KLCC shifts 66 events to second half of 2020

It plans to resume major events as early as end-July should restrictions be lifted

KLCC's general manager Alan Pryor said that "consistent, factual, transparent communication" was crucial to ensure delegates confidence to attend events.

KUALA LUMPUR - With the country in lockdown, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) has succeeded in rescheduling 66 events for the latter half of 2020, according to the centre's GM, Mr Alan Pryor.

The centre has been making plans to resume events in the latter half of the year, with the assumption that Malaysia lifts its Movement Control Order (MCO) restrictions and such events fall within the directives and guidelines issued by the government.

Should such conditions be fulfilled, the centre could see the first major event taking place by end-July with the three-day International Beauty Expo 2020.

In order to shift the rescheduled events to the second half of the year, the centre faced challenges planning around its existing calendar of events and managing the demand for its venue space.

Another factor was gauging when the Movement Control Order (MCO) will end, anticipating any potential directives and guidelines that may be implemented post-MCO and forecasting when airlines and travel will begin to normalise.

One thing that the current crisis has shown is the rapid pace of last-minute changes, and how event planners and venue providers are adjusting to this new norm.

In early March, KLCC had to act quickly to turn the Ottawa Conference on the Assessment of Competence in Medicine and the Healthcare Professions 2020 into a largely virtual event while still maintaining a full conference programme.

Its response was crucial to ensuring the event could still take place despite many participants from around the world being unable to travel and attend the event physically. It put to the test the centre's response and IT and audio-visual infrastructure to enable participants and speakers to connect virtually.

"Consistent, factual, transparent communication was the crucial factor that kept delegates committed to attending the conference. Another crucial factor was adapting and increasing hygiene and sanitary measures to ease concerns and create visible changes in the Centre around these mechanisms," explained Mr Pryor.

"Covid-19 has presented all of us with many unique challenges, but we are remaining as flexible and resilient as possible, and working very hard and closely with all our recurrent and potential new clients to ensure that every event at our venue is a success," he added.

It is also revisiting its approach to use of space and food and beverage catering to meet the new operational requirements in terms of hygiene, social distancing and virtual events.

In the meantime, the centre has been strengthening its partnerships with local industry associations. It is currently working with Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) on a business events campaign as part of the Malaysia post-COVID-19 recovery plan.

It has also seen greater collaboration and solidarity with industry partners such as Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), and Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM).