. Industry presents a united front in Penang | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Industry presents a united front in Penang

Collaboration more important than ever, says PCEB CEO Ashwin Gunasekeran.

The fifth edition of PCEB's BE@Penang event went fully virtual this year.
The fifth edition of PCEB's [email protected] event went fully virtual this year. Photo Credit:PCEB

The fifth edition of Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau's (PCEB) annual event, [email protected], took place virtually last week (10-11 December) and saw industry peers from Malaysia and across the globe come together to explore new ways of doing business in 2021.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Penang Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage State Exco, YB Yeoh Soon Hin, urged attendees to "take on new perspectives" and "consider fresh blueprints and action plans" to regenerate the tourism and business events industry.

His sentiments were echoed by PCEB CEO, Ashwin Gunasekeran.

"We must not view each other as competitors anymore, but teammates fighting for the same resolution to this obstacle — to revive and rejuvenate our destinations: For Penang, for Malaysia, for Asia Pacific, for the world — because it all starts somewhere."

Headlining the homegrown conference was professor Edde Obeng, known for his creation of QUBE, the world's first 'super reality' avatar-based campus, which can help event planners create collaborative learning environments in the digital world.

As well as discussing new opportunities for digital engagement and hybrid meetings, the conference also outlined ways to reboot the tourism and business events sector, while evaluating the future of association meetings and incentive travel.

Spicing up an online event? Try PCEB's way: A spice workshop by Tropical Spice Garden.
Spicing up an online event? Try PCEB's way: A spice workshop by Tropical Spice Garden.

To spice up the meeting, literally, Tropical Spice Garden conducted a spice workshop, while The Habitat Penang Hill held a forest bathing session.

As a thoughtful touch, all registration fees were pegged at just RM50 (US$12.32) and donated to CSR programmes under PCEB.

"I hope that [email protected] 2020 will end the year on a positive note with additional useful perspectives and ideas for our industry partners and other relevant players while we continue to keep up the rejuvenation momentum," said Gunasekeran.

Acknowledging Covid's hard hit, the CEO also noted how the business events industry has demonstrated a "united front and resolution in looking for avenues to aid in recovery efforts".