. Malaysia eases event restrictions further | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Malaysia eases event restrictions further

New guidelines for the safe resumption of events and a focus on the future is assisting gradual business recovery.

Safe resumption of events and a focus on the future is assisting gradual business recovery at KLCC.
Safe resumption of events and a focus on the future is assisting gradual business recovery at KLCC.

KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian Government has endorsed the latest version of MICE industry Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to stimulate the resumption of domestic business events with no set limit on the number of attendees.

Presented by the Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM), Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), and Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), the SOPs dictate that venues can now accommodate one person per 2.25 sqm, so the number of attendees will depend on the size of the event space and the capability of the venue to ensure the safe implementation of social distancing measures.

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) has implemented the new SOPs and reports measures such as social distancing, comprehensive health and safety checks, and stringent management of visitor access and registration is helping to rebuilding client confidence. 

KLCC general manager, Alan Pryor, said the centre which has more than 33,000 sqm of meeting and event space, can "comfortably apply" more than adequate social distancing for events, and has also developed new tech tools for hybrid meetings.

“We have listened carefully to our client’s needs and requests and developed new virtual solutions to meet the changing landscape of how events are being produced. This provides an exciting opportunity to be innovative and demonstrate our execution expertise,” he said.

Since reopening on 1 July, the centre has hosted five corporate events, ranging from 30 to 500 attendees, and has a further 20 confirmed bookings for the remainder of 2020.

With continual enquiries, Pryor said he remains positive for 2021, with 40% of the centre's business target already secured. “It is the combined efforts of the collaboration of our industry supply chain, our industry associations and the interface and engagement with Government that has generated a positive movement forward on the resumption of business events."  

Penang charges ahead

Social distancing in action at SPICE for the launch of PCEB's Next Normal Guidelines
Social distancing in action at SPICE for the launch of PCEB's Next Normal Guidelines

Meanwhile, the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) this week launched the first edition of its Next Normal Guidelines for Business Events Penang at Setia SPICE Convention Centre. Produced by a task force of close to 30 local industry partners, the guidelines detail new standards for organising business events and were officially launched by Penang's Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow; Penang State Executive Councillor of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Heritage and Chairman of PCEB, Yeoh Soon Hin; PCEB CEO, Ashwin Gunasekeran.

“We are keeping at heart PEOPLE-FIRST and this transformation for new beginnings need to start with how we conduct our businesses. I believe that with these guidelines, we are proving that Penang is taking the recovery phrase seriously and that we are ready to welcome back events into the destination,” PCEB's Gunasekeran said.

The launch event featured 140 attendees and was the first held at Setia SPICE Convention Centre since Malaysia's Movement Control Order was enforced back in March. The entire event, from pre-planning to tear down, was managed in accordance with the guidelines. This included contactless and paperless registrations for guests, pre-packed food  prepared in biodegradable bento boxes, and a photo booth with 1-metre distance markings on the floor.