The Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) recently hosted the Kongres Negara 2020, with more than 4,500 attendees — including prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin — from political parties and government ministries.
The sheer scale of the 22 August event proved impressive, following strict health and safety measures such as registration with the national health tracking app – MySejahtera, mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing at all times.
"We have rigorous health and safety measures, delegate management system, as well as on-site communication including 'mobile human safety reminders' encouraging strict adherence and the provision of guidance and compliance," said MITEC CEO Gunther Beissel.
Instead of shared coffee and meal breaks, attendees were served ready-to-eat packed meals at their seats with pre-wrapped cutlery sets.
Beissel said that 3,500 attendees were placed in the largest exhibition hall in Malaysia, with 12,960 sqm of column-free space. Remaining attendees gathered in another hall with a live-stream video of the proceedings.
“We hope the successful hosting of this large gathering will boost confidence and we shall use this as our marketing element to showcase MITEC’s capabilities and capacities. This has also bolstered our reputation as a venue of choice for massive events and exhibitions.”
He added that MITEC will play host to a number of business events from this year and beyond, with several of the events being inaugural editions.
“Forty confirmed bookings have been secured from the corporate and exhibition sectors for 2020, with continual enquiries and tentative events in the pipeline.
"MITEC has also secured 18 confirmed events (as of today) for 2021,” noted Beissel — a promising sign of recovery.
The venue is set to host, for the first time, the Global Online Women Empowerment Summit 2020 (hybrid), Snearkerlah 2020 (physical exhibition), Kuala Lumpur International Logistics and Transport (KILAT) 2021 (the first big physical event kicking off from 12-14 January), Smart Nation Expo and Forum 2021 and EVM Asia 2021 (both physical exhibitions and conferences).
Beissel explained that with the changes brought upon by the pandemic and technology pushed to the forefront, MITEC launched its 'Events Beyond Boundaries' package.
“It promotes meetings and events through live streaming, virtual meetings, e-conferences and more. The package acts as a diversification of our usual business approach, which will generate an alternative revenue stream beyond being just a venue.”
One of the big events for 2020 is the World Halal Conference — a hybrid event that will take place on 6 October. There’s also the postponed largest furniture fair in the region, the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (8-11 March, 2021) which is touting the use of many hi-tech apps to give virtual participants a “being there” feel. Both are recurrent events.