Malaysia refuels MICE engine with plans to upskill and re-strategise

The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau and Business Events Council Malaysia aims to collectively guide local and international event planners.

Malayia looks to help event organisers navigate safety measures.
Malayia looks to help event organisers navigate safety measures. Photo Credit:tampatra/Gettyimages

Upon reaching vaccination targets, domestic travel in Malaysia resumed in October 2021, swiftly followed by the return of business events in November 2021.

“The surge in domestic travel is a positive sign in this sector,” said Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) Chief Operating Officer, Noor Ahmad Hamid. “The spill over from the [domestic] tourism sector will be felt by the business events segment.”

So much so that MyCEB has decided to extend its ‘Meet in Malaysia’ campaign until December 2022.

Comprising the “Let’s Meet Tomorrow”, “Let’s Meet Locally”, and “Let’s Meet Now” programmes, the campaign was launched in 2020 to kickstart local meetings and, according to Noor, “encourage equal spread of wealth by engaging non-central venues in the country”.

“We have been upskilling, reskilling and multiskilling for a long time,” he added. This includes the recent launch of the MySafe Business Events Planner, a joint initiative by MyCEB and the Business Events Council Malaysia to guide local and international event planners through safety measures. It is also hoped the guide will help rebuild public confidence in meetings and events industry as Noor insists international destination marketing hasn’t stopped just because borders are closed.

“MyCEB has carved out a 10-year plan, the Malaysia Business Events Strategic Marketing Plan 2021 – 2030, which includes reinventing corporate hospitality programmes, forming more global alliances and investing in much-needed digital transformation,” he said.

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) appointed industry veteran, Noor Ahmad Hamid, as its chief operating officer in 2021.
Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) appointed industry veteran, Noor Ahmad Hamid, as its chief operating officer in 2021.

Malaysia’s event pipeline is also looking healthy, with MyCEB winning 81 event bids for 2022 until 2030. “These bids will bring in more than 152,000 delegates with an estimated economic impact of RM1.2 billion (US$290 million),” Noor said. These include the World Congress of Nephrology 2022, the World Autism Congress 2022 and Congress of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) 2023.

Moving forward, however, Noor believes regional collaboration will be vital in resuscitating meetings and events on a broader scale. “This industry is the first to be hit and the last to recover. Everyone needs to work together to re-strategise and adapt with the situation,” he said.

MyCEB is also part of the Asia Convention Alliance and, like CVBs in the region, is a member of the Hybrid City Alliance. In an effort to promote multi-hub meetings across the country, state bureaus in Penang, Sarawak and Sabah have also joined the Alliance, which currently consists of 24 members from 16 countries worldwide.

“The objective is to create a value proposition that supports clients in the delivery of hybrid events regionally and internationally,” Noor said.



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