by Esther Faith Lew | September 12, 2017
Datuk Zulkefli HJ. Sharif, CEO, MyCEB
Malaysia Business Events Week (MBEW) 2017 welcomed over 200 delegates this week from September 11 to 13 at One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya. Now in its 3rd edition, MBEW is poised to spark the government's aim to become Asia's premiere business events destination.

Officiated by Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, he affirmed Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB)'s push to establish Malaysia as a strong player in the international MICE arena.  

"Last year, MyCEB together with its strategic partners, have successfully secured 153 business events comprising international conferences, corporate meetings, incentive travels and trade exhibition events which add an estimated RM1.03 billion into Malaysia's economy.

"MyCEB has also strongly supported 341 business events in 2016 which resulted in RM1.58 billion in estimated economic impact," said Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri.

The top high-growth sectors that have attracted business events are medical and pharmaceutical with 22 events and 20,900 delegates, followed by education with 9 events and 12,850 delegates; and science and technology with 12 events and 5,663 delegates.

Datuk Zulkefli HJ. Sharif, CEO, MyCEB said in his opening speech that "each programme is designed to serve as an opportunity as Malaysia aims to accelerate the transformation and growth of existing industries such as the events sector." 

He added that the business events outlook for the year looks promising as last year's MBEW helped to set in motion a strong pipeline of events from international associations and event organisers. 

Themed "Our Future by design: Accelerating transformation", key panel sessions looked at how companies need to move into the 4th age of innovation in order to thrive. Industry professionals acknowledged that while technology is important, it is more important to have in place the right mindsets and ROI objectives that will enable the right innovative strategies to be used. Technology is merely a platform that requires human talents to bring it to live - at the right place and for the right purpose. 

Ultimately, the criteria for success goes back to the need for collaboration and co-creation among industry players. The 'traditional' concept of community building still holds strong in establishing brand presence, whether it's in the online or offline space. The business events industry will only be strengthened and enhanced - not replaced - by technology that adds depth and dimension to delegate experiences.