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Malaysia To Embark on ICCA Congress Kuching Study

February 7, 2017 Conferences No Comments Email Email

The ICCA Malaysia Committee had their first meeting of 2017 in mid January to review the ICCA Congress 2016 summary provided by the Local Host Committee. The 2016 ICCA Congress which took place in Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak from November 13-16 last year, welcomed 834 participants from 60 countries. The host country Malaysia fielded 92 participants, the largest ever Malaysian delegation to any ICCA Congress, with many ICCA Malaysia members taking the opportunity to enrol their team members for a chance to rub shoulders and learn with the industry’s global experts and practitioners.  Two CSR programmes – one was targeted at raising awareness of the endangered orang-utan or “man of the forest”, while the other was to instil and nurture the love of reading among the children of Sarawak – helped ensure that this Congress not only brought direct expenditure benefits to the state of Sarawak, but also left a philanthropic footprint that will remain long after the event concluded. The success of these two CSR programmes is only two of the many “beyond tourism” benefits of hosting the ICCA Congress. More ‘intangible benefits’ will be researched and documented by a team member of the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) as she explores the various inter-organisation collaborations that led to- and took place during ICCA Congress.

“It is important to examine the intended legacies of this ICCA Congress in order to gain greater understanding of the potential benefits an event can deliver to a host destination, particularly for 2nd tier cities – like Kuching –  if leveraging strategies are implemented correctly,” said Ms. Manisa Mohamed Nor, when asked about her study. “One key finding will be on how hosting the ICCA Congress in Kuching created new business partnerships, and what these are.”

Ms. Ho Yoke Ping, General Manager Business Events, MyCEB and Chair of ICCA Malaysia Committee, said: “This project is in line with MyCEB’s strategic goal to drive deeper engagement and cooperation with Malaysia’s public and private sectors so that the nation will continue winning international conventions. This initiative underscores the need to review and focus event evaluation in a way that Malaysia can learn and improve at subsequent event bidding, planning, and eventually hosting the event.  Ultimately, it is not just about the dollars and cents but how we as the host community, can optimize the cross-leveraging opportunities that are presented.”

Ahead of the Congress taking place in Kuching in November 2016, the ICCA Malaysia Committee with the full support of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), had already exemplified how such a carefully planned leverage strategy can amplify the event’s benefits. ICCA President Mrs. Nina Freysen-Pretorius had discussions with Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism & Culture and the Chief Minister of the state of Penang when she attended the World Tourism Conference held in Penang as a speaker. This demonstration of cross-leveraging was further expanded when she and ICCA CEO Martin Sirk re-routed their journey to Kuching for the ICCA Congress, with a stop-over in Kuala Lumpur to attend an inter-ministries forum on the real benefits of international conventions hosted by the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture of Malaysia. This was followed by a meeting with the Deputy Tourism Minister at Malaysia’s Parliament and later by a courtesy call to the Governor of Sarawak when both of them were in Kuching.

“These are excellent examples of inter-organisational collaboration that have helped to shape the overall success of the ICCA Congress Kuching. One of the strategic goals as outlined in the newly launched Malaysia’s Business Events Roadmap 2020 is to deeply engage government ministries and agencies to communicate how business events will play a major role in achieving the 2020 goals of every government ministry. Our ultimate objective is to get the full support from in the full government to help Malaysia bid, plan and leverage on international conventions. We are proud and appreciative that ICCA had given us their support to help us leverage the opportunity for an independent, third party voice of wisdom and global experience in the various meetings with Malaysia’s government officials,” added Ms. Ho.

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