SABAH – Sabah event planners and venues are embracing new technology and adapting swiftly with new production studios and hybrid meetings.
The state is now welcoming events of up to 250 pax within a sizable space which adheres to the new standard operating procedure (SOP) of 1-m social distancing besides the health and safety requirements stipulated by the Malaysian government.
This announcement has brought relief to all, especially those in the business events industry as business has halted since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed in March. During this lull period, industry partners in Sabah have been busy.
Besides mobilising its new kitchen for food delivery to homes, the Sabah International Convention Center (SICC) is now finalising the technical specifications for hybrid events to offer live-streaming events and video-conferencing packages.
All meeting packages, breaks and lunches will be served in single portions with the option for delegates to have a takeaway pack.
Sound Tech Productions, a local event organiser, hosted its first virtual charity concert live on Facebook to 1,000 live viewers and 34,000 viewers at press time. Part of the company’s warehouse was transformed into a concert space equipped with the necessary outdoor broadcasting systems and PA systems.
Besides listing new thematic ideas for upcoming events, it has built a production studio system which can host virtual live or pre-recorded events. The new studio has high speed broadband internet connectivity, and professional sound and lighting systems which can integrate with virtual event software.
Accompanying the hardware is the retraining of staff. Said its GM, Mr Kenny Shiau: “We have trained and advised all our staff regarding the new norm and also the SOP given by the government; hence, allowing our staff to be ready anytime to conduct any events. We have also (been) equipped with certain tools such as a thermal imaging face recognition machine which can be installed at venues to meet the SOP and allowing a safe event.”
He added: “During MCO we had many online meetings with our event team and operation team to keep updated with current pandemic situation and keeping everyone on the right track so they will be ready anytime to get back in the working environment. We also kept in touch with our clients all the time and updated (them) of any new progress in our business.”
The Sabah Tourism Board managed their first hybrid event on 18 June at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa. The in-house communications team managed the setup of the broadcast while other staff members played the role as moderators for the physical and online session.
Ms Noredah Othman, GM of Sabah Tourism Board, said: “This was never quite part of our job description, but the circumstance has allowed us the opportunity to acquire new skills. Systems such as Zoom and Google Meets will remain essential to us, akin to using our typical office utilities such as MS Word and Power Point.
“We cannot make excuses to say that we cannot proceed networking with our industry partners due to physical limitations. This new opportunity at hand, in fact, gives us more leverage and efficient ideas to connect with them especially those overseas and we shall continue this effort as we await more updates on the ability to travel.”