PENANG – Penang is safe and has been proactive in its response to
Covid-19, and has the full compliance of event industry stakeholders and
That’s the message from Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau
(PCEB) CEO, Ashwin Gunasekaran, who says that industry members are
constantly being updated on the bureau’s and the state’s plans for the
industry and the measures in place to keep the state safe.
He adds that they provided social media support for Penang hotels to
promote their offerings during and after Malaysia's lockdown, known as
the Movement Control Order (MCO). There is also an enhanced event
support programme, known as Privilege Penang, for domestic and
international business events from 2021 to 2023, starting as low as 20
The introduction of ‘Next Normal Guidelines for Business Events' in
Penang in July (which are updated according to Health Ministry
revisions) has helped to raise confidence across the state.
According to Gunasekaran, the focus right now is on domestic business events, and providing specialised support for organisers.
“One of our bigger [events] is a 250-300 pax educational conference
by a Malaysian university. We have also had smaller corporate meetings
and board meetings from financial institutions, banking and insurance
sectors,” Gunasekaran says.
He adds that Penang was fortunate that out of 50 domestic and
international events scheduled for this year, 45 were re-scheduled to
next year and 2022. The first confirmed international event is the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers conference, which is
set to take place in January 2021.
Of the 3,762 events in 2019, 65% were corporate meetings, 25% were association congresses, and 10% incentives.
“Association meetings continue to rise in Penang as the State
Government is gearing on Penang 2030 — birthing legacies for the
communities, and with this we are confident that the Penang will be able
to rebuild the association meetings segment in due time.”
Moving forward PCEB, has won bids for events up to 2023 and the
prospects are very positive, notes Gunasekaran, because Penang is
considered safe and able to provide a seamless and extraordinary
experience, and friendly and flexible arrangements.