Going for the gold standard

Experience from a lost bid in 2009 paves the way for a successful attempt by Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre this time around.

Event brief
The 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session saw over 700 delegates gathering at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to discuss and decide on key policy issues under its authority. Decisions made during this conference included the election of the host cities for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre learnt from its failure in 2009 when they first tried to secure the bid for the 125th IOC Session. This time, it used the experience to further enhance the bid submission in 2012 by working closely with Team Malaysia partners (Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia Airports Holdings and Kuala Lumpur City Council) to offer a very attractive conference package.

Alan Pryor, general manager of the venue, said: “It was also essential for the proceedings to be streamed and broadcasted live to the Olympic House in Switzerland. However, during initial test runs, the connection to Switzerland had delays, intermittent pauses and line cuts.

“We (also) anticipated there would be organisational and coordination challenges and we knew preparations had to start early in order to ensure this event ran smoothly.”

To cope with the organisational and coordination challenges, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre began preparations in late 2012.

There were numerous teleconferences and meetings with the Olympic Council of Malaysia and the International Olympic Committee. Internally, countless interdepartmental meetings were held to go over details. Many detailed briefings and site visits took place in advance, as well as brainstorming sessions to anticipate and plan for last minute requests and changes.

To cope with technological challenges, the centre’s IT team sourced for an additional Internet Service Provider to handle the increased bandwidth demand to ensure a stable and seamless connection from Kuala Lumpur to Switzerland. This ultimately enabled the organiser to record, encode and transmit the proceedings in real time without interruption.

During the conference, the operations and security teams worked in tandem to ensure that VIP guests, including several heads of state, government heads and royalty, were appropriately hosted and attended to.

Key takeaways
Early preparations are crucial to minimise challenges and avoid setbacks during the conference. Also important is an enthusiastic and energetic team that has the patience to do relentless follow-ups, revealed Pryor.

He added: “We discovered that we needed to ensure that all equipment, cables and supporting technical infrastructure provided by third-party vendors were prepared in advance and tested before being set-up. This will help lessen the chances of event-day problems and avoid issues like sourcing additional bandwidth at the last minute.”


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