PCEB’s new MICE campaign dangles perks and event support

Ashwin Gunasekeran explains what the new campaign is about

A new mobile app, support programme for events, a CSR initiative and an extended airline partnership are all part of a new campaign launched on Saturday by the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) to enhance the destination’s appeal for business events.

Entitled Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered, the campaign made its debut along with Experience Penang Year 2020, state-level initiative by the Penang State EXCO Office for Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage; and Visit Malaysia 2020, a national initiative by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia.

The first pillar of the new campaign is the PCEB Mobile App, built for event delegates. It offers information on Penang, a meeting planners guide, and a calendar showing upcoming events and other business gatherings happening in the city.

Next, PCEB’s comprehensive support programme offers various support structures for events hosted in Penang, with perks provided by Penang’s business events community.

The bureau has also created a CSR programme called Penang Turtle Cares, where business events groups can contribute towards improving its conservation facilities in Penang.

Lastly, PCEB and Malaysia Airlines have extended their strategic partnership until end 2020. The airline offers discounted rates or complimentary tickets to organisers for marketing purposes, and site inspection trips for conferences and exhibitions in Penang, as well as discounted rates to fly speakers and hosted buyers in.

The booking period for these programmes is until end-2020, for business events arrivals up to December 31, 2021.

PCEB CEO, Ashwin Gunasekeran, hopes the campaign will bring about a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in room nights and delegates, and a 30 per cent increase in economic impact to the state.

The campaign is targeting some 3,000 confirmed business events, bringing with it some 360,000 participants.

The estimated economic impact for business events in Penang has grown by 62 per cent, from RM808.3 million (US$196.5 million) in 2016 to RM1.3 billion last year. The number of delegates also increased by 130 per cent in the same period, from 141,864 delegates in 2016 to 327,627 delegates in 2018.

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