In an exclusive interview with MICE Travel Advisor, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, explains how the MICE industry in Malaysia is recovering from the pandemic and what are the measures they had taken boost the event and business scenario in current year.
Tell us about the recovery of meetings and business events in post COVID-19 time. How the MICE industry in Malaysia is growing and generating revenue for the country?
Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud: In order for us to reset the economy and generate revenue for the country, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) strengthens domestic campaigns and initiatives to reset the domestic and international tourism whilst assuring the industry’s revival.
We constantly ensure that the executed campaigns are in line with Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia to help tourism industry players continue their survival amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the initiatives include the Meet in Malaysia campaign. The ‘Meet in Malaysia’ Campaign encompasses three simultaneous initiatives entitled ‘Let’s Meet Tomorrow’, ‘Let’s Meet Locally’ and the recently launched ‘Let’s Meet Now’ programme. MyCEB focuses in supporting our industry partners through initiative such as Meet in Malaysiafor our recovery as we focus on homegrown and local events with the aim that these activities will get international leads in the future.
How the convention centres under Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) is working for the recovery in business tourism or meetings or event scenario.
Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud: We currently have around 34 Convention & Exhibition Centres in Malaysia in various states of the country with Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) being the largest with maximum capacity of more than 100,000 pax. Since the reopening of business events in Oct 2021, we saw a great demand for in-person event which is led by governmental events and followed by associations, and corporate meetings.
MyCEB and Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) have collaborated to develop the MySafe Business Events Planner that was launched on 23 March 2022 to reflect our purpose to help communities network, collaborate and innovate together. The digital Planner is a step-by-step format to assist and guide the international business events traveller and organiser through the safety measures as well as to rebuild public confidence in our business events industry.
It also provides information on National Government Covid-19 management, national immunisation, recovery plan and some general guidelines for stakeholders. It is crucial to be vigilant during this challenging time, therefore the Planner provides access to essential business events planning tool that has real-time information.
Please share with us about the events and business conferences, both in national and international, you have secured in this current 2022-2023 tourism year.
Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud: As of March 2022, MyCEB has managed to secure a total of 123 business events to be held in Malaysia from 2022- 2030 in which we are expecting around 75,000 international delegates to Malaysia. We estimate that it will contribute to around RM1.4 billion in economic impact.
Main events in 2022:
World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2022
Annual General Meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 2022
SICOT Orthopedic World Congress 2022
19th International Congress on Infectious Diseases
Main Events in 2023:
38th Congress of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology – APAO 2023
Congress of the Federation of Asian Veterinary Association -FAVA- 2023
International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation -ISAP 2023
Main Event in 2024:
World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) World Congress 2024
Main Event in 2025:
Asia Pacific Symposium on Cochlear Implants and Related Sciences 2025
What are the new technological updates Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) taken to host a secured and successful events or conferences?
Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud: As part of global movement, MyCEB collaborated with Hybrid City Alliance and Asia Convention Alliance to rebuild the business events industry in the region and we strongly believe that together, the industry will rebound from the pandemic and gain confidence from the international market as trusted destinations. With the aim to be a compliance industry, it is our responsibility to ensure events made locally meets the highest standard of certification.
In line with the current niche and trends, we are in the midst of revamping MyCEB’s website to make it more approachable and user friendly. This is important as it is one of our main platforms to deliver latest update to our stakeholders and to attract and engage more prospects, generate more leads, and to better support the company brand or raise awareness.
Share with us about the marketing strategies you have taken to promote Malaysia.
Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud: The announcement by the Government to reopen business events had provided hope to this sector. The surge in domestic travel showed a positive sign in this sector and MyCEB has decided to extend the Meet in Malaysia campaign until December 2022. MyCEB is also taking part in tradeshows such as the ICCA Congress, UFI Congress and IBTM World.
MyCEB with the support from Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture launched two initiatives, the 3R Initiative – Reset, Restart & Responsible and MySafe Business Events Planner. Aiming to increase confidence among the business events industry, these initiatives paint a strong perception that Malaysia is ready to organise business activities in accordance with the SOPs that have been set while maintaining a high level of safety.
Moving forward, we believe that collaboration is key factor as we collaborated with Hybrid City Alliance and Asia Convention Alliance. We will continue to focus on bidding for international conferences which is in line with the government aspiration.
The Malaysia Immigration Department has also agreed to our proposal on special lanes for business events delegates at major airports to ensure smooth entry process to delegates and to elevate positive image and reputation towards Malaysia.
Enlighten us with the sustainability and responsible tourism approach taken by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB)
Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud: In recognising the crucial role of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play in improving long-term outcomes, especially for future generations, we have aligned our sustainability initiatives to the SDGs in support of the global sustainability agenda. To know more about the sustainability approach please read: MyCEB’s approach towards sustainability.