. Sarawak reports just three event cancellations for 2020 | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Sarawak reports just three event cancellations for 2020

New incentives for planners ensure 95 per cent of business is going ahead as planned in 2021.

Incentives for event planners have been key in retaining the Malaysian state’s business, with a renewed focus on corporate meetings.
Incentives for event planners have been key in retaining the Malaysian state’s business, with a renewed focus on corporate meetings. Photo Credit:Business Events Sarawak

Sarawak has reported just three event cancellations for 2020, with 95 per cent of events moving ahead as planned going into 2021, according to the state's convention bureau, Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak).

A success story amid the ongoing pandemic, Sarawak’s business events sector has, over the January to September 2020 period, clocked RM106 million in total economic impact. This has translated into RM58 million (US$13.96 million) in direct delegate expenditure, tax revenues of RM6.4 million, while simultaneously opening up 8,480 jobs across various related sectors as well.

The winning formula? Incentivised packages which “lend extensive support [and in turn] injects additional funding as well as other financial incentives to help organisers get back on their feet and continue their planning processes,” said Sarawak’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

These incentives fall under two categories: Tribe Acceleration for supported corporate events and Tribe Elevation for major conventions. These schemes provide additional financial support for claims including tax relief, half-day city tours for delegates, as well as engagement of virtual platforms that have become a common feature in today’s hybrid meetings space.

The bureau's business development team will assess each event to determine the level of incentive support.

Because safety remains a top concern whether for business or leisure, delegates will also receive wellness packs fitted with hand sanitiser and face masks in a reusable pouch that they can bring around their events. All steps have been taken to comply with local SOP for business events.

As a result, Sarawak has achieved 68 per cent of 2020’s target, and also confirmed a total of 31 business events running from 2020 to 2024, translating to RM106 million. M&C Asia understands that moving forward, incentivised packages for business events planners will be the key driver for new and existing clients.

Also within the next five years is BESarawak’s plan to focus on and increase market share for the meetings and incentives sector by 20 per cent.