flight availability and the mandatory or optional events you undertake
  • hotel buffet breakfast each morning
  • the educational Knowledge Program sessions and networking lunch on Monday
  • a casual dinner at the Welcome Event on Monday evening
  • morning/afternoon tea and lunch on show days - Tuesday / Wednesday
  • ‘invitation’ only special events on Tuesday evening

Semi-hosted buyers are provided with the same benefits above, with the exception of flights and transfers – these are covered at your own expense. In return you will be required to conduct less exhibitor appointments (20 PSAs instead of 32 as a fully hosted buyer)

What is not included in the cost of attending AIME?

The below costs are not included in the hosted buyer program:
  • additional accommodation over and above the nights covered by AIME (see travel and accommodation section below)
  • meals outside those provided in the catering provisions
  • personal extras at the hotel eg. extra meals, snacks, mini bar etc., these will be settled by you on departure from the hotel
  • transfers to/from Melbourne airport if arriving outside the nominated group transfer times on Saturday 8, Sunday 9 and Wednesday 12 February (more info will be provided in January)
  • visa application costs
  • travel insurance

What is the benefit in attending AIME?

The benefits in attending AIME are numerous including:
  • pre-scheduled appointments with VIPs and exhibitors
  • meeting buyers from around the globe – Pacific, Asia, MEA, Europe, The Americas
  • increasing your brand awareness and positioning within the global meeting and events industry
  • attending educational sessions at the Knowledge Program on Monday 10th February
  • Access to the Ideas Academy on Tuesday 11 & Wednesday 12 February
  • keeping up with the latest trends and developments – strengthening your communication and messaging to your readers
  • networking with industry suppliers from Australia and around the globe – we’ve all learnt over the past few years that strong supplier relationships help us to generate more meaningful news and event outcomes
  • networking with like-minded event professionals – many of us learn as much from each other as we do from a speaker at an educational session
  • exclusive opportunity to access AIME’s sponsorship program and elevate your brand
  • having fun – at the end of the day when the serious business is done it’s time to let your hair down at the Welcome Event on Monday evening.

What catering is included for buyers?

Hosted and semi-hosted buyers are provided with:

  • buffet breakfast in the restaurant of your nominated hotel
  • lunch on Monday 10 February for those attending the Knowledge Program
  • casual dinner at the Welcome Event on Monday 10 February
  • morning, afternoon tea and lunch in the Hosted Buyers Lounge on Tuesday 11 & Wednesday 12 February

Hosted Day Buyers are provided with:

  • Casual dinner at the Welcome Event on Monday 10 February
  • Morning, afternoon tea and lunch in the Hosted Buyers Lounge on Wednesday 12 February

What is the difference between fully hosted, semi-hosted and day buyers?

Hosted buyers have flights, group transfers and accommodation included and in return, agree to completing 32 PSAs.

Semi-hosted buyers are provided with accommodation and pay for their own flights and transfers - they only commit to 20 PSAs providing a little more flexibility in their day.

Hosted day buyers commit to 10 PSAs on Wednesday 12 February and are not provided with flights, group transfers or accommodation.

All buyer types are provided with:

  • Uncover Melbourne Experiences on Sunday 9 February
  • A ticket to the Knowledge Program on Monday 10 February (education sessions)
  • A ticket to The AIME Welcome Event on Monday 10 February
  • Morning, afternoon tea and lunch on show days – Tuesday & Wednesday
  • Tickets to ‘Invite Only’ exclusive events
  • Access to the ‘Buyers Lounge’ in the middle of the show floor

Application Process

What is the application process?

  1. Anyone can apply via the application link on our website if they feel they meet the assessment criteria (see below). Invitations are also distributed from our AIME database or from hotel partners and exhibitors
  2. If you receive an invitation and you'd like to be a hosted buyer (or semi-hosted), complete the online application form. Both buyer types are on the same form, you will be asked to nominate your preference on the form
  3. Once the application is received, the hosted buyer team will check and verify the information provided to ensure we're attracting quality buyers to the event. This will involve contacting the venues outlined in your application to verify your events. Reference checks will be undertaken if necessary, and you may be contacted to provide more information on clients, venues or suppliers who can verify your event management credentials. You may think this is a long process however, as you can imagine, it is costly to host our buyers, and we need to ensure that we are providing our exhibitors with quality buyers with purchasing power
  4. Some applications will be quicker to process than others, for example applications from the larger and well-established, reputable event management companies are usually quick to process and can be turned around in a day or two. Other applications can take much longer to verify (as per above), especially in peak periods where lots of applications are being received or if referee information is being sought
  5. If your application is approved, you will receive an email with instructions to read and accept the Terms and Conditions (Ts&Cs) for being hosted
  6. Once the Ts & Cs are signed off you will receive an email confirming your application, together with an indication of the next steps in the process, for example flight information or exhibitor preferences for the PSAs, dietary requirements etc.
  7. If your application does not meet our assessment criteria you will be notified and invited to register as a self-funded ‘visitor buyer’ - these applications will open on our website much closer to the show

How are hosted buyer applications assessed?

For all applicants we take into consideration:

  • your current role and your potential to research, organize, influence, contract and make budgetary decisions for either domestic or international events.
  • your position as an executive or event managers position in your company.
  • your strong history in the events industry - your LinkedIn profile is very useful in this regard.
  • the length of time you have been working at your current company.
  • your events:
    • on average, how many you organise each year (or contract if you are a venue finder)
    • the types of events you organise
    • the size of the events you organise
    • where those events are held
  • your referees – we will check with venues nominated on the form to verify events have taken place as outlined and in some instances contact details for further referees will be required.

In addition to the above, applicants from outside Australia are also assessed on:

  • the number of confirmed or planned events taking place in Australia and/or the Asia Pacific region in the next two years.
  • events industry association memberships and executive or committee positions held within these associations.

What is the cut-off date for hosted buyer applications?

The cut-off date for 2025 hosted buyer applications will be advised soon.

How many applications does AIME accept?

Domestic applicants:

We have places for 250 fully hosted buyers at AIME 2024. Please apply early to avoid disappointment. Applications will not be accepted after the close-off date because this will not provide enough time to progress through the meeting matching process prior to the show in mid-February.

We have places for 150 semi-hosted buyers (SHB) at AIME 2024. If you would prefer to fund your own flights and transfers in return for less PSAs, please apply early to avoid disappointment. We expect these positions to fill quickly.

International applicants:

We have places for 100 fully hosted international buyers.

Please keep in mind that we have a limited number of positions available for each country – in some cases only 2 positions. Please do not delay your application or you risk missing out on attending AIME.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

If your application does not meet our assessment criteria, you will be notified and invited to register as a self-funded ‘visitor buyer’ – these applications will open on our website much closer to the show.

PSAs & Meeting Matching

What is a PSA?

A PSA is a Pre-Scheduled Appointment with an exhibitor.

Tradeshows all work a little differently, and at AIME we curate a diary of PSAs for you, reducing the time and pressure on buyers and sellers to create and fill their own diary.

Fully hosted buyers commit to 32 x 15-minute PSAs and semi-hosted buyers receive 20 x 15-minute PSAs. These PSAs are taken on the show floor on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 February.

Hosted day buyers commit to 10 PSAs which are scheduled on Wednesday 12 February.

A five (5) minute break will be provided between appointments.

No PSAs are scheduled during morning, afternoon tea or lunch breaks - although many buyers use some of this free time to meet exhibitors not scheduled in their diary.

What is the structure of the appointments?

Tuesday 11 February - show hours are 9am to 5.30pm – PSAs are between 9.30am and 4.40pm

Wednesday 12 February – show hours are 9am to 5pm – PSAs are between 9.30am and 4.40pm

Fully hosted buyers: 32 x 15-minute PSAs - these are generally spread across two days with 16 each day between 9.30am and 4.40pm.

Semi-hosted buyers: 20 x 15-minute PSAs – these are spread unevenly across two days depending on the availability and compatibility of the buyers and exhibitors' diaries.

Hosted day buyers: 10 x 15-minute PSAs – these are spread unevenly across Wednesday 12 February depending on the availability and compatibility of the buyers and exhibitors' diaries.

All meetings are conducted in English and interpreters are not provided.

Do I have to complete my full diary of appointments?

Yes. It is a condition of being hosted that you complete a full diary of appointments – 32, 20 or 10 depending on the nominated buyer type – ie. hosted, semi-hosted or hosted day buyer. In return you receive flights and transfers (fully-hosted buyers only), accommodation (excluding day buyers), meals, networking events and access to the Uncover Melbourne Experiences, Welcome Event, Knowledge Program and all exhibitors on the showfloor.

Please note that failure to complete your PSAs will mean you won't be able to attend AIME in the future and international buyers will not receive their flight reimbursement.

Can I share my appointments with a colleague?

No. If there are two of you from the same company we would prefer for you to have your own personalised appointment schedules in order to share yourselves amongst the 550+ exhibitors.

What is the timeframe for nomination of preferences and meeting matching?

We cannot start the process until all buyers and all exhibitors are confirmed in mid-December. We will provide a more concise timeline over the next few months.

Can you provide information on companies who will exhibit?

A list of 2025 exhibitors won't be available until December. In the meantime, you can view the 2024 exhibitor list here


Is accommodation provided for buyers?

Both fully hosted and semi-hosted buyers receive complimentary accommodation and buffet breakfast at a 4 or 5-star hotel in Melbourne within a close distance to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

  • domestic buyers are provided with 2 nights accommodation (Monday & Tuesday). Domestic buyers attending the Uncover Melbourne Experiences on Sunday 9 February will also be provided with Sunday night accommodation
  • international buyers are provided 4 or 5 nights’ accommodation – Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night and check out Wednesday morning. If flights are not available on Wednesday night after the show, one extra night’s accommodation will be covered by AIME.

Additional nights over and above those listed above will be at the individual buyers personal expense.

Is breakfast at the hotel included for buyers?

Yes, a buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant is included with accommodation. Any in-room dining, breakfasts, other meals or snacks, mini-bar etc., will be at your own expense and paid direct to the hotel.

Can I extend my stay in Melbourne?

Most definitely, however additional nights are at your own expense.

Information will be provided on how to extend your stay - it will involve either clicking on a link provided by the hotel or alternatively emailing the hosted buyer manager to extend on your behalf and will depend on hotel availability.

Can I choose the hotel where I’d like to stay?

No. If everyone could choose their own hotel, then we’d have everyone choosing the most popular, well-known international 5-star properties and the lesser-known properties could have none, or very few requests.

Your accommodation is covered by AIME and to be fair to our hotel partners, the hosted buyer team will allocate each buyer to a hotel. This is done once the applications have closed and we know exactly how many buyers are attending AIME and exactly how many rooms are required from the blocks we have negotiated with hotels.

It is not an option to swap hotels after they have been allocated by the hosted buyer team.

In some instances, where you are a regular or frequent user of a particular hotel or chain, you may be personally invited by them to stay at their property. In that situation the hotel will provide us with the names of those buyers who have accepted their invitation and we will allocate those accordingly.

When will I be notified about my accommodation?

Buyers will be notified of their accommodation in January 2025.

We allocate accommodation once the applications have closed and we know exactly how many buyers are attending and exactly how many rooms are required from the blocks we have negotiated with our partner hotels.

Flights & Transfers

Are flights included for buyers?

Flight costs are included for fully hosted buyers only. Semi-hosted buyers are required to pay for their own flights.

More information will be provided once your hosted buyer application has been confirmed.

Are transfers included for buyers?

Group coach transfers are included to/from Melbourne Airport to the CBD hotels for hosted buyers only on Saturday 8, Sunday 9 and Wednesday 12 February. If your flights are outside the group transfer times, then you will be required to fund your own transfers to/from the Airport.

Semi-hosted buyers cover their own transfers but are welcome to take advantage of group transfer if there is one available coinciding with your flight.

The transfer schedule will be made available closer to the event when we can see the spread of flight bookings and where group transfers will be required.

Can I book my own flights?

International hosted buyers will be required to book their own flights to/from Melbourne and will have their flight costs reimbursed after AIME 2025, once we’ve established that all PSAs were undertaken during the show.

Domestic hosted buyers are unable to book their own flights. Domestic flight reservations will be made by the AIME travel agency in conjunction with hosted buyers’ requirements.

When should international buyers fly in/out of Melbourne?

International buyers (except NZ) are required to arrive on Saturday 8 February or early on Sunday morning prior to the commencement of the Uncover Melbourne Experiences (exact time TBC).

The show concludes at 5pm on Wednesday 12 February and flights should be booked departing after 8pm on Wednesday evening.

When should domestic buyers fly in/out of Melbourne?

The Uncover Melbourne Experiences scheduled for Sunday 9 February are now optional for Australian and New Zealand buyers. Flights to Melbourne should either arrive on Sunday morning in order to participate in the Uncover Melbourne Experiences or Monday morning for the Knowledge Program or Monday afternoon for the Welcome Party on Monday night.

Departures should be on Wednesday 12 February. The show concludes at 5pm and the airport transfers will commence at 5.15pm from the Melbourne Convention Centre.

Is the transfer costs in my own country to/from office/home and airport reimbursed?

No, the transfers in your home country are at your own expense.

What are the transfer options outside the group transfer dates/times?

You can opt for an Uber or taxi to/from Melbourne airport, alternatively the SkyBus departs the airport every few minutes and will take you to Southern Cross train station for a cost of A$22 one way or A$34 return (subject to change).


When can I view the list of exhibitors for AIME 2025?

Below is an overview of the types of exhibitors who attend AIME:
    • Destinations – Australia, Pacific, Asia are the majority with some additional destinations in Europe and the Americas
    • Convention bureaux or tourism offices with a business events focus
    • Convention centres
    • Hotels and resorts
    • Boutique and specialty venues
    • Attractions and activities relevant for groups and events
    • Caterers – many offering unique venues as part of their portfolio
    • Event technology companies inc. registration platforms, apps, video conferencing etc – from within Australia and around the globe
    • Production and AV suppliers
    • Destination Management Companies (DMCs)
    • Travel and tour operators
    • Airlines
    • Cruise companies
    • Support services for events eg. promotional goods, photographers and videographers, event designers and stylists, florists etc.

It is important to note that a large number of the exhibitors are from Australia and in order to fulfil the commitment of 32 quality PSAs you must have some upcoming event business for Australia.

Passport & Visas

What are the passport and visa requirements for travel to Australia?

The Australian government website contains a range of information for those who wish to enter the country on a temporary basis, and you will find answers to many of your questions on their site.

Please check your passport is valid before applying to become a hosted buyer. As we’ve seen around the world in recent times, there are long delays to have passports reissued. The Australian government does not impose six month passport validity for travellers entering the country, however, some airlines insist on the validity as part of their terms and conditions to board a flight – please ensure you have checked this.

Please check visa requirements for entering Australia on this site - visas are dependent on which country issued your passport.

From the list on the government site the main purpose of your visit is ‘attending a conference or expo’ which is about halfway down the list on the link above.

Visas applications must be covered at your own expense, and you should apply once your hosted buyer status has been confirmed. Please be advised that, due to high demand, visas are taking longer to process and can take months in some cases.  Please book early to avoid disappointment.

If you require a letter to support your visa application, please advise the Hosted Buyer Manager ASAP.

Terms & Conditions (Ts & Cs)

Where can I view the hosted buyer terms and conditions?

Full Terms & Conditions (Ts & Cs) will be provided once your application has been approved. Much of the information contained in the Ts & Cs document has been outlined in these FAQs. Once you have understood and signed the terms and conditions your hosted buyer status will be confirmed.

Cancellation Policy

What if I have booked and I can no longer attend?

You must notify the hosted buyer manager immediately (see contact details below). There are various penalties if you cancel after January 2025 and these are fully outlined in the Ts & Cs which will be provided once your application has been approved.

Can a colleague attend in my place?

If you need to cancel for some reason, then it will be acceptable to have a colleague from your company to replace you. However, the colleague should be a senior team member, who meets the criteria and will still need to be approved by the Hosted Buyer Team.

Contacts & More Information

Who do I speak to if I have more questions about the hosted buyer program?

Once your participation has been confirmed you can access the Hosted Buyer Hub to find answers to most of your questions.

If you have any additional queries please contact:

Jackie Caldwell - Hosted Buyer Manager | Email | +61 403 89 22 89


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