MICE veteran Rocky Kalalo passes away

Rocky Kalalo

The Indonesian business events industry has lost one of its veteran players with the passing of Rocky Kalalo, former managing director of Panorama Convex and board member of the Indonesia Congress and Convention Association (INCCA).

Rocky died in Jakarta last Sunday morning after suffering from stroke last year. He will be cremated this morning.

Rocky Kalalo

The respected industry professional has more than 35 years of experience in the business events industry. He first started out at the Jakarta Hilton International (now The Sultan Hotel & Residence Jakarta), before moving to the Jakarta Convention Centre. He then joined Panorama Group in 2000 to spearhead the Panorama Convex.

Satrijanto Tirtawisata, commissioner of Panorama Group, said: “Rocky was a great guy. With his long experience working at Jakarta Convention Centre and through his (business) trips overseas, he understood the needs of the industry and the opportunities available in the market. (With that knowledge he) created homegrown exhibitions at Panorama Convex.”

The Renovation and Construction Expo, for example, was a brainchild of Rocky, who was inspired by the severe flooding in Jakarta in early 2002 which caused widespread damage to the city. The same year, he created the expo, which has lived on till today as part of Reed Panorama Exhibition’s Megabuild annual programme .

In addition, the Franchise & Licence Expo, Indonesia Maternity Baby and Kids Expo, and the Indonesia Maritime Expo were also his creations, events which are now annual staples on the country’s events calendar.

Rocky also played role in the development of Indonesia’s business events industry with his active participation in trade associations, such as the Indonesia Exhibition Companies Association and INCCA.

Iqbal Alan Abdullah, chairman of INCCA, shared with TTGmice: “I have known and worked alongside with Rocky for 40 years, and he was very consistent in his efforts to contribute to the development of business events (in Indonesia).”

For example, INCCA pioneered the idea of a business events school in the country by joining forces with Jakarta Polytechnics. Eventually, business events became a full-fledged department at National Polytechnic Jakarta in 2003.

“It took years of work for this to materialise and during those years, Rocky contributed his ideas, thoughts, time and energy to form the first formal school of MICE,” Iqbal shared.

Rocky was also part of the team that formed the Indonesia Convention and Exhibition Bureau, and held the role of acting executive director when it launched in 2016.

Iqbal added Rocky’s open-hearted personality made him an unofficial mentor to so many younger professionals. Iqbal said: “People could just approach him and ask him any question, and he would happily share his knowledge.”

“He will be greatly missed.”

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