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The Return of Business Events Sector in a Covid-19 World

After months of lockdown, many countries are now seeing a gradual re-opening of its events sector. This is not limited to just countries that have suppressed Covid-19, but also many where the situation remains uncertain as they face a second wave of cases.

The Malaysian government has given a leeway to allow programmes in the form of meetings, initiatives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) or Business Events with visitors limited to 50 percent of the premises area or the number of actual visitors, effective 19 December 2020.

Dato Sri Abdul Khani Daud, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau said “On behalf of the industry, we are grateful for the recent announcement by the government and believe this announcement will help in boosting our business events industry and help Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) Malaysia in achieving the Tourism Recovery Plan goals. I would also like to express my sincerest appreciation to YB Hajah Nancy Shukri for presenting the proposed standard operating procedure (SOP) to the Technical Committee,”

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He also mentioned that the Bureau will continuously play its role in positioning Malaysia as Asia’s Business Events Hub under the circumstances of the new norm. 

“Of course, this pandemic is considered the first in history of which as an authority, we are also learning to cope along effectively. But at the very least, we strive to play as an active bridge between the Malaysian Government and its various Ministries for our industry players. As to how we are recovering from the losses due to the outbreak, it is through the proactive initiative such as the Meet in Malaysia Campaign which we hope to stimulate the business events segment further and help the industry to kickstart their business again as soon as possible,” Dato’ Sri added.

The ‘Meet in Malaysia’ Campaign encompasses two simultaneous initiatives entitled ‘Let’s Meet Tomorrow’ and ‘Let’s Meet Locally’ programmes. While the tasks to woo international audiences are taken care of by the ‘Let’s Meet Tomorrow’ programme, the ‘Let’s Meet Locally’ programme covers the local market. With the objectives of encouraging corporates to hold their events and meetings in the country, the programme is applicable to a minimum group size of 30 and 50 delegates per conference. Support from the Bureau and partners can come in the form of subsidies or services.

Apart from the ‘Meet in Malaysia’ Campaign, Dato’ Sri Khani also mentioned that MyCEB will be launching its own 10 Years Strategic Marketing Plan from the year 2021 until the year 2030 which comprises 3 strategic axis to expand performance namely optimisation, foresight and competitiveness. This marketing campaign will be used in implementing, planning, and monitoring all its campaigns. In line with MOTAC’s Tourism Strategic Plan, the Strategic Marketing Plan proposes to effectively showcase Malaysia’s strengths and opportunities through intensive communications and PR strategy as well as robust marketing strategies in order to share and engage global meeting planners.

Moving forward, MyCEB is already on its feet by coming up with a proposal for reopening of borders for Business Events by opening international borders to neighbouring countries for Business Events delegation involving Singapore with Desaru Johor; Thailand with Langkawi, and Brunei with Sabah and Sarawak which can encourage and revitalise the Business Events industry and the national economy.

The opening of borders must comply with strict SOPs to make Malaysia a safe destination for regional Business Events activities.

For more information on ‘Meet in Malaysia’ Campaign, visit https://www.myceb.com.my/meetinmalaysia

About MyCEB 

MyCEB was established in 2009 by Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia to further strengthen Malaysia’s business tourism brand and position for the international business events market. A non-profit organisation, MyCEB serves as a central hub to assist meeting and event planners to bid for and stage international business events in Malaysia and act as a conduit for national product development. MyCEB’s goal is to improve its rankings as an international meetings destination within International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and to grow business tourism arrivals to Malaysia.

In December 2016, MyCEB mapped out the way forward for Malaysia in business events with the launch of ‘Malaysia’s Business Events Roadmap: Charting Malaysia’s Journey to 2020 and Beyond’. In helping to power Malaysia’s knowledge and creative economy, the business events roadmap will lay the groundwork, set up and manage the platforms for collaboration and support the development of strong local hosts. 

For more information, please visit www.myceb.com.my and follow us on www.facebook.com/MyCEB, Twitter (@MyCEB) and Instagram/MyCEB 

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