Business Events (BE) Malaysia Magazine|Vol 7|No 1|2021

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RM 10

VOL. 7 | NO. 1 | 2021 ISSN 2289-893X





Come together, make the impossible, POSSIBLE!

Turn the crisis into opportunities!

Our growing business portfolio

Revolutionary Brands For The People

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Kompleks MITEC, No.8 Jalan Dutamas 2, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6012-640 6106 Email: Website:


Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud

Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB)

Dato’ Sri Dr. Hj. Irmohizam bin Hj. Ibrahim

Chair Conference and Exhibitions Asia Pacific, Member Advisory Council, World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz

Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)

Noor Ahmad Hamid

Regional Director Asia Pacific, International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA)


President: Francis Teo, Setia City Convention Centre Immediate Past President: Dato’ Vincent Lim, C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd Vice President - Exhibition: Datuk Dr. M Gandhi, Bumiati Holdings Sdn Bhd Vice President - Conference: Dee Dee Quah, Conference Partners Sdn Bhd Vice President - Industry Partners: Eric Ho, Pico International (M) Sdn Bhd Vice President - Event Management: Lee Mark, The Hot Shoe Show & Co Sdn Bhd Honorary Secretary: Kenneth Fong, Messe Worldwide Sdn Bhd Honorary Treasurer: Winnee Lim, Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre Ordinary Committee Member: Edwin Lai, Trade-Link Exhibition Services Sdn Bhd Gerard Leeuwenburgh, UBM Malaysia Jaggarao Simancha, ASC Agenda Suria Communication Sdn Bhd Lim Ee Huang, Doremi Services & Rental Sdn Bhd Melvin Shu, Smart Reg System Sdn Bhd Oo Mei Ting, World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur Phoebe Kyo, Kyo Exh Connections Tiffany Chung, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Appointed Committee Member: Alix Lim, Kingsmen Exhibits Sdn Bhd Chandra Ganesh, Felix Expo Logistics (M) Sdn Bhd Dato’ Jonest Wong, X Two Media Sdn Bhd Eugene Goh, Goche Corporation Sdn Bhd Gracie Geike, Place Borneo Sdn Bhd Jason Teh, Pico International (M) Sdn Bhd Rahul Bharadwaj, Anderes Fourdy Sdn Bhd Raymond Fang, Firm Horizon Sdn Bhd Yusno Yunos, Y Us Sdn Bhd


Senior Manager: G’ny Chin Project Executive: Tan Jia Chee PUBLISHED ON BEHALF OF MACEOS 3 TIMES A YEAR BY Adelston Media Sdn Bhd A-08-07, The Elements@Ampang, Jalan Bemban, Off Jalan Ampang, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 6010-231 6282 Email: Website: CEO: Edwin Ng Kit Keong Managing Editor: Jeralyn Tan Hui Shing PRINTED BY Swan Printing Sdn Bhd Lot 5249, Jalan BS 7/1, Kawasan Perindustrian Bukit Serdang, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 603-8945 0900 Website:

Publisher’s Note The Year The World Got Reset!

2020 has come and gone, the end to a year and start of a decade I am sure we would all like to forget. We were all forced into a global war with a minuscule organism that is so destructive which we knew so little about. Nobody was clear what we were facing and what precisely we should do. The global economic outlook has been damaged by this pandemic and certainly the BE Industry was not spared either.

Innumerable businesses went into survival mode as early as Q2 2020 and unfortunately many had to cease operations.

Nevertheless in every crisis lies an opportunity and industry colleagues are strongly urged to study through their strengths and to recognise the opportunity that awaits. There is much work to be done in 2021 a year in which our industry hopes to rebound. One thing is for sure, our industry will never be the same again and all of those who are waiting for things to get back to pre-covid times should really think twice. Let us take the opportunity to reset, rebuild and BE Ready to welcome back events and delegates both domestic and international as soon as the BE Industry first nationally and later internationally reopens. In Malaysia we remain perfectly capable of running business events with appropriate health and safety measures of course. And also with the learnings from last year to better connect supply and demand through digital tools complementing physical events. And our business events will accelerate the economic rebound of the country.

I am delighted to share and welcome our new publication partner, Adelston Media Sdn Bhd onboard to work hand-in-hand in producing more exciting, informative and indepth insights of the industry through our sought-after Business Events (BE) Malaysia Magazine by MACEOS. Much gratitude to all our sponsors of this very meaningful edition of BE Magazine which also coincides with MACEOS 30th Anniversary. Your support and trust in us is greatly appreciated.

In this edition of BE Magazine, among my favourites are the featured conversations we had with six prominent leaders of the industry, giving their valuable views, analytics and advices for us to move forward together as one to restore the confidence of the people and in setting Malaysia once again as a preferred BE destination. Until we can all meet again, stay safe and keep moving forward. There are many positive developments around the globe bringing hope. Our industry always has been resilient. We will overcome this pandemic.

Gerard Leeuwenburgh

Publication Commitee Chairperson

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. While every effort had been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct at the time of publication. MACEOS and Adelston Media shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies that may occur. The feature interviews throughout the magazine are the personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of MACEOS and Adelston Media. KDN Permit: PP 18673/03/2015 (034147)









Contents Features 08



Re-opening of Malaysia Business Events (BE) Malaysia Business Venues Adhere to #NewNormal



The Voice of BE Malaysia




Unity Is Strength, Diversity Is Power

Innovation of Event Technology - 5 Benefits To Go Virtual



Prepare for Future: Upskiling & Reskiling - 4 Reasons for Upskilling and Reskilling During Crisis

- 4 Types of Employee Skills Critical to New Norm Business Model

30th Anniversary of MACEOS A Journey Through Time


Exclusive Interview 17

Francis Teo


Be Resilient - Continue To Strive Towards Creating Event Experiences

Dato’ Vincent Lim


Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud

Be United - Let’s Make AFECA The Truly Asian MICE Platform Together



BE Forward - Let’s Meet in Malaysia and BE Greater, Together!


A Prestigious Yet Classical Venue - Capturing Moments Creating Memories

Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz


Ashwin Gunasekeran

your next MICE destination

Dato’ Sri Dr. Hj. Irmohizam bin Hj. Ibrahim

Go Global - Bringing Your Business To The Next Level Drive In New Normal - Penang Here For Tomorow

Advertisement Features OBC 0 & 42 1 2 5 7 39

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) Sarawak Convention Bureau Sabah Tourism Board Perfect . Star Education Fair . Star Property Setia City Convention Centre . Setia SPICE Convention Centre World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau

46 50 51 55

Sabah International Convention Centre United Business Media (M) Sdn Bhd DOREMi Services & Rental Sdn Bhd Kingsmen Malaysia Pico International (M) Sdn Bhd One Allianz Consortium Sdn Bhd Talentbank Group



Re-opening of Malaysia Business Events (BE)

(L-R): MACEOS Vice President – Industry Partners, Eric Ho; CEO of MyCEB, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud; Secretary General of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) & Chairman of MyCEB, Dato’ Dr. Noor Zari bin Hamat; Immediate Past President of MACEOS, Dato’ Vincent Lim; Chairman of Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM), Alan Pryor launched the ‘BE-READY’ at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre).

‘BE-READY’, the launch

of Malaysia Business Events (BE) Guidelines, indicating the preparedness and willingness of Malaysia business events industry players to resume business operations with strict adherence to stringent health and safety measures. All the business events players have to take note that it will be a new normal in organising and welcoming visitors or delegates to Malaysia business events. The ‘BE-READY’ was jointly organised by Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) and Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), co-hosted by MyCEB and the Centre (venue host), with support by industry partners including C-BOSS, DOREMi, InQBay and Pico.



Designed to showcase the industry’s safe execution of events such as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), the ‘BE-READY’ initiative is in line with Business Events (BE) Guidelines, which have been developed in accordance with the approved Malaysian National Security Council (MKN) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The solidarity and collaboration of the industry supply chain to proactively drive engagement with government to get the business events industry SOPs approved and to demonstrate that business events, unlike mass gatherings, are executed in a safe, controlled and regulated operating environment, ensuring the safety of the employees, clients, suppliers, stakeholders and event attendees.

MACEOS’s members, professional conference organisers (PCOs), professional exhibition organisers (PEOs), event organisers, convention centres and venue operators, contractors, service providers and other stakeholders are urged to strictly observe and comply to the endorsed BE Guidelines. In addition, business events players must play their role to collectively work and continue to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety and health of everyone as their foremost priority. The BE Guidelines is available for download at malaysia-businessevents-guidelines with an approval code.

During the event, business events players and media had a first-hand experiential preview of exhibition stand mockups and various event setups to demonstrate practical examples of how business events in the new normal are being conducted in a controlled, organised, safe and structured manner, as part of an effort to rebuild public confidence in the meetings and events industry. A briefing session was conducted for industry players and stakeholders on how to apply the BE Guidelines when planning and executing their events. The briefing covered employee and personal safety, physical distancing measures, increased health and safety measures, attendee management and control, as well as on-site communication encouraging adherence and the provision of guidance and compliance.

As a social and economic driver, BE deliver thousands of jobs, economic impact and grows Malaysia’s profile and market share globally. Hence, all business events players must strictly practise the Malaysia BE Guidelines in providing assurance and gaining public confidence that business events like exhibitions and conferences are safe in Malaysia. With the support of Government and the collaboration of industry players, Malaysian business events industry is well positioned to rebound strongly and confidently, and thrilled to be hosting domestic events and international events safely and securely.



Malaysia Business Venues Adhere to

#NewNormal P

urpose-built convention centres are ready to back in motion for Malaysia’s business events industry with the reopening of their venues from 1 July 2020 with a focus on mitigating the risks while driving economic growth for the country. The venues are required to maintain international standards with controlled environments and stringent operational processes.

Malaysia’s business events venues and facilities can offer controlled environments combined with high quality standards to ensure the health and safety of people, including contact tracing of all event attendees and strict compliance with government guidelines on hygiene and physical distancing.

The new procedures include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), physical and social distancing, food safety measures, air quality control and surface cleaning.

Business event venues will also be required to implement a variety of other measures including temperature checks, thermal cameras, hand sanitisers, reduced touch points, contactless transactions and daily monitoring systems. Visitors are encouraged and expected to continuously follow guidelines of personal hygiene routines such as sanitise hands, wearing facial masks and keeping a minimum of o 1 to 2 metres apart from others.

The best practices by everyone in ensuring a safe and secure environment for any event: • Registration with MySejahtera* App • Temperature check and health screening • Hand sanitisation at the entrance and communal areas frequently • Mandatory mask-wearing at all times • Precaution signage will be displayed at different locations of the venue and frequent gentle reminders by marshal • Established route around the hall and ensure large space for safe distancing • Limited movement to public areas • Daily routine of thorough cleaning and disinfection of event spaces frequently • Prepare an isolation space to prevent possible transmission

Photo Credit: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre




uala Lumpur Convention Centre (The Centre) successfully organised the 1st hybrid Ottawa Conference 2020 in February 2020 and the 1st virtual World Tunnel Congress in September 2020, which was made possible by the Centre’s comprehensive virtual events solutions through its We are Here for You campaign.

In 2021, The Centre is geared up with its extensive One-Stop Virtual Solution in its endeavour to keep businesses connected with its community and the wider world, in the new global business environment. This latest solution encompasses brand new studios that are fitted with production-grade audio and visual equipment combined with 400 Megabit of Internet bandwidth, two separate power supplies, a dedicated network backbone and a qualified team of technical experts to advise and deliver any virtual and hybrid event needs, ranging from set or event production and technical design to live broadcast and streams. As part of the One-Stop Virtual Solution, the Centre offers a highly interactive and immersive virtual platform that integrates live streams and existing video hosting tools, including Zoom, YouTube and Vimeo, and is equipped with a globally recognised systematic registration for attendees. For specific needs, depending on the event and client requirement, the Centre also offers tailor-made solutions for any digital event setup including a Command Centre.


alaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) provides flexible spaces and innovative offerings for any physical, virtual or hybrid event. As a world-class operation, MITEC champions the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) Goal #3 to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, providing secure and safe SOPs for visitors and exhibitiors. During the COVID-19 Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), MITEC has successfully hosted the country’s first major business event of a large-scale gathering of more than 4,500 people in September 2020.

The successful hosting of such mass gathering signals a start to rebuilding public confidence in the meetings and events industry and the event can be delivered seamlessly within a highly-controlled, carefully managed environment with stringent safety and security protocols in place.



World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (WTCKL) is not

just an exhibition centre. It is a piece of Malaysian history since its official opening in 26th September 1985. Its massive 13,456 square metres of exhibition space graced general assemblies of political parties, book fairs, exhibitions, trade fairs, weddings and countless notable events — including the unforgettable concert by Bruno Mars in 2011.


etia City Convention Centre (SCCC), the 1st Convention Centre in Malaysia certified by Green Building Index (GBI) for its green technologies, techniques and daily operational practices. SCCC offers a comprehensive range of facilities for all types of business events, with a grand ballroom, 8 function halls and a unique green event lawn. Explore its elegant function rooms, virtual and hybrid studios to create endless possibility in your next events.


etia SPICE Convention Centre, the world’s first hybrid solar-powered building, is the venue of choice to host your future events in Penang with a safe environment.

Setia SPICE Convention Centre was the venue for the launch of the first edition of the Next Normal Guidelines for Business Events Penang by PCEB, which was the first event held since the MCO enforced in March 2020, and sets the benchmark for how business events should be held in the Next Normal.

In addition, there are numerous home and furniture expos, education fair and hybrid events like WHOLE Penang were held in the venue, showing business events are coming back slowly but confidently in the new normal.




tar Media Group kicked start the year 2021 with its prominent exhibitions, Perfect Livin Expo and Star Education Fair. • Perfect Livin expo, one of the Malaysia’s premier furniture and home exhibition which has been around since 2008, acting as a one-stop design and home solutions event that filled with plenty of affordable options. Organised by i.Star Ideas Factory Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Star Media Group Berhad.

• Star Education Fair, a one-stop educational hub that has been around in Malaysia for the past 33 years, offering insights into a myriad of career paths for budding young talents to explore their future. Organised by i.Star Events Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Star Media Group Berhad.

In compliance with the strict government’s standard operating procedures (SOP), the organisers worked hand in hand with venue operators to ensure the safety of visitors, exhibitors and crews. The strict safety measures include temperature screening, ensuring all visitors and exhibitors scan the QR code using the MySejahtera app and wearing face masks, the social distancing measures, crowd control and limiting the number of visitors in each exhibition hall.

1 Jan 3 Jan

Perfect Livin expo

Mid Valley Exhibition Centre (MVEC), Kuala Lumpur

Despite the pandemic, the expos were organised in a safe environment and received certification of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Compliance from MACEOS.

Perfect Livin expo kicked off the first day of 2021 with about 250 booths bringing over 100 brands, in compliance to the strict health and safety measures.

9 Jan 10 Jan

Perfect Livin expo Setia SPICE Convention Centre, Penang

8 Jan 10 Jan

Star Education Fair Setia SPICE Convention Centre, Penang

In the beginning year of 2021, the Star Education Fair was held alongside the Perfect Livin expo, to cater to families as a whole, as there is access to education courses and a one stop shopping experience for home needs.




30th MACEOS AGM The Voice of BE Malaysia

Front (L-R): Eric Ho, Winnee Lim, Kenneth Fong, Dato’ Vincent Lim, Francis Teo, Lee Mark, Dee Dee Quah Back (L-R): Oo Mei Ting, Lim Ee Huang, Edwin Lai, Jaggarao Simancha, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud, Dato’ Sri Dr. Hj. Irmohizam bin Hj. Ibrahim, Gerard Leeuwenburgh, Melvin Shu, Tiffany Chung, Phoebe Kyo


ACEOS held its 30th Annual General Meeting at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) on 7 October 2020, in compliance with strict safety measures. Dato’ Vincent, President of MACEOS welcomed MACEOS members and observers to the AGM and thanked MITEC for hosting the 30th MACEOS AGM. In his welcoming speech to the attendees, Dato’ Vincent highlighted several initiatives that were achieved during his past three terms as MACEOS president since 2014, and the achievements of MACEOS over past three decades. He expressed his appreciation and thanks to MACEOS commitee and secretariat for their hard work and commiment throughout the years, especially during this most challenging period in 2020.



Dato’ Vincent also took the opportunity to extend his heartfelt thanks to the Minister of MOTAC, Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri and the CEO of MyCEB, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud and his team for the fullest support to the BE industry admist the pandemic. Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani shared that MyCEB has rolled out several initiatives to boost the market and cushion challenges faced by industry players apart from the recent launched ‘Meet in Malaysia Campaign’, including the Tactical Malaysia Twin Deal V, Exhibition Enhancement Package, and Homegrown Event Support. MyCEB will be launching its own 10 Years Strategic Marketing Plan 2021- 2030, which will be used in planning, implementing, and monitoring its marketing campaigns.

Francis Teo, Honorary Secretary of MACEOS confirmed the minutes of the 29th AGM that held in 30 April 2019.

Ten constitutional amendments were mentioned and approved as follow: i. The change of the place of business; ii. Amendment of the rights of members; iii. Amendment of the source of income; iv. Amendment of the general meeting; v. Amendment of the number of Ordinary Committee member; vi. Amendment of an Immediate Past President; vii. Additional clause of the Honorary President; viii. Amendment of the proxy; ix. Amendment of the resignation of the Executive Committee; x. Amendment of constitution

Francis Teo also presented the MACEOS Excecutive Commitee Report 2019/2020 and highlighted about 104 activities and industry meetings that organised and attended by MACEOS since last AGM.

In overcoming the COVID-19 global pandemic, MACEOS has set up a task force to conduct BE industry survey and gather insights from members, as well as various proposals has been submitted to Goverment for consideration and approval. In addition, Francis Teo also presented the audited accounts for the year ended 31 December 2019.

On behalf of MACEOS, Dato’ Vincent presented a custom made MACEOS lapel pin as a reward to the outgoing Executive Committee 2018/2020 in recognising their contribution to the Association.

For the election of Executive Committee session 2020/2022 , MACEOS adopted electronic voting (vote via voter’s mobile phone) to speed up the counting of ballots and perform contactless voting in new norm. The entire digital voting and votes counting process was witnessed and observed by 2 invited scrutineers from MyCEB and Mr Alun Jones.

Francis Teo, S P Setia’s Head of Convention Centres, was elected as president of MACEOS for the 2020-2022 term, which is the first MACEOS president from the venue sector. During his acceptance speech, Francis Teo thanked the member for the trust put on him and hopes that the new committee members would lead MACEOS with dedication, commitment and passion in facing the change that is impacting the industry. He presented a potrait as an appreciation gift to Dato’ Vincent Lim, who served the association as president for the past three consecutive terms.



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to learn to change the way we operate in the BE industry, trying to pivot and also embrace event digitalisation. We believe that event digitalisation will complement our industry but would never replace it. We also need to be less dependent on international markets entirely. Instead, we must learn to create opportunities for ourselves. We need to network more, connect and collaborate with each other so that we could survive this period together.

Francis Teo MACEOS President


















Exclusive Interview

Be Resilient Continue To Strive Towards Creating Event Experiences A conversation with: Francis Teo

What drew you into the business events industry over two decades ago? I would say that I am a very people-oriented person. I embarked on an exciting career in the hospitality industry as I wanted the opportunity to meet and socialise with new people representing a wide range of nationalities.

Eventually, I specialised in the events industry as it encouraged me to be creative especially about how to transform the same venue into different set-ups to cater to various functions such as corporate meetings, weddings, gala dinners, and more. Back then, we did not have a very robust events industry. Most of us who are in the BE industry today actually originated from the hospitality industry.


Together, Everyone Achieves More! Let’s work together to rebound and be a stronger BE industry.

As the BE industry continued to evolve, I further ventured into larger events that required more complicated settings and therefore more planning. However, I am really enjoying what I am doing now.

What is your drive as the new President of MACEOS? What do you plan to change or achieve within this presidency term? I have been serving MACEOS as a committee member for over 14 years, since 2006. Amid the pandemic, some may think that it might be not the right time to take up the presidential role, but I decided to take up this challenge as it would be an opportunity to lead this industry which I cherish so much. We will continue to work in line with the long-term philosophy set by the previous committee led by our past President, Dato’ Vincent Lim, and push forward the IDEA vision, which stands for Innovation, Development, Education, and Advocacy of the industry.

Coming from a venue operator background, I deal with all types of industry players and partners. My close engagement with a wide range of stakeholders allows me to understand their challenges better during this pandemic and how we can adapt to be a more resilient industry.

Today, in order to have a better tolerance level, businesses can no longer depend on only one revenue stream. We have to be more creative and persistent to move on and venture into other areas. For instance, booth contractors could look into interior design work or tap into other industries that are not fully impacted by this pandemic.

My philosophy these days is: “Don’t waste the crisis, as a crisis will make you do things that you normally don’t do!” Through this crisis, we would realise new ways to run the business more effectively and efficiently. For instance, small cost cutting measures implemented in operations will create big savings and impact to the sustainability of a business.

Francis Teo

S P Setia’s Head of Convention Centres

President Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) for term 2020-2022



What is the association’s main mission and its main focus in the recovery journey of business events especially during this Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period? MACEOS is here to assist our members in any way possible and member engagement is very important to us. At this current moment, MACEOS will continue to lobby to the general public and the policy makers on the role and importance of BE industry in rebuilding the economy.

We are also trying to convince the authorities to allow the BE industry to continue operating under strict safety measures regardless of the MCO stages. At the same time, to safe guard our industry, we are constantly educating and updating MACEOS members and BE industry players on the latest government SOPs to ensure compliance. Recently, MACEOS announced a 30% discount for the annual renewal membership fee for 2021 to reduce the financial burdens on existing members.

Recently, MACEOS initiated the #SaveOurConventionCentres campaign. How was the outcome from this campaign and are there other campaigns that MACEOS is intending to initiate? What would you hope to achieve from these campaigns? The #SaveOurConventionCentres campaign was intended for the BE industry as a whole where the main focus was to highlight the plight of the industry players who have suffered up to 90% decrease in their 2020 revenue, which converts to approximately RM2.25 billion loss to the industry.

Convention centres were used as the icon for the campaign as the public are able to relate to a physical convention centre better. Besides that, convention centres generally have a larger workforce in the industry. The campaign emphasised on the impact faced by the people behind the convention centres during this pandemic. The #SaveOurConventionCentres campaign is the first phase of MACEOS’s campaign which is to create awareness on the issue of BE industry to the society. Moving forward, the next phase of the campaign will focus on the importance and contribution of the BE industry for national and local economic recovery.

I consider this initial phase of the campaign to be a success to date as we managed to garner the support from the relevant Government agencies and ministries such as the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) and the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB). Besides this, the campaign was well received by the public and gained wide media coverage in print and digital media, and was also broadcast through Astro Awani and BERNAMA TV.



Business events (BE) is a platform where people from different companies or industries meet to share ideas and establish potential collaborations. It is a marketplace for product owners and investors to form partnerships. It is also a platform for knowledge sharing where academics and industry experts gather to find solutions to world problems. It is the fastest way for businesses to connect with each other and rebuild the economy again. Guided by a comprehensive framework, business events industry players in Malaysia are well-prepared, trained and able to implement the standard operating procedures required to ensure a high level of safety at all our events. This is the assurance we able to convey to the government, our clients, our partners, and business events’ attendees.

How do you encourage MICE industry players including MACEOS members to adapt and blend into the new trend of digital usage? There are many digital platform options in the market today, and many industry players have turned to the digital model, whether virtual or hybrid, to comply with the restrictions on physical events.

However, we believe that physical events will not be replaced entirely by digitalisation in the BE industry. Face-to-face events and engagement will still continue to be relevant and in demand and, in fact, they will be considered as a premium experience moving forward. However, virtual and hybrid events have the advantage of attracting more participation from speakers and attendees who may not be able to attend the event in person. Event organisers have to find a business model to monetise through these digital platforms. In order for digital events to succeed, event organisers will have to ensure that the event experience contains value to online participants. The main thing to focus on is on quality of content as online delegates can only gauge their experience on this. With their engagement limited to what they can access virtually, online delegates will demand for top notch content to measure against the time they’ve invested in the event.

What do you think are the biggest challenges business events industry will face in the road of recovery or within the next 3 to 5 years? Many commented that digital events will replace physical events. These sentiments are similar to what happened about 20 years ago during the birth of the Internet when people commented that the exhibition industry will no longer be in need as this online platform will replace the physical exhibition industry. However, this did not happen as online or digital events could not provide the live engagement and experiences that physical events could offer.

Right now, the BE industry players have to emphasise on the value of face-to-face engagement and experience, and how it differs from the digital experience. Within the next few years, the focus will be to rebuild the confidence of all stakeholders to participate in physical events once again.

As the S P Setia’s Head of Convention Centre, what progress and development would you hope and expect to achieve for the coming years? As the top property developer in the country, S P Setia included a convention centre into its integrated township to create a focal point where community events could be held. This is based on its LiveLearnWorkPlay philosophy, where Live represents life events such as wedding or any celebrative occasion; Learn refers to educational programmes; Work indicates conducive environment for meeting and seminar; and Play shows the lifestyle component like concert, festival and social events. Currently, we have both Setia City Convention Center (SCCC) in Selangor and Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Penang. We are focused on catering to medium-sized events which we believe have its own unique market. Although we may not have the biggest or the best location for our convention centres, Setia is currently the only operator which has two convention centres in this country. In addition, there are four club houses equipped with banquet hall facilities, which can accommodate a capacity of 200 to 700 people.

Looking forward, what are your professional goals for the future, in regards to the business events industry for the country? At the moment, the entire BE industry has been reset and everyone has to operate under the “new norm” in which success comes to those who are quick to respond and adapt to the new requirements in order to stand out from the competition. As for me, I will say that we should spend this down time to increase the professionalism of the BE industry within the region. We need to maintain our workforce during this difficult time as it will be more costly to re-employ and re-train new workforce.

Let us take this opportunity to think, plan, and execute a better offer for both the domestic and international market during this low season and be fully prepared to gear up when the industry reopens.



I am proud to be given the opportunity to contribute to MACEOS over the past six years as MACEOS president, and advocate for the BE industry to be recognised as a vital sector for the economy. Although the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic was a very intense period, however, it didn’t stop us from MACEOS to play our role as industry advocates through Zoom meetings, webinar programmes, members’ survey, information updates, governmental meetings, media interviews by local and international news agencies and press releases. I hope that MACEOS would continue to drive the BE industry forward by attracting new and younger members to take on an active role in the association. Dato’ Vincent Lim MACEOS Immediate Past President

Dato’ Vincent highlighted several initiatives were achieved during his tenure as MACEOS President from 2014-2020: i. Serves as Board of Director of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB); ii. Serves as Committee Member of MATRADE’s Project Monitoring Committee (PMC); iii. Held position as Chairman of AFECA Awards 2019/2020. Has been actively involved as Committee, served as the Assistant Treasurer and currently elected as the President for term 2020-2022 in the Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations (AFECA); iv. Represented MACEOS to speak in overseas MICE related events held at Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, China and India; v. Attended AFECA and UFI meetings, MICE/BRICs countries alliance BE meetings; vi. Initiated MACEOS Awards, MACEOS Entrepreneurs Awards and Malaysia Business Events Awards (MBEA); vii. Attended governmental meetings such as with MOTAC, MOF, MITI, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Ministry of Federal Territories, MyCEB, MATRADE, DBKL, Sabah & Sarawak state government, Sabah Tourism Board, Sarawak Convention Bureau and Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau; viii. Formation of Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM), initiated by MyCEB; ix. Formation of MACEOS Advisory Board; x. Launched of Malaysia BE magazine; xi. Organised the inaugural AFECA MICE Youth Challenge, AFECA Awards and Dinner, Conference when Malaysia was the country host for AFECA AGM in 2015, held concurrently with the AFECA AEC Expo xii. The BE SOP were formulated in mitigating the pandemic matter, together with BECM, led by MyCEB, and eventually submitted and approved by MKN and MOH.

From 2014 to 2020, a total of 26 MOUs were sealed for the purpose to strengthen collaboration, better synergise and exchange of industry information and statistics. The MOUs were signed with Industry Affiliate associations, Educational Institutions, with ASEAN countries industry associations such as Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Myanmar, with Asia countries like Taiwan, Korea, Japan, China and BRICs countries like Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa.



Exclusive Interview

Be United Let’s Make AFECA The Truly Asian MICE Platform Together

Dato’ Vincent Lim was elected as the president of AFECA for term 2020-2022 together with AFECA’s new Board at the 15th AFECA Annual General Meeting, which held virtually for the first time on 17 November 2020. He takes over from Immediate Past President Mr. Walter Yeh, ex-President of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Taiwan Exhibition and Conference Association (TECA).

A conversation with: Dato’ Vincent Lim How would you describe the main goals of the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) in your own words? Do you believe the association meets its mission? How can it continue to improve its reach? AFECA was established in 2005 with a mission to promote and enhance the MICE industry in Asia, which has stand strong among the 4 global conference and exhibitions bodies. The association plays an important role in promoting the growth and development of the BE industry. Over the years, AFECE has gone from strength to strength, expanding their wings with confidence in attracting more corporate and trade associations to join the AFECA family. Moreover, AFECA also well positioned itself as the representative of Asia countries, touching onto 17 countries with over 11,000 MICE industrial related companies from the 150 members that represents their respective corporate or trade associations.

TEAMWORK IS A MUST! Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much.

To be serving a large organisation such as AFECA is not an easy task. My predecessor Mr. Walter Yeh (Immediate Past President) together with his Board members has achieved immense accomplishments, but i as the new president determined to demonstrate initiatives to maintain the good results.

What is your drive as the new president of AFECA? What progress and development would you hope and expect within this presidency term? I am honoured to be able to serve AFECA as the elected President (20202022), which is the first AFECA’s president from Malaysia, and my sincere thanks extended to the Board for their trust bestowed upon me.

Due to the COVID-19 in early 2020, it revolutionised the way conferences and exhibitions being conducted across the globe where physical events has to be conducted virtually or in a hybrid mode almost instantaneously. This has placed many conventional players or stakeholders on an uneven ground and many are unable to adapt to the new normal which is predicted to stay for years to come even though we know that majority are still very much in favour of offline face-to-face events.

Being elected as president of AFECA during the this pandemic, it is indeed a challenging task but with new initiatives in the pipeline, it will bring benefits to the BE industry players from across Asia as a whole in facing the new normal. Meanwhile, AFECA members have to work together to stay strong and prepare to rebound in the BE industry,

Dato’ Vincent Lim

President Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) for term 2020-2022 MyCEB’s Board of Director

Immediate Past President of MACEOS



Let us all work together for the benefit of the MICE industry in the Asian region; increase cross-border cooperation, business collaborations, partnerships and friendships amongst member countries, the region and worldwide.

How do you think Asia Pacific as a whole is able to blend in to the new trend of digital usage? How about Malaysian business events players in innovation technology? As BE industry is going through a challenging time now with billions of dollars in losses, I hope AFECA members able to adopt new initiatives such as hybridisation and digitalisation in their events in the new norm. Due to the pandemic, the entire industry has fast forwarded by at least 5 to 10 years where the push for virtual and hybrid events has taken precedence, at least for the time being. The growth of digital usage surged and even though businesses find it challenging in facing this hurdle, but we will be able to adapt eventually as it becomes a new trend to move on in BE industry.

All business events players including those in Malaysia have to rethink and reinvent the way BE businesses are conducted. There have been instances where trade events that went virtual during the pandemic managed to tap into new clienteles that was never in their database, showing a positive sign in the new normal. Even though virtual and hybrid meetings have become more popular during the pandemic, the virtual events will not replace in-person events because physical experiences and human interactions cannot be easily replicated in a virtual environment. In my opinion, it is just a new game or new model for stakeholders to familiarise with in the new normal.

Is there any collaboration to enhance and expand Asia Pacific or Malaysia’s business event industry? Partnership and collaboration are key to our business values. Hence, collaborations among trade associations from different regions are strongly encouraged to support one another, this will strengthen the bonding to work on together better.

During the good times, businesses can afford to standalone and they are able to individually identify and select their own partners to work with. But today, not many businesses are able to continue with that practice and we will see the needs and importance of such collaborations. Hence, associations will also have to be more creative and innovative to face the post pandemic and able to stay relevant to continue to meet its objectives.



What are the immediate strategies or practical ways that will be suggested by AFECA to help its members during these challenging time including MACEOS in Malaysia? Firstly, AFECA will be looking into forming a task force to monitor closely on pandemic impact on the BE industry in Asia and carry out surveys or industry research constantly to gather important data and opinions from members, which able to assist in their future decision making. A strong task force has been proven effective under MACEOS where in depth SOPs relevant to the BE industry has been introduced and the Government hears their view through various proposals presented through MyCEB and other relevant Government agencies. Even though AFECA would be different as it involves 17 countries, but with a dedicated task force, it will provide a platform for members to exchange good industrial practices, which could benefit all in some ways. Currently, digital transformation is crucial for BE businesses that want to remain relevant. In moving towards digital BE model, AFECA will form Digital and Innovation Subcommittee across Asian countries to discuss and exchange ideas on digitalisation, innovation and transformation.

Do you agree that upskilling and reskilling have become critical conditions for business events professionals to get through the current downturn and well into the altered future of corporate gatherings in a post-Covid-19 world? What will be your advices to the association members to be more competitive in the business events industry? In the post-pandemic environment, we have to accept that the BE outlook and ecosystem will no longer be the same as before, just like what happened after the 9/11 attack where it changes the entire aeronautical industry.

Healthcare is going to be the main priority and essential to build back the confidence of stakeholders, where all events will be conducted with greater health related practices in placed and accordance to strict safety measures.This will lead us to a new BE model and adaptation is crucial to maintain resilient.

Upskilling and reskilling is definitely needed for us to understand better especially on the technological approaches such us conducting a hybrid or virtual event. All players will have to rethink and reinvent their business model which will eventually redesign the entire BE industry to stay relevant with today’s trends.

About AFECA The Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) was officially registered with the Singapore Registry of Societies on 25 January 2005. Prior to its registration, an assembly meeting was held in Singapore on 21 September 2004, which was attended by associations’ representatives from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.

Looking forward, what are the key goals that you would hope and expect to achieve for the coming years, in regards to the business events industry in Malaysia as well as for the Asia Pacific? I wish that the Malaysian Government is able to look into the BE or MICE industry as one of the main industries by its own and not just as a subsector of tourism. The BE industry must be given more attention and support so that together, we can do very much more and contribute back to the country and economy. At the same time, I am looking forward to the MyCEB’s Strategic Marketing Plan 2021-2030 BE roadmap that will be announced soon, bringing the BE landscape of Malaysia to a whole new level.

On international grounds, it is hoped that the recent RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) Agreement signed between ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand will bring new opportunities and collaborations to the BE industry. This is ASEAN’s biggest free trade pact to-date that have a combined market size of USD262.2 trillion, taking up 30% of the world’s GDP.

It is with great hope that the entire ecosystem of the BE industry and other related industries will be able to sustain and withhold this turbulence and rebound within the next 1 to 2 years. The BE industry is still a very relevant and important industry to rebuild and to increase the trade of the economy, industry and country as a whole. A great thank you and heartiest appreciation to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) under the leadership of Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, the CEO of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud and his team, and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) for the fullest support admist the pandemic. With the given support, we can move forward greater for the betterment of the nation. Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee and secretariat of MACEOS during my tenure as president whom worked together to bring MACEOS to where we are today. The determination and hard work kicks off to have the voice of BE industry heard. I also believe that we can promote the BE industry for the benefit of all, together with the dedicated and experienced AFECA team.

AFECA, one of the four global conference and exhibition umbrella bodies, alongside UFI, IAEE and ICCA. Starting with six founding member organisations in 2005, AFECA has grown to over 150 member-organisations from 17 countries/ regions across the entire Asia-Pacific region in just a decade. Participating countries/regions include Australia, Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

AFECA is the only international umbrella association in Asia and serves 37 national MICE associations including the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS), Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA), Indonesian Congress and Convention Association (INCCA), Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (PACEOS), Taiwan Convention and Exhibition Association (TCEA), Taiwan Exhibition & Convention Association (TECA), Japan Exhibition Association (JEXA), Japan Management Association (JMA), Nippon Display Federation (NDF), Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Industries Association (SCEIA), Thailand Exhibition Association (TEA) as well as others, which together cover more than 11,000 MICE companies.

Over the years, AFECA has organised various events such as: • AFECA AEC (ASEAN Economic Cooperation) + Expo 2015 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; • AFECA Asian MICE Awards, an annual regional event to celebrate and acknowledge excellence in the exhibition industry. This is also to recognise the contributions of AFECA members in the exhibition and convention industry in the global marketplace; • AFECA MICE Forum, where MICE leaders from Asia, US and Europe share trends, industry updates and latest technologies in the industry are discussed; • AFECA Asia MICE Youth Challenge, a yearly competition among universities in Asia where students of MICE and tourism present business plans on promoting their countries or key cities, as major destinations.



Exclusive Interview

BE Forward Let’s Meet in Malaysia and BE Greater, Together! A conversation with:

Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) is dedicated to maximise the success of your meetings and events in Malaysia. We provide a wide platform for planners and organisations to seek specialised services ranging from consultations to board-based collaborations and on-ground support.

What has been your biggest task since the Coronavirus situation erupted as a global pandemic? What are some of the challenges for Malaysia’s business events (BE) industry, as well as the challenges faced by you and your team? The tourism sector was first to be affected and the last to recover due to the outbreak. MyCEB has recently opened up to a new normal but there is a crucial need to share what is really happening in the bigger picture, the collective force that is reshaping and rebuilding things.

MyCEB is on the lookout to revive and maintain the survival of stakeholders and industry players by strengthening domestic campaigns. This may effectively reassemble local and international players in organising business events in the new norm that can revive the overall tourism industry in Malaysia.

The business events industry evolving with the hybrid model and style in the New Normal, do you think the BE industry in Malaysia is able to keep up with the paths? What will be MyCEB’s plans in helping BE industry players in the new trend of digital usage? Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud Chief Executive Officer Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB)

Asia Pacific Board of Directors Representative for the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) MyCEB’s Board of Director MACEOS Advisory Board



Given the opportunity to fully utilise modern technology and adapt this in the BE industry, MyCEB has embarked on implementing digitalisation to reach the maximum potential and engagement with our respective partners be it in the BE or other various economic industries.

In August, MyCEB successfully implemented digital usage by organising the Meet in Malaysia @ Malaysia Business Events Week (MBEW) 2020 via a hybrid mode by setting up onsite and virtual livestream which resulted in a total number of 669 attendees. Other forms of digitalisation are also taken into action when attending webinars as well and award ceremonies.

In your opinion, what are the effective plans to assure the Malaysia tourism revival, and continue to boost domestic and international tourism? MyCEB aims to strengthen domestic campaigns and initiatives that has been introduced to re-boost the domestic and international tourism whilst assure the industry’s revival.

The first one is the Meet in Malaysia campaign which encompasses of two simultaneous initiatives entitled Let’s Meet Tomorrow and Let’s Meet Locally programmes, which runs until December 2021. Let’s Meet Locally consists of competitive packages and government subsidies to stimulate domestic meetings while the Let’s Meet Tomorrow programme is initiated to help industry players in planning and preparing for future international business events organised in Malaysia to welcome international delegates and will take into effect once the international borders are open. Addressing stakeholders such as professional conference organisers (PCOs), local associations, event management companies and destination management companies (DMCs), the Let’s Meet Tomorrow programme strives for collaborations with venues to develop competitive and appealing campaign packages.

On top of this, MyCEB rolled out additional packages such as the Tactical Malaysia Twin Deal V, Exhibition Enhancement Package and Homegrown Event Support. Support from the bureau and participating industry partners will come in the form of subsidies or services.

Despite experiencing a significant shift due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the global business events landscape, MyCEB is proud to announce a total number 21 bids won for conventions and exhibitions, 19 bids won for meetings and incentives and 6 bids won for trade exhibitions which total up to 46 bids won in the 3rd quarter of 2020. Check out the Meet in Malaysia Campaign’s offerings to give your homegrown national, regional and international business events a boost.

MyCEB, a non-profit organisation established in 2009 by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), serving as a central hub to assist meeting and event planners to bid for and stage international business events in Malaysia. As the national bureau, MyCEB acts as catalyst for product and industry developments, improving Malaysia‘s rankings as an international meetings destination within the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). To further strengthen Malaysia’s business tourism brand and position in the international business events market, MyCEB is working closely with Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) and other pivotal organisations.



Malaysia was awarded the “Best Conferences & Exhibitions Destination - Asia” at the M&C Asia Stella Awards 2020. Let’s transform your professional works in the new normal era and shape a better future of Malaysian BE Industry, always putting the name of Malaysia in the international level.

What will be your idea of “Turning Crisis into Opportunity” in Malaysia and global market? MyCEB believes that this is the best time to promote Malaysia as a safe destination and has received several awards reflecting their persistence in the BE industry. Most recently, Malaysia was awarded the ‘Best Conference & Exhibitions Destination (Asia) 2020 during the M&C Asia Stella Awards. Malaysia has constantly worked closely with the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition and Suppliers (MACEOS) and Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) to formulate BE SOP’s which was endorsed by the Malaysian government and was able to roll it out quickly to implement the new norm measures together with the local industry’s concerted effort. This way, the business events industry is reaching towards greater heights to promote Malaysia as a safe destination.

What competencies do you feel necessary for an individual to succeed in the hospitality industry? As learning and development never stops, what will be your words to the BE industry players? Every industry has their own specific roles to play in order to ensure progress and success for the country. MyCEB has initiated an online professional education platform by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) through a partnership with Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to continuously expand the nation’s business events industry.

The IAPCO WebEDGE platform is specifically designed for Malaysiabased professional conference organisers (PCOs) by providing globally accredited training, which is customised to enhance their professionalism and raise their capacity and capability to meet the current and future industry expectation, needs and demands. This is a new take of direction to ensure the implementation of learning and development.



2018 & 2019 ICCA STATISTICS REPORT International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) MALAYSIA World Ranking

Asia Pacific Ranking

2018 2019

33 9

33 9

No. of International Association Meetings



Asia Pacific Ranking



KUALA LUMPUR World Ranking

No. of International Association Meetings



PENANG World Ranking





KUCHING World Ranking





No. of International Association Meetings



Asia Pacific Ranking

No. of International Association Meetings Asia Pacific Ranking KOTA KINABALU World Ranking

Asia Pacific Ranking

No. of International Association Meetings











Source: International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Ranking 2018 & 2019

I am here with my experience to bring us all together under the MyCEB Malaysia and ICCA Asia Pacific, looking forward to drive the BE industry towards a more sustainable yet dynamic future. Let’s Rebuild Confidence, move towards BE Greater, Together.

What trends in branding and marketing are you interested in exploring? Suited to the current situation, MyCEB is looking into focussing and expanding on marketing strategies to promote Malaysia as the leading Business Event Hub at an international level. As MyCEB is specialised in securing and supporting international corporate meeting, incentive travel, association convention and trade exhibitions events, we anticipate more business events to be organised in Malaysia for the days to come.

MyCEB is also promoting internationally the newly launched campaigns and incentives in order to give a broader coverage for international delegates. MyCEB believes that having a strong marketing strategy will encourage more international delegates to collaborate with Malaysia thus securing more meetings, conventions & exhibitions as well as tradeshows in Malaysia.

Looking forward, what are the key goals that you would hope and expect to achieve for the coming years, in regard to the BE industry for MyCEB as well as for the country? Malaysia has recognised the BE industry as one of the major contributors for the Gross National Income (GNI) and is gathering efforts together with other industry representatives to achieve recognition from time to time as a platform to promote Malaysia.

MyCEB also believes that BE Leisure has its own significant value to the business events industry as every destination has their own experience and uniqueness for delegates to discover and explore. So what are you waiting for? Let’s Meet in Malaysia and BE Greater, Together!

In terms of sustainability, what are the projects MyCEB will be engaging into the next years? MyCEB looks forward to hosting our flagship event, the Malaysia Business Events Week (MBEW) that is held annually which serves as a platform built for industry players and stakeholders to share thoughts, skills and experience that gives impact to the development and sustainability for the business events industry. MBEW is also a platform that gets industry players to gather and seek opportunities in order to gain knowledge about business events through every perspective.

Apart from that, MyCEB is also introducing a series of roadshows in different states such as Sarawak, Sabah, Penang, Melaka and more within the peninsular region. These roadshows serve as a platform to showcase Malaysia’s best facilities and latest offerings to entice more industry partners to participate in this campaign.



Exclusive Interview

A Prestigious Yet Classical Venue Capturing Moments Creating Memories A conversation with:

Dato’ Sri Dr. Hj. Irmohizam Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, what is the big change for everyone? What are the steps of World Trade Centre KL in rebuilding confidence among future delegates? Is the Centre ready? One of the biggest changes that has completely affected everyone during these hard times would be the restrictions to move around and go about freely to run any errands. This is because we need to be cautious and abide by the health safety precautions. This condition has made become mobile and depend on technology which is evolving in time.

It is with confidence to say that World Trade Centre KL is safe for the public. We have ensured and demonstrated strict adherence to health and safety Standard of Procedures (SOPs) since early January 2020 and we were one of the first MICE venues to carry out said procedures. In addition, we have curated the event space to suit the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council requirements which include entrance scanning, temperature taking and positioning the equipment which suits for social distancing. When all these practices are in the light, future delegates will have confidence in collaborating and making businesses with us.

In the new normal, what will be the new moves in B2B sales and marketing for World Trade Centre KL? Do you think digitalisation should be part of your centre’s business transformation? The B2B sales and marketing today must be fresh and engaging with the potential customers to create identity and also instil trust with World Trade Centre KL. We have ventured into vast promotion of our services on all our social media platforms. Besides, we have also made WTCKL as a choice for wedding venues. This has invited the attention of couples who are planning on having their weddings here as well as promoting the services by word of mouth amongst their other contacts. The attention that we get over the internet will increase the recognition of our business as well as allow potential consumers to know more about what we have to offer. To achieve a global identity, we have also promoted WTCKL to China as well as promoting Malaysia as an ASEAN Exhibition Hub. Making the company be known is important to ensure that the name is not only trusted but also remembered.



Dato’ Sri Dr. Hj. Irmohizam bin Hj. Ibrahim Executive Director World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (WTCKL) Chair Conference and Exhibitions Asia Pacific, Member Advisory Council (MAC), World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) Board of Director’s member of MATRADE MACEOS Advisory Board


World Trade Centre KL (WTCKL), an iconic building with traditional architecture steep in custom and history, spanning over 24,000 sqm with a plenary hall, two main banquet halls, four exhibition halls and 17 meeting rooms in modern settings and open spaces.

” In terms of sustainability what are the projects World Trade Centre KL will be engaged to in the next years? WTCKL is working together with Exhibitions MAC Asia Pacific (MAC) and Beijing Representative Office (BRO) on the 20202021 Access Asia Program. The programme will run for a year continuing its earlier success of the China Access Program in the past eight years. This programme will extend the coverage of WTCKL and other WTC to many additional industries and markets in the Asia Pacific region. It will not only promote the efficiency and effectiveness of trade centres but also creates an added value for the business in making the centre globally known. Another effort done to be sustainable is the engagement with the French and Australia Embassies in bringing the WTCKL name. This should not only expand the name of WTCKL but also build WTCKL’s reputation on a global scale which is very vital for branding and recognition.

What progress and development would you hope and expect to achieve for the coming years, in regard to The Centre and business events industry for the country? I hope to see WTCKL boosts its position and reputation in the Malaysian meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry to be efficient and be the best choice of services for many. It is also hoped that WTCKL will flourish into becoming more established as it is already on a global platform. This includes reaching a wider target for the business as well as making the consumers feel the exclusivity and excellence in services that WTCKL has to offer. The event industry should also be fully utilized in creating a lifestyle that is efficient for all where the services will lessen their event planning burdens and act as a guide for them to make reality of their dream events. It is also with great hope that the WTCKL name will be familiar amongst the consumers and that they would not be confused with the former name, Putra World Trade Centre.

What would you recommend to young people (millennials and generation Z) that would like to succeed in the business event industry? I believe in working hard and grabbing every opportunity that there is. My advice for young people out there who have passion in the business event industry to not be afraid to venture into something new or not familiar to you. Little do you know that it might be something beneficial not just for you, but for the millions of other people. Young people should also explore every opportunity that there is and enhance knowledge in the business event industry. This will give them an advantage in being one step ahead in the game and to have better insights into succeeding in the business.

Today is all about aesthetics and creativity, this should be close and relatable to young people as they know better, so they should be able to have an attention to details and be smart in looking into potential opportunities for them to be onboard in the business.



World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) A Leading International Trade Association

On 5 July 2020, Dato’ Sri Dr. Hj. Irmohizam was elected as the new Chair of the Conferences & Exhibitions Asia Pacific, Member Advisory Council (MAC), World Trade Centers Association (WTCA). MAC Chairman will serve a one-year term with the possibility of re-appointment to serve additional terms. Chairman plays an important role in setting the direction and leading discussions and projects relevant to the Asia Pacific Member Advisory Council and also encouraging participation from other world trade centers to join the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA). Currently, WTCA consists of a membership of 322 trade centers worldwide, and there are 93 world trade centers registered with WTCA in Asia Pacific including World Trade Center Sydney, World Trade Center Beijing, World Trade Center Taipei, World Trade Center Metro Manila and World Trade Center Tokyo. What will be the main role of Dato’ Sri in guiding the direction and leading discussions and relevant projects at the Asia Pacific Member Advisory Council? Voice of Malaysia? First of all, WTCA serves as an ‘international ecosystem’ of global connections, iconic properties, and integrated trade services under the umbrella of a prestigious brand.

As the first Malaysian to hold the position as the Chairman of the Asia Pacific Member Advisory Council, my main role is setting the direction and leading discussion of relevant projects for Asia Pacific Member Advisory Council as to keep the business going and creating a strong image for the brand. In addition, I will also promote World Trade Centre and businesses in the region in conjunction with the Access Asia Programme that is being done with Mr. Robin van Puyenbroeck, Executive Director Business Development @ World Trade Centers Association. In order to have a strong reputation, additional projects with other council member from around the world is being carried out. I will also oversee the execution process and monitor the performance of projects that are being done.

Most of the countries still closed their borders for business events, what will the steps that could improve the industry’s viability and drive the country’s economic growth post-COVID-19, as well as the countries in Asia Pacific.

Dato’ Sri Dr. Hj. Irmohizam bin Hj. Ibrahim, the 1st Malaysian named as the Chair of the Conferences & Exhibitions Asia Pacific, Member Advisory Council (MAC), World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)



In these hard times there is no doubt that businesses are being shut down and revenues are dropping. We must do the best of our abilities to overcome this and a paradigm shift in strategy operations, planning, execution and attitude needs to be done to ensure that there is a continuation of branding despite the current situation we are facing. Besides maintaining the relationship with our current partners, we are also looking into establishing other international partnerships too. This includes collaborating and sharing of best practices.

Due to the uncertain situation of COVID-19, most of the business events are moving to virtual and hybrid models, how do you think Asia Pacific as a whole is able to blend into the new trend of digital usage? Many do prefer hybrid models and in order to make this happen the usage of technology must be in very good connection and also availability. As WTCKL is transforming and trying to fit in with the current trends with being online and fast pacing, it is safe to say that WTCKL is able to cater for the demands of consumers where technology and digital usage is of priority. Moreover, the execution of marketing campaigns has been showing great responses and it is a better approach in expanding the business as information is spread easily and at a speedy rate to the consumers and also our partners. The usage of such technology and approaches will give light in having a good image brand which practices high-class services for all.

Is there any collaboration to restart Asia Pacific or Malaysia’s business event industry? WTCKL does not only provide venues for events, but we also have catering services that can cater to the needs of our clients. Our recent collaboration is with the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) for being their official training centre. This has added value to both WTCKL and HRDF as the place of venue is recognised internationally and shows that WTCKL is capable of providing for all businesses. This collaboration also shows that WTCKL is still relevant and is the chosen venue for events on a large scale and with a recognised foundation too. Furthermore, WTCKL had recently sign a MOU with WTC Beijing, the objectives of partnership are to establish good relationship between two parties and develop the South East Asia (SEA) Market. At the same time, both parties agreed to give full cooperation and support in organising International Exhibitions, including mutual interaction, resources support, joint venture and more.

In your opinion, what will be some of the practical ways for business event industry players in Malaysia and Asia Pacific to move forward? In moving forward, we must keep up with the latest trends, latest needs and being updated on the latest approaches around us. Having said that, we should venture into digitalization and technology as well as approaching young apprentices to explore the industry. These young minds are indeed more creative, and they have the energy to go further in the event industry. We should also know and be aware of what the consumers are looking for so that we are able to see eye to eye and attract their attention in letting them know that we understand them and can fulfil their event needs. Also, we should find better ways in catching the eyes of potential customers. To do so, we should find better ways and approaches to promote the event space and services that we have.

“ As the MAC chairman, I look forward to strengthen cooperation from all members of the association, and continue to be open and inclusive with all members to contribute towards better management of the association and to make Malaysia a hub for international conferences and exhibitions.

Do you encourage Venue owners as well as Government Agencies (for instance, Tourism Boards and Convention Bureaus) to continue promoting their respective Country like Malaysia or even respective States as a preferred MICE Destination at this point of time? We should not wait for boarders to be opened or for the current condition to fully come back to normal in continuing to promote our services. Continuous promotion is important to establish brand remembrance. When we have created a solid look, potential consumers will trust us and also remember us by our excellent services and friendly approaches. Therefore, venue owners should continue to promote their spaces to get people to come and visit or make businesses once the pandemic quietens. It is also important to continue promoting in order to build trust and awareness to the public where the venue owners are aware and pay full attention of the current situation and it will be a safe place to be used.



Exclusive Interview

Go Global

Bringing Your Business To The Next Level

A conversation with: Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz

MATRADE CEO Recently appointed CEO of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz began his 30-year career with the civil service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by a stint with the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department before joining MATRADE in June 1994, where he played integral roles in export promotions and accumulated extensive skills and experience in international trade. Mustafa is well suited to the challenging task of leading MATRADE through having what is conceivably a most difficult and unprecedented time in global trade as his experience as Deputy CEO, Export Acceleration of MATRADE, equipped him with extensive knowledge in international trade. He has also led the markets of ASEAN & Australasia, China & North East Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia & Africa and the Professional & Business Services section as well as the Mid-Tier Companies Development & Go-Ex section and was actively involved in various committees for trade and export development in the economic advancement of Malaysia. Mustafa also served as Trade Commissioner and Senior Trade Commissioner to France, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan and the United States of America over a period of fourteen years.



I envision to groom as many new exporters as possible so that they can compete globally.

This wealth of experience will serve Mustafa well as he sees his main role in MATRADE as that of leading the organisation in fulfilling its vision and mission. This includes ensuring that the mandate given by the Government is delivered and driving the organisation with a clear strategic decision towards a future that is in-sync with the country’s stated objective including the 12th Malaysia Plan and New Industrial Master Plan. Steering MATRADE and nurturing its people into an entity of even greater excellence will be his primary focus and achievable given the outstanding pool of talent in the organisation.

MATRADE plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the rejuvenation of the export eco-system is conducive for companies to progress and perform well in international markets. It assists companies through exporters development programmes, covering initiatives that will help make Malaysian exporters more competitive.

No Man Is An Island

I am a believer of teamwork and collaborations. As such, I will continue to forge strategic collaborations with the public and private sectors to strengthen and sustain good relations with our stakeholders, Ministries, Agencies, Trade and Industry Associations, various Chamber of Commerce and Industry and companies.

What is the greatest challenge you think you will deal with as the new CEO of MATRADE? 2020 saw Malaysia’s business eco-system severely tested with many commercial enterprises being forced to adjust their operations and marketing plans in adapting to a new business environment. The pandemic has, however, accelerated the country’s digitalisation. Unfortunately, digital transformation requires a mindset shift and new skills, and represents one of the biggest challenges for MATRADE, which is to ensure the organisations’ employees understand the nuances of digitalisation in the new normal. This contrasts with the past two decades, during which time MATRADE had always conducted its export promotions programmes physically. Currently almost every programme at MATRADE is conducted virtually or in hybrid format with several programmes having been implemented to connect foreign buyers with Malaysian companies through a buyer-seller meeting called eBizMatch as well as through eTRADE 2.0, which seeks to promote the adoption of e-commerce among Malaysian SMEs. The challenge of digitalisation for businesses is even more acute, one in which the luxury of time to adjust does not always exist. A lack of knowledge in digital adaptation and resources, as well as capital limitations including the ability to upgrade hardware technology and internet connectivity or even the expertise to lead digital initiatives, can be formidable obstacles. Some businesses are reluctant to adopt digital transformation, seeing it as a major disruption to their business models.

My role is to ensure that businesses are ready for the digital push, so that they can stay connected in the new export eco-system. He also believes that in uncertain times, there are many challenges such as mobilising resources and staying optimistic for the people and the industries. On top of that , I will also be leading in the formation of partnerships with relevant organisations and subject matter experts locally and globally to embrace, prepare and refine Malaysia’s brand value by incorporating the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations.

MATRADE as a national trade promotion agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is a major driving force in exporters’ development and export promotions. Register with MATRADE via to learn more about MATRADE and participate in a suitable programme that fits your interest.

How do you assess Malaysia’s trade performance over the past year especially after the outbreak of pandemic COVID-19? Malaysia’s trade has generally maintained an upward momentum except for 2001, 2009 and 2019 due to global economic slowdown. Trade in 2020 declined due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected international businesses on account of the lockdowns being imposed, reduced demand and causing major disruptions to manufacturing activities and the movement of goods globally.

Malaysia’s exports in 2020 was RM980.99 billion, declining marginally by 1.4% compared to 2019 due to an unfavourable external environment. Nevertheless, its exports rebounded significantly in the second half of 2020 as the economy progressively reopened and external demand gradually recovered. Total trade amounted to RM1.777 trillion, having contracted by 3.6% compared to 2019 while imports totalled RM796.19 billion, a decline of 6.3%. Malaysia’s trade performance was in line with most countries globally. Malaysia has recorded 23 consecutive years of trade surplus with the largest value at RM184.79 billion.

2021 is expected to be better as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have respectively forecasted that global growth will rebound by 4% and 5.5%. In tandem with the anticipated improvement in global growth, Malaysia’s GDP is expected to rebound by 6.5% to 7.5% and exports are expected to grow by 2.7% in 2021 as stated in the Economic Outlook 2021.



How does MATRADE help local SMEs to prepare themselves in tandem with current trends in international trade during these challenging times. The pandemic has changed the socio-economic landscape, one in which many countries, including Malaysia, have been adversely affected. In acknowledging that business communities, especially SMEs, are suffering immensely, MATRADE is doubling its efforts in providing assistance that might best alleviate the consequences of the pandemic and is also exploring enhanced incentives in encouraging Malaysian companies to venture into the export market.

This includes expanding the scope of its Market Development Grants (MDGs) in order to enable Malaysian exporters to sustain or increase their exports. Participation in international virtual events, reimbursement on logistics costs of sending Malaysian products overseas and financial compensation for postponements or cancellations of trade promotions events are some of the other initiatives being taken. MATRADE’s eTRADE 2.0 programme will allow companies to accelerate exports through consistent participation in crossborder e-Commerce platforms and e-Commerce training as well as online export promotions. Strategic engagements will be carried out to identify new export opportunities in both existing and emerging sectors. The Services Export Fund (SEF) is an incentive in the form of reimbursable grants and is available to Malaysian Service Providers (MSPs), Trade and Industry Organisations, Chambers of Commerce and Professional Bodies to carry out exploration activities in overseas markets in line with growing exports. MATRADE’s MyExport services provides market intelligence including information on current economic market developments, export opportunities, standards as well as foreign trade policies and regulations as well as trade lead while the Business Information Centre (BIC) at MATRADE provides a wide spectrum of business information on international market opportunities, profiles of foreign companies and international databases. MATRADE also offers various programmes, such as the Bumiputera, Women and Youth Exporters Development Programme, Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme (MTCDP) and x-SEED. In 2021 and specifically for SMEs, MATRADE will have hybrid marketing programmes at international exhibitions, export acceleration missions to targeted countries and international sourcing programmes during the Malaysia International Halal Showcase and other iconic platforms.

While Malaysia sustains and expands its exports to its traditional clients abroad, MATRADE will intensify its efforts to grow exports to other potential markets. In 2020, significant growth was recorded to emerging markets notably Costa Rica, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Kazakhstan. It is important that Malaysia reduces its reliance on major markets and diversifies into markets with untapped opportunities and less competition.



What are the main opportunities for Malaysian business events players around the move towards Industry 4.0? Industry 4.0 are core technologies that aid businesses through smart manufacturing such as artificial intelligence, cyber-physical systems (CPSs), big data analytics, internet of things (IoT), and cloud computing. These technologies have been applied to mitigate many of the bottlenecks in public health matters and businesses which are affected by COVID-19. The role of Industry 4.0, has become even more critical and relevant since Malaysian companies now need to embrace digital solutions and better positions to weather the storm. The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced Malaysia’s business community to adapt to a new reality. As these companies search for better solutions in this crisis, Industry 4.0 has become an integral part of educating business owners in surviving the current situation and staying relevant in the post-pandemic era. The will to survive has encouraged Malaysian companies to innovate and to try new ways of functioning to serve customers and stakeholders. The development of Industry 4.0 will provide a larger avenue for Malaysian companies to short circuit the progression cycle as it allows businesses to survive, grow and access new markets.

What are the plans that are going to be put in place by MATRADE to assist Malaysia’s exhibitions and conferences industry to recover and grow especially in the post-Covid-19 recovery period? Traditional face-to-face meetings at major events used to be the norm and gave businesses a wider reach without having to travel to multiple countries. In these challenging times, however, restarting the economy and rebuilding Malaysian companies whilst complying with new norms of conducting international trade, requires that Malaysian companies stay agile and develop new business models and strategies to remain relevant and competitive. MATRADE will continue to nurture companies in developing international business expansion plans. It will collaborate and coordinate in organising business engagement programmes and international exhibitions with companies to promote Malaysian products and services globally. This will include collaborative efforts to ensure that Malaysia’s exhibition and conferences industries are able to sustain their businesses by conducting events through a hybrid format. This method seeks to strike a balance while supporting digitalisation.

What will be the focus for the 17th edition of Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS)? Will it be a hybrid event where international delegates able to participate if the international borders remain closed? Dubbed the world’s largest Halal trade event, the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) is the flagship event for MATRADE to champion Malaysia’s exports of halal products and services. The show completes the halal ecosystem by positioning itself as an excellent trading platform for Halal manufacturers, suppliers and distributors from all over the world to gather, meet, network and transact. The 17th edition of MIHAS will take place from 9 to 12 September 2021. With COVID-19 vaccines providing increased global optimism, confidence over the pandemic and an anticipated return to normality in 2021, the 17th edition of MIHAS is intended take place in a physical and virtual format. The physical event will cater primarily to local companies, while the virtual format will address the needs for foreign companies as international borders will likely remain restricted at least until the end of 2021. Under the theme “Empowering Halal, Tomorrow, Together”, the 17th edition of MIHAS will serve as a timely opportunity for the industry to empower themselves in accelerating future growth through partnership, cooperation and collaboration.

About MIHAS Since its inception up until 2019, MIHAS has featured more than 8,000 exhibitors from over 40 countries and visited by close to 400,000 trade visitors. With network 46 offices overseas, MATRADE has brought in foreign buyers under its International Sourcing Programme (INSP) in conjunction with MIHAS to meet Halal Malaysian companies for trading opportunities. For the past 16 editions, the said INSP has attracted participation of over 4,000 foreign buyers from more than 50 countries. The programme has benefitted almost 7,400 Malaysian companies through arrangement of more than 54,000 individual business meetings by MATRADE.

Finally, looking forward in terms of future aspects, what progress and development would you hope and expect to achieve for the next few years, in regards to the business opportunities and its global trade relationship for SMEs and mid-tier companies in Malaysia. The pandemic has certainly separated the wheat from the chaff. Agile business owners who have embraced ‘The New Normal’, will most likely possess the ability to reset for growth beyond the coronavirus era.

From MATRADE’s point of view however, the entire economy is in a reset. It sees the pandemic as an equal chance for companies of all sizes to compete on a disrupted playing field. COVID-19 has adjusted the business environment so that companies, particularly innovative and agile SMEs, can ramp up their activities and hopefully assume an active role in the global supply chain. Malaysian companies should therefore take advantage of the various assistance MATRADE has available as this will support their business operations, at least in the short run.

MATRADE will meanwhile continue to cultivate opportunities for companies to succeed in international trade by providing relevant and sufficient assistance for SMEs to grow in targeted markets and develop into future Mid-Tier Companies (MTCs). The hope is that they will become regional and global champions and encourage others to go global. This includes recognising the current challenges MTCs face and the need to revamp global competitiveness via several initiatives such as the adoption of Industry 4.0, embarking on automation and digital transformation, including digital marketing, and rebuilding supply and value chains. MATRADE is targeting successful MTCs towards achieving at least a 5% export growth in the next five years via the Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme (MTCDP). These MTCs are poised to be the drivers for economic recovery by championing the industry ecosystem, fostering closer connections with SMEs in Malaysia and growing together to explore the global marketplace. MATRADE looks to the future, specifically 2021, with renewed hope and optimism, and encourages all Malaysian companies to join hands as it explores and expands business globally. The time to export is now. MATRADE’s network of 46 offices worldwide together with 5 regional offices in Malaysia as well as in Kuala Lumpur is your link to world markets.



Exclusive Interview

Drive In New Normal

Penang Here For Tomorrow A conversation with:

Ashwin Gunasekeran

What has been your biggest task since the COVID-19 situation erupted as a global pandemic? What are some of the challenges for Penang’s MICE industry, as well as the challenges faced by you and your team? The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major postponements in the meetings sector that were supposed to be held in Penang. Currently, PCEB is working towards realigning business strategies, and reconfirming future events that are being postponed and canceled for the year 2020.

What are some of the trends inherited from this pandemic that might shape the MICE industry of tomorrow? One trend that has been constantly the topic of conversation is the heavy investment in technology for the sustainability of business events. Another trend includes securing major alliances in shaping the MICE industry.

The innovation of technology has grown to great levels with its endless possibilities, and it has shown a significant and vast implementation in the events industry. Hybrid events will be the choice format in further connecting delegates and organisers, with stateof-the-art broadcasting equipment and faster and more stable internet connection.

In your opinion, what are the effective plans to ensure the Penang tourism revival and continue to boost domestic and international tourism? PCEB has been carrying out its rejuvenation plan in line with the Penang State Government through various efforts: • Further collaboration and engagement with industry partners and clients to create inclusiveness, • Enhancing existing support programmes for meetings, conferences & exhibitions which includes bid support for future events, • Constant branding and marketing of Penang as a choice destination and its offerings through the hospitality and creative industries. • Explore and invest in digitalisation efforts for the destination in terms of improving the community, connectivity and event management. 36


Ashwin Gunasekeran

Chief Executive Officer Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB)

Chairperson of Asia Pacific Chapter for the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)

Business industry players have to stay united and collaborate together, continuing the momentum to revive and rejuvenate the tourism and MICE industry. Meanwhile, we must always ensure all precautions applied to maintain the confidence and trust for our destinations.

What will be your idea of “Turning Crisis into Opportunity” in Penang and Malaysia? The pandemic has truly forced businesses to rethink sales and marketing strategies, to tap into more creative measures to continue staying relevant.

The said crisis has provided us the opportunity to gain extra knowledge in an unexpected crisis management and to look at the same things differently. This has also allowed us to take the necessary actions with the community and clients’ interests in mind.

What is the trend for meetings that are currently organised in Penang, and how is Penang taking advantage of this approach for future events? Meeting trends have fallen drastically with the existence of the pandemic. However, we are glad to see the number of meetings making headway during the recent month with the new trend of implementing the hybrid model to increase engagement and audience conversion. PCEB is constantly engaging closely with our partners and clients with available event support, while encouraging them to move along with the trend in securing more events as more organisations have gone through a cut in their revenue stream.

Is digitalisation a challenge for the MICE industry in Penang? How do you think MICE industry players in Penang are able to adapt and blend in the new trend of digital usage? As part of the Penang2030 vision under the themes to increase livability to enhance the quality of life and to upgrade the economy to raise household incomes, the Penang Chief Minister has included Digital Transformation to enhance the momentum under Industry Revolution 4.0. In line with PCEB’s plan of action, we will continue to explore further into new technology for events and follow up with the latest trends to stay relevant in the industry.

How is the industry in Penang responding to the crisis and how are they striving to keep afloat during this challenging time? Penang is vigourous in curbing the number of cases, and we have been a green zone for 91 days. All businesses have been adhering to the safety measures and SOPs, while being strict with regular customers and delegates for events.

The Penang State Government has rolled out various support programmes like the its Penang Business Continuity Loan Scheme or ‘Skim Peka PKS’ that will will enable micro entrepreneurs and SMEs in the state to remain in business through capital injections. A second aid package – the Penang Aid Package 2.0 was also launched, worth a total RM76 million to be distributed to the most vulnerable groups which include the tourism sector.

As for the businesses and the business events industry in Penang, I believe most of them have to scale down accordingly and cater to smaller events in order to continue being relevant. Previously there was a limit to public events, but when the limit was amended to depend on the space area together with the implementation of social-distancing measures. Event organisers will also need to equip themselves and their businesses with the latest broadcasting technology that is able to assist in organising virtual events.

The 5th edition of BE @ Penang 2020: BE INEVITABLE virtual conference has ended the year on a positive note with numerous useful perspectives and ideas for the business industry partners and other relevant players while continuing to keep up the rejuvenation momentum.

In terms of sustainability, what are the future projects in MICE industry that Penang will be engaging in coming years? PCEB has its own CSR programme named Penang Turtle Cares in collaboration with the Penang Turtle Sanctuary.

Organisers and delegates are able to partner with PCEB for this CSR programme to experience different conservation activities by the sanctuary. The sanctuary encourages different types of activities that are up to the creativity of the organisers or on how they would like to contribute which include: • Study Tours & clean-up activities: with the additional option planting of “Ambung-Ambung” trees as shelter for the turtles to lay their eggs under; • Cleaning up of the turtle tanks.

Looking forward, what are the key goals that you would hope and expect to achieve for the coming years, in regards to the MICE industry for Penang as well as for the country? PCEB will continue with the engaging process with our partners and clients, and keep them constantly updated every step of the way as reassurance for the safety of their events. The business events industry is a resilient sector and it will definitely come back stronger.

The pandemic is a temporary obstacle, and we will also be working on more creative ideas and strategies to further grow Penang as a selected choice destination for business events.





is ready for your next business event T

he journey of business events Penang moving forward in next normal started by putting the safety of people at the top priority. With strict guidelines and precautions being implemented, Penang is ready to serve and support business events clients through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. In July 2020, PCEB revealed the Business Events Penang Rejuvenation Plan 2021-2023, which maps the recovery plan and strategies for the business events industry. The plan is built on 3 thrusts, namely collaboration, digitalisation and education. The Next Normal Guidelines for Business Events Penang was the first initiative that launched on 18 July 2020. It is a comprehensive document detailing the new standards of organising business events in the Next Normal, which was produced through a collaboration of 29 industry partners from 6 main sectors. The Guideline also updated on a regular basis to include the national SOP released by the Malaysia National Security Council (MKN) and is available for download at



In giving event organisers a boost during this crisis, Enhanced Privilege Penang 2021-2023 is a carefully curated support structure that will assure everyone a memorable “Experiences Unfiltered” Business Events and MICE time in Penang. The support programme is to build destination confidence for event organisers and planners to consider Penang for their next event when they are ready, with supports corporate meetings starting from 20 pax and corporate incentives starting from 50 pax. Currently, PCEB also actively participates in international tourism and trade shows, and conveying the positive meassage to the world through a global marketing campaign named “PENANG HERE FOR TOMORROW”. The destination branding campaign reflects Penang’s preparedness and its commitment in ensuring the destination is safe for future business events and business travellers. In December 2020, the 5th edition of BE @ Penang 2020 that designed with the 3 thrusts as foundation went virtual, offering useful insights through discussions of experts for the recovery of travel and business events in 2021.

Let’s explore the uniquely Penang: Meetings of the Future Business events players are moving towards meeting innovations, preparing to cater virtual and hybrid events in future, with enhanced connectivity and digital infrastructure, as well as green technology with multipurpose utility.

Experiences Beyond the Classroom Host your event beyond the four walls by incoorperating Penang’s diverse cultural elements as one of your meeting ideas. Delegates can also experience local arts and crafts through hands-on programmes that led by experienced heritage artisans. Nature at Your Doorstep Escape in a 130-million year old virgin rainforest in Penang, where you can take in the cool breeze, the calming scents and sounds of nature while having your unique event in the Mother Nature. Numerous thrills and adventures at a world-class outdoor theme park that suitable for team-building awaits you to explore! You can also organise a nature conservation through PCEB’s CSR Programme named Penang Turtle Cares.

BE @ PENANG 2020

The 5th Edition of Penang’s Homegrown Conference Overview BE @ Penang 2020: BE INEVITABLE BE @ Penang is Malaysia’s biggest business events conference owned by Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) and supported by the Penang State Government. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 5th edition BE @ Penang went virtual for the first time from 10 to 11 December 2020, bringing together industry leaders from around the world to e-Penang for an intensive two-days of knowledge-sharing and networking. In assisting in the rejuvenation of the tourism and BE industry, the BE @ Penang 2020 was designed by PCEB with the 3 thrusts as foundation, namely collaboration, digitalisation and education. The conference themed “BE INEVITABLE” urged business events industry partners to be strong, bold, fearless and become a force to be reckoned with as leaders and industry experts in charting the path to success no matter what crisis comes their way.


#1: Hybrid or Virtual Model?

BE @ Penang 2020 was supposed held in a hybrid event format at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre. Due to the CMCO being enforced in Penang just one month to the conference, BE @ Penang 2020 had to be adapted for a fully virtual format. PCEB implemented customised strategy on the online programme and interactive workshops.

#2: Good Network Connectivity?

Choosing a right venue with top-notch facilities can be vital to your event’s success! If the venue or hotel can offer a dedicated minimum 10mbps speed, then it is sufficient to host a virtual congress with high definition live-streaming capability. However, a shared 100mbps line can be very risky as the network might turn unstable due to the increasing number of users.

Hotels equipped with production and broadcast facilities will definitely have a better chance to obtain the opportunity to host a virtual congress. The venue can also further collaborate with audio-visual and virtual software companies, offering one-stop solution packages to potential clients, with an option of food and beverage service.



In the new normal, Malaysian business events industry is evolving slowly into digital era with the development of meeting technology, which is relevant and timely in the recovery path of the tourism and BE industry.


Despite the pandemic, PCEB brought in its partners to organise the 5th BE @ Penang through digital platforms, enabling about 200 delegates from 15 countries around the world to tune in to the conference sessions accordingly.

In the virtual opening ceremony, delegates were warmly welcome by the opening remarks of The Rt. Hon. Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang; YB Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State EXCO for Tourism and Creative Economy and Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of PCEB. The conference was headed by a keynote speaker, Professor Eddie Obeng, a thought leader and a British educator, who presented delegates the concrete and practical ways through reinvention and new ways to work and build businesses in a complex changing world, as well as his innovation of an online platform named QUBE.

The online programme for the two-day conference is filled with topics that will prompt how we need to do things differently in order to rebuild the tourism and BE industry, especially deeper insights on the technology innovation and the future of association meetings and incentive travel. Professionals from various industry also shared with participants on their various implemented strategies and actions taken to recreate the confidence to travel again. To further enhance the online experience for delegates, there are few sessions specially conducted by PCEB partners namely forest bathing conducted by The Habitat Penang Hill, a Spice Workshop by Tropical Spice Garden and drawing workshop by Penang artist Esther Geh. The closing keynote was delivered by Roshan Thiran, the Founder and CEO of Leaderonomics, who conveyed a very huge momentum and excitement in accepting change and reskilling for the Next Normal.

Paired with the congress software services by Anderes Fourdy Events, the BE @ Penang 2020 went smoothly in Penang. The hotel was able to provide a production and a broadcast facility, which included a shared internet connectivity of 50mbps speed, which was sufficient to produce a virtual congress with high definition livestreaming capability. PCEB also brought in their partners from an audio-visual company to enhance the virtual congress and was able to provide quick response in volume and visual adjustments accordingly.

Collective Intelligence The virtual BE @ Penang 2020 was successfully held online through the collaboration and support of the business events industry partners, proving their practical crisis response strategies and confidence boosting at international conferences in the postepidemic era.

Fu Kei Cheong, CMP Co-Founder, Anderes Fourdy Events

Organiser: PCEB PCEB developed the virtual conference programme that filled with thought-provoking topics and engaged professional speakers from various industry to share on their various implemented strategies and actions taken to rebuild the confidence to travel again, bursting delegates with fresh and motivational ideas.

Co-organiser: Anderes Fourdy Events Malaysia’s leading professional conference organiser, Anderes Fourdy Events provided a congress software for stable streaming and embedded registration, payment gateway, Slido for interactive Q&A and attendance certificate, ensuring the conference can be conducted smoothly. Streaming Venue: Hotel Equatorial Penang Hotel Equatorial Penang offered a small ballroom that equiped with good network connectivity as the main live streaming studio and CONNECT Lounge as the secondary studio space for production set up. The unique lounge has a luscious green garden as the backdrop, suitable for the creative sessions. Tech Set Up: Cinestill Production A homegrown Penang AV production company with ample experience in filmmaking and streaming, Cinestill Production in charged on the streaming production of BE @ Penang 2020.

Digital Graphic Record: Sketch Post Sketched the digital recordings into amazing summarised graphics for selected key sessions. Event Set Up: DQuest Ventures Official Airline Partner: Malaysia Airlines Official Media Partner: TIN Media

BE @ Penang is a platform for everyone to meet and interact as a player in BE industry. Stay turned for the 6th edition! For more information on BE @ Penang, please visit




Unity Is Strength, Diversity Is Power #SaveOurConventionCentres,

first initiative by MACEOS, which is a conversation starter that MACEOS would like to have with the Malaysian Government to allow the Business Events (BE) players to work with the authorities in designing safety guidelines for the reopening of the industry. On 15 December 2020, the campaign managed to gather an estimated 500 industry players to unite as one voice virtually, hoping to create public awareness on the current status of BE industry and draw a critical focus on the survival of BE through visual representations on social media.

Over the past few years, Malaysia has emerged as a popular MICE destination for business travellers and international organisers. Similar to other tourism segments, the BE sector stimulates business for hospitality-related companies and makes a huge contribution to the national economy. It also creates a platform for the exchanges of knowledge, expertise and skills, as well as networking opportunity for the community. During the peak of the business, the BE industry hires 33,000 permanent staff and engages almost 60,000 part-timers. In 2019, Business Events generated RM9.2 billion economic contribution to Malaysia, and the majority income was generated from events held in convention centres.



However, the BE industry has suffered terrible losses in revenues due to 90% planned conferences and meeting for the year 2020 being cancelled or postponed to future. Since the first MCO started in March 2020 due to COVID-19, BE in Malaysia has not been allowed to take place except during the short RMCO period from July to 13 October 2020. According to the industry survey by MACEOS, the closing of travel borders and with various levels of MCOs has resulted in more than 1550 business events cancellation and postponement with the estimated industry loss of RM2.25 billion as of December 2020. Many BE industry players were struggling to stay afloat, utilising various strategies to keep business going, including salary cuts, work from home arrangements, and taking unpaid leave. They are cutting operations costs as much as possible, unfortunately there is nothing else they can skimp on. The main concern is how much longer industry players could sustain their business if business events continued to be barred.

With the focus and support from the government, the reopening of BE industry can help to stimulate the country’s economic, starting with domestic economy and then international when travel borders reopen. BE industry players are ready and willing to work and collaborate together, although the journey of recovery is long and challenging.

Highlights of the Campaign: • BE has vastly contributed to the Malaysian economy before COVID-19 pandemic, and now it can help to rebuild the country’s economy again. • Appeal to the Security Committee of the pandemic such as Ministry of Internal Security (MKN), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) to engage with MACEOS and refine the BE SOPs so that BE industry players can make the comeback of BE a reality. • Emphasise on the differences between business events and mass gatherings, and how convention centres can effectively carry out business events in tight and controlled environments during post-COVID-19. • To ask for convention centres to be reopened, where BE industry players can start to organise small domestic events and conferences and gradually move up to bigger ones in the coming months with strict safety measures, rebuilding the confidence of local and international attendees. • As the bigger and international events are allowed to take place in neighbouring countries at the start of 2021, BE industry players can start planning for 2021 and reopen physical events so the BE ecosystem can restart in 2021, providing more jobs and stimulate the country’s economy again.

We are at a very critical point as Malaysia cannot afford to close down another convention centre, whereby these venues are one of the cores of the BE industry. Hence, this initiative is a united front of industry players coming together to act fast before we witness the collapse of an entire supply chain’s ecosystem. The industry may be slow at the moment, but we cannot deny that the focus of BE in Asia and Malaysia is one of the looked upon destination. In order to restore us to our former glory, we can now act domestically. If we can pull through domestic business events successfully, this will automatically win the confidence of international delegates. Once our borders are open, we can look to restoring the industry and destination in full glory or even better pre-COVID-19. We can start by saving our national prides first, for our convention centres to operate and boost local businesses

Dato’ Vincent Lim

Francis Teo

We need to change the landscape and paradigm of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry to being recognised as a Business Events industry. This is to show a positive perception for the industry to continue holding conferences and business events. The operations of many convention centres are being closed as we speak. Therefore, this campaign is an initiative for the industry players to support and look out for each other as well as to venture into new practices to keep the industry going.

Dato’ Sri Dr. Hj. Irmohizam bin Hj. Ibrahim




Meeting technology has advanced, but the importance of meetings remains unchanged, and the value of face-to-face interaction will never fade away in lieu of virtual events.

Innovation of Event Technology

Traditional face-to-face Business Events (BE) have offered valuable opportunities for organisations and individuals to come together,

showcase solutions and build strong professional networks. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global business events landscape has changed enormously to a new normal. In the new normal, event organisers are required to reconsider their options and to balance two priorities, which are crucial to uphold the health and safety of staff, sponsors and attendees while achieving the financial obligations or at the very least to minimise the losses caused by the pandemic. With the evolution of digital event technology, we have been able to meet, network, learn and do business remotely. The year 2021 will see greater adoption of event technology to ensure that the industry can continue to deliver attendee experiences in safe and secure environment. In turning in-person events into digital and hybrid productions, we have to know how to construct an event that can engage both offline and online audiences, work with new technologies, deliver in shorter lead times, rework revenue models, and manage and train remote speakers. Even with virtual events, you need to effectively promote the event, engage the attendees, create memorable moments for attendees and prove event success.

By thinking of virtual events not as small one-off presentations, but as value-adding, engagement-driven experiences, everyone can create an impactful event that extends well-beyond a computer screen. At the moment, the entire BE industry is adjusting to a new normal, and it is an opportunity for all of us to stay focus and work together to make the most of the current situation and prepare now for the better time ahead.

Right Virtual Events Partner

Premium Content

Make the investment and choose a trusted virtual event platform that able to deliver the event’s full value in stable, safe and secure ways.

A premium content model offers important flexibility in terms of how companies structure virtual events, with the right communication format and style.

Interactive Sessions

Encourage attendees engagement and participation with Q&As, pooling, discussion sessions and gamification elements.

Digital Sponsorship Opportunities It is important to consider and find new ways to generate sponsor value and not simply replicate the ones used for inperson events.




Tips for Successful Virtual Events

Post Event Engagement Archive content and make it available on-demand so that it can be watched or downloaded long after the event ends.

Exclusive Business Matchmaking Offer premium business matching platform, where attendees will receive personalised connections and meeting suggestions based on their interests and profile.


Benefits To Go Virtual

The rapid evolution of virtual event technology highlights the importance of understanding not just the industry, but what attendees

consider value-adding. Many enterprises have realised they can obtain benefits by hosting an event without having people come together physically. Virtual events enable organisations to reach larger audiences, expand geographical reach, and the ability to track and extend the life of all interactions. While in-person events had built-in virtual components for some time, COVID-19 has raised the stakes for event organisers to go virtual and accelerated the adoption of video streaming technologies. The future belongs to the hybrid model, a mix of the physical and virtual, even after in-person events return, and the sooner you get up to speed on the virtual part, the better.

Financial & Time Benefits Virtual events can be a great option for organisers that are dealing with budget constraints or need a quick turnaround time during crisis. In general, virtual events are about 75% cheaper than in-person experiences, as planners can reduce their expenses and operational costs on venue rental, accommodation, logistics and additional services like staffing and catering.

At minimum, organisers just have to worry about the cost of their virtual event platform. Further, although virtual events do require some setup time such as event website, registration, event marketing and promotion and some extra coordinating with speakers, it is tremendously less than that of an in-person event.

No Geographical Restrictions

Virtual events can reach a wider audience and remove logistical and financial barriers to attendance. Through this, you can target new audience segments and amplify the reach of your event messaging and content, which may also be another selling point to get them to make a larger investment in your future event. Through virtual events, you can achieve higher attendee numbers and learn how to engage with customers in a whole new way.

Networking is a key driver of event success. Although networking at virtual events look different than in-person events, but the networking lounges create virtual social spaces such as one-to-one meeting scheduling, private video calls and chat within sessions, where attendees, exhibitors and speakers meet together.

New Business Opportunities Event planners now have more Return on Investment (ROI) opportunities due to the nature of virtual events. In fact, many event technologies today are built for revenue generation, and virtual events generate revenue through multiple streams, where each of them providing a broad range of monetisation possibilities.

Even after the virtual event has concluded, presentations and speeches by speakers and sponsors are valuable assets for promotional and educational purposes. Make these assets available to attendees after the event has ended for an additional fee and charge new on-demand attendees a premium to consume the content.

A Goldmine of Data Collecting and measuring feedback and engagement are crucial for all types of events. With everything online, organisers can track and capture relevant user-generated data from various digital touch points. The real time analytics able to measure event performance with up-to-the-minute data on unique visitors, views, questions, downloads, posts and shares and create custom reports for stakeholders in a couple of clicks.

Based on the amalgamate data and analysis, you can also measure the ROI of virtual event and expedite actionable insights, which useful for continuous improvement both during and after the event.

Thematic panel discussions can also be re-packaged as an online course series following the event, stored in a digital library and charges for access to generate on-going revenue and provide additional value to existing subscribers.

A Back-up Plan With event turn-around time as low as two days, virtual events will be in every event planner’s back pocket for any event that unexpectedly cancelled, postponed or have a large reduction in attendance. Be prepared with virtual components or having a right virtual partner at the ready to help in-person event transition into virtual, is a must and may be the key to saving your event.



Creating global platforms for industries, specialist markets and customers to trade, innovate and grow United Business Media (M) Sdn Bhd (Informa Markets in Malaysia) is a part of Informa Markets, a division of Informa plc. Informa Markets creates opportunities for businesses to connect, learn and trade at major transaction-focused exhibitions, through online product showcases and through data and digital content.

With a growing portfolio of 30 trade exhibitions in Malaysia, Informa Markets in Malaysia creates business growth opportunities for ASEAN and the rest of the world in a wide range of industries – Furniture & Interiors, Security, Hospitality, Environmental Technology, Subcontracting, Construction, Livestock, Renewable Energy, Water & Wastewater, Food, Beauty, HVAC, Industrial Machinery, Oil & Gas, and Power.



United Business Media (M) Sdn Bhd ↸ Suite 5-01, Level 5, Sunway VISIO Tower, Lingkaran SV Sunway Velocity, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  603-9771 2688   Informa Markets in Malaysia 

Kingsmen place your branding experience our priority. Kingsmen is a leading communication design and production group that firstly established at Singapore in 1976. With an enthusiastic vision of “Design Led, Quality and Services-Driven”, Kingsmen Group has expanded into a strategic network of 21 offices across 13 countries in the Asia Pacific, Middle East & Americas region.

Kingsmen Malaysia, as a part of Kingsmen Group global network, was founded in 1982 as the first wave of Kingsmen global expansion. Since early establishment in 1980s, Kingsmen Malaysia has steady growth along with the events and public infrastructure development boom in Malaysia. In 1990s, Kingsmen Malaysia has expanded from an event & exhibitions project management team into a Multidisciplinary Service Provider by including Retail & Corporate Interiors, Environmental Graphics and Thematic & Museums as core services.

Today, with having over 100 experienced designers, project management personnel and skilled craftsmen and owning over 77,000 sqft of manufacturing facilities, Kingsmen Malaysia serves as an one-stop-solution locally & internationally by providing services ranging from Research & Design, Customized Production until Final Installation. On top of that, we truthfully believe that our services are humanitarian centered, in terms of achievement & services progression. Our goal is to render our client to projects unique branding experience by assuring physical & emotional synchronization between the brand and their audience. In order to achieve our cause, we emphasize on warm initial contact to better understand client’s branding needs and passion after sales services to assure a successful branding for our client.

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Prepare for the future Upskilling The development of additional skills to help make someone more valuable in their current role

Reskilling The development of significantly different skills to make someone suitable for a different role


s outlined in the World Economic Forum’s latest Future of Jobs Report, half of all employees around the world will need reskilling by 2025, and that number doesn’t include all the people who are currently not in employment. If we don’t act now, this skills gap will only widen. Currently, plenty of industries cannot afford to hire a new workforce or even retain their existing talent. Then would it make sense to retrain employees to take much-needed positions?

In truth, some of the industry giants have jumped on the upskilling train long before the pandemic. Amazon, for instance, has invested $700 million into reskilling and upskilling programmes, and Mastercard has been running its own retraining program since 2016 to gain a competitive advantage over startups. With challenges come opportunities. Crisis events, like the pandemic, can and should shape economic thinking and represent a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine and reset priorities. However, preparing people for the jobs of tomorrow is no easy task. There are challenges such as the disconnection between current education programmes and the skills which employers need now and in the future. The development of transferable skills such as critical thinking and creativity is crucial in helping people prepare not only to meet the workplace demands of today but also for those of tomorrow.

Together, we can think boldly, beyond the boundaries of today, to reimagine our economic and social systems. Governments, businesses, and education providers should work together to build a strong and interconnected ecosystem committed to a comprehensive upskilling agenda, turning this crisis into an opportunity for change. Let’s seize this opportunity through collaboration with governments, businesses and educators for success in reskilling and upskilling.


You have to appreciate and grab the internal development opportunities. Stay informed about new skills emerging in your industry and consider ways in which you can transfer your skills to other industries.


Governments should adopt an agile approach to driving national upskilling initiatives, working with businesses, non-profits and the education sector, such as providing incentives to create jobs in the green economy and supporting technology innovation.


Academic institutions will focus on instilling a mindset lifelong learning. Educators should reimagine education and embrace lifelong learning to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate in the future of work.




Businesses have to anchor upskilling and workforce investment as a core business principle and make time-bound pledges to act. Meanwhile, the management can connect strategic planning skill needs and talent development, as well as increase transparency around the future of existing role.

As a manager or team leader, discover development interests of your team through coaching conversations and champion the importance of ongoing learning by sharing your own learning goals.

Performance enablement is a crucial tool for employee upskilling and reskilling during the COVID-19 pandemic, considering the remote nature of workplace communication and management. It facilitates the development of a workforce that is agile and adaptable to the shifting industry needs. Since it’s backed by AI algorithms, the system analyses performance data in real time and learns more about the employees as they progress within the platform. With justin-time learning, employees receive information on-demand from their home offices where they can build on their existing skill sets or acquire new capabilities through personalised learning.


Reasons for Upskilling and Reskilling During Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that no one has control over the future, not markets, individuals or even the economy as a

whole. Long-term goals are more likely to fall through than ever before, and this is why now is the ideal time for employee reskilling and upskilling as this just a strategy to keep the company afloat in these difficult times. In the long run, upskilling and reskilling programmes can improve employee engagement and retention, attract new talent, increase collaboration between departments and speed up the adoption of new trends within the company.


Self Enhancement

The events industry has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, with most events being canceled or postponed. In a survey by PCMA last year, around 12% said their salary has been reduced and 6% have admitted to laying off team members. Many employees in the event technology sector have also been laid off or furloughed. In this situation, every bit of skill matters. Upskilling not only benefits your professional life, but it also helps you become a better version of yourself. It gives you a new perspective, fresh ideas, and most importantly is the constant motivation. This has been proven by a survey that stated 77% of employers prefer to shortlist people who upskill regularly because it is easier to have employee who can adapt to all situations instead to find someone new and capable every time crisis strikes. In addition, by attending a course or a workshop, you get the opportunity to meet more people in your field or expanding your network. And who knows, you might even find a new passion or talent that you never knew was possible for you.


Stay Relevant for The Future

Nothing is set in stone, especially now. Nowadays, there has been a rapid development in event technology with something new releasing every few months. In addition, human-centric skills like communication or soft skills also becoming increasingly important. By constantly upskilling, you can stay up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry and cultivate a variety of other skills that will have better opportunities to explore in the future. The pandemic caused the BE industry to become obsolete overnight. Majority of event planners today are sadly lacking in skills and finding it hard to cope with the current situation, let alone the future. By identifying and acquiring the most important skills and emerging trends in the BE industry, as many events are going virtual, and you will be one of those few people whose expertise will make them in-demand in the industry. No better way to stay relevant for the future.


Reduce Recruitment Costs

Upskilling or reskilling, is a smaller investment than hiring and training a new worker. As you reskill your employees, you create a more well-rounded, cross-trained workforce, and increase your team’s effectiveness. Businesses always be conscious on the return on investments (ROI), but according to survey, while the average tenure of a top candidate is 1.2 years, the average payback period (time until ROI) is 2.2 years. Employees that have been working for an organisation for several years have a deep understanding of company goals, clients, customers and partners. Hence, concentrating on upskilling and reskilling your teams can drastically reduce recruitment costs where you can search within a pool of existing employees and accurately match their skills with the skills that the new role requires. The skillful employees can start applying their newly-acquired knowledge on top of their core job as they are already familiar with company’s internal system, tech stack and learning platform.


Align With Business Goals

With all business-related strategies, your upskilling and reskilling strategy should be fed by your business goals and objectives. Leveraging tools to analyse the skills and skills gaps of your employees will urge you to make changes, where you can tweak your employees’ skills to help you to reach these goals while also helping them to achieve theirs.

Distributed workforce training provides an opportunity for the company to maximise employee potential and allow workers to keep their jobs by expanding their skills to different areas. This results in the improvement of knowledge and skills, which directly affects individuals’ personal goals and company KPIs, which also acts as a catalyst to spur new innovations and works to set you apart from your competitors. As businesses start realising the power of learning, they unlock their secret weapon that makes them stand out in their market.




Types of Employee Skills Critical to New Norm Business Model To make sure that organisations thrive after the crisis, leaders and their teams have to start upskilling the critical workforce pools.

Try to build a skill set that will be useful no matter how an employee’s specific role may evolve, which is a key part of your business in responding well to changes. You can focus on four kinds of skills namely digital, higher cognitive, social and emotional, and adaptability and resilience. The skill building in these four areas should be predominantly digital and self-paced but not tailored to the individual in most cases.





Expand the ability to operate in a fully digital environment

Build technical awareness and skills so employees can fully operate in a remote world and be productive within the company’s ecosystem from clients, partners, suppliers to public authorities. If moving to a more tech and data-enabled model, a basic understanding of critical tech and data concepts and processes will be essential, including data visualisation, applied machine learning and advanced analytics.

Develop cognitive skills to ensure that critical players can respond to the need for redesign and innovation

Critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation are required to take on the challenges of a rapidly changing environment and business model. For example, in order to relocate production strategically, companies will have to rethink critical components of their supply chains, including sourcing and logistics, which will typically require enhanced creativity, innovation, problem solving and project-management skills.


Advanced interpersonal skills are needed to ensure that professional ties are kept strong despite distance. These skills will also be crucial for leaders trying to drive change and support their employees remotely.

Support critical employees to build their self-awareness, self-confidence and self-reliance so they can use new experiences as a source of learning. In addition, help them develop their personal tool kits to mange time, boundaries and mental wellness to reinforce resilience.




Strengthen social and emotional skills to ensure effective collaboration

Build adaptability and resilience skills to thrive during an evolving business situation



Building Greater Performance with the Professional HRDF Solution Provider Winner of Best Corporate Wellness Provider, Human Resources HR Vendors of the Year 2019

One Allianz Consortium Sdn Bhd One Allianz Consortium is an established integrated organization which specialises in providing training and human capital development programmes, for both management and technical skills. In addition, we offer the corporate wellness programme that enhances employees’ health and wellness to help build a culture of health at the workplace.

Our core priority is to provide a comprehensive approach. We are eager to support our customers to meet their needs, and most importantly, to achieve their goals in increasing profits and maintaining a competitive advantage in the market. Our vision is to build greater organisations through empowered and healthy employees.

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Here at Talentbank, we have always strived to improve Malaysia’s

Since 2011, we have successfully built the employability ecosystem for universities, undergraduates, and employers, bridging the gap between employers and graduates, a gap that continues to exist even today. We have helped graduates define and kick start their careers by connecting them with career opportunities that enable them to make their dream jobs a reality. Our mission is to increase the nation’s employability rate. Talentbank is a global employer branding, recruitment, market research & education specialist. For years now, Talentbank has been the unrivaled gold standard among recruitment platforms – and our capability in connecting amazing employers with amazing employees is reflected by some of our awards and accolades.

The 24K Gold Plated Trophy for Graduates’ Choice Award

graduate employability rate and the public and private universities.

Graduates’ Choice Award

Talentbank Career Fair



National Graduate Recruitment Conference



A Journey Through Time


MACEOS was established on 17 December 1990, making it the first and only trade association representing the Business Events industry and professionals in Malaysia then and now.

Hosted 1st MACEOS AGM 1992 MACEOS hosted its first annual general meeting (AGM) and introduced its original lineup of commitee members.

Hosted 1st AEC+ Expo


MACEOS hosted the inaugural event initiated by the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA).


Launched MACEOS Professional Training Programme

One of MACEOS’ strategic pillars is to build the capacity of the BE industry supply chain and raise the professionalism of the industry in Malaysia.

Organised 1st BE Forum 2016 MACEOS organised the inaugural Business Events (BE) Forum, a key annual event to boost innovation in business events.


Established East Malaysia Chapter

The regional chapter of MACEOS was formed to strengthen Sabah and Sarawak’s participation in business events.


The Northern and Southern regional chapters of MACEOS was established to serve Penang and Johor business events industry players respectively.


30th Anniversary of MACEOS Year 2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of MACEOS but no celebration was planned due to the pandemic. However, in conjunction with the 30th anniversary, BE Magazine themed BE-Ready featured the market insights and practical ways by BE leaders from various industry on the recovery path for the coming years. Let’s move on together with positive energy in MACEOS, BE Ready!

Organised 1st rAWr Award

MyCEB and MACEOS initiated the rAWr award, the first of its kind in Malaysia to recognise the best in the Business Events industry.


Established Northern and Southern Chapter

Established MACEOS



Launched 1st Malaysia Business Events Awards (MBEA)

MACEOS organised the first MBEA to pay tribute to industry players’ efforts in developing business events in Malaysia. BE Ready

Thank You To Our Partners and Sponsors Platinum Sponsor

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