SICC and surrounds. Credit: SICC
KOTA KINABALU - Sabah's latest pride and joy, the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) has opened its doors to business. It kicked off activities with a week-long national-level Quran Recital and Memorisation Competition launched on 16 February 2020 by Malaysia's prime minister, followed by a two-day local university education fair, and several SME business events and forums.
Upcoming events to SICC include an investment real estate property expo, Sabah International Expo in September 2020, Modified Car Shows, and private corporate meetings and social events such as wedding banquets.
The first event welcomed participants from various states of Malaysia as the national competition was a highly publicised event on Malaysia's national television with daily live broadcasting from the venue. This drew local and West Malaysian visitors.
The two-day university education fair recorded almost 36,000 students and visitors to SICC; the exhibition booths showcased higher education facilities to visitors enhanced by a contemporary setting at SICC. The event encouraged high school leavers to develop their talents through further education at various internationally recognised institutions in Sabah.
An upcoming investment real estate property expo is set to attract domestic and regional investors and real estate specialists, showcasing Sabah's property development.
SICC's GM, Mr Tristan Beau de Lomenie, said: "Being a purpose-built meeting venue, SICC offers complete MICE venue facilities expected from international PCOs and PEOs; SICC has the largest exhibition hall and pillar-free convention hall in Borneo, 19 flexible meeting space complete with full conference facilities, professional operations team, in-house catering and smart security systems in place.
"SICC's upcoming performing arts hall will be Sabah's first world-standard concert venue (opening Q4, 2020) with a seating capacity of 1,250 complete with sophisticated acoustic and light system."
SICC's covers 15 acres of land with a built-up area of over 153,000 sqm. Credit: SICC
Sabah Tourism Board (STB) expects to draw 15 MICE related events between January to March this year. Four have been cancelled to date as the source markets for the events are from South Korea and China respectively.
STB's GM, Ms Noredah Othman, said: "While the cancellation of events is beyond the State's control, Sabah Tourism is also taking this time to further evaluate and enhance our destination positioning as a MICE venue. Industry related events such as engagement with local stakeholders are still being carried out. (Last week), we had a Malaysian-based event management software provider introduce their services to the related local industry players. This week, a group of 20 members of the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers will be in Kota Kinabalu for a familiarisation trip, including a site inspection at the SICC.
The STB has a MICE unit which will help with requests and function as a convention bureau. "Prior to the completion of the SICC, the MICE team underwent training to develop their understanding of operating in the capacity of a Convention Bureau. MICE related bids and enquiries will be assisted by Sabah Tourism Board's MICE unit," said Ms Othman.