BE @ Penang 2019 gets Asia’s MICE players to think ahead and get innovative

Fourth edition of event brings dual conference, 300 attendees

Mr Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), welcoming attendees to the conference.

PENANG - Penang's phenomenal MICE industry growth in recent years has been the subject of much admiration, and perhaps even envy.

But the Malaysian state, known for its tourist appeal, hasn't been stingy with knowledge-sharing: its BE @ Penang conference, held Dec 5-6 by the Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), welcomed 300 attendees and 40 speakers to the Setia SPICE Convention Centre.

The theme, BE Of The Future Now, encouraged industry players to set its sights on a future teeming with opportunities for Asia Pacific. Panel discussions, workshops, and sharing sessions focused on adapting to various trends: from targeting growing source markets to fulfilling the demand for more personalised or more sustainable events.

At The Big Picture: Asia Pacific Business Events 2020 & Beyond Outlook, panellists were upbeat about business despite 2019 being a tumultuous year for economies and governments around the world.

"All of us should feel lucky to be here in APAC - it's the most agile and fastest-growing region in the world," said Antonio Codinach, regional business director APAC, PCMA. "This is despite all the ups and downs we've witnessed in the past 16 years, from natural disasters to political unrest."

This year's edition of the event was also held in conjunction with the inaugural International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Asia Pacific Summit, so delegates of both events could learn from and network with each other.

"This edition of BE @ Penang really means a lot to us, thanks to the partnership with the ICCA Asia Pacific Summit. It's the first time we see organisations sending more than five delegates to attend," said Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of PCEB.

Speakers at the dual conference included notable industry leaders within the Asia Pacific business events industry like Gary Grimmer (GainingEdge), Mike van der Vijver (Orange Gibbon), and Roy Sheppard (PeoplePortfolio).

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