Breaking with tradition

To highlight the growing demand for unique event experiences, Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau chooses to launch its global campaign in an unconventional venue.

Hot idea
Unique venues can create greater excitement around an otherwise solemn business event objective

Event brief
Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) launched its global business events campaign, Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered, on July 12, 2019, in conjunction with Experience Penang Year 2020 and Visit Malaysia 2020. It aims to grow business events visitorship to the Malaysian state and showcase four new products including a mobile app containing information on Penang for delegates.

Penang-based Dreamz Productions Events Management was roped in by PCEB to co-organise the event as well as select an appropriate setting.

Event highlights
Hin Bus Depot, a former bus depot that is now a unique venue, was selected for the launch. Its large and flexible grounds were the winning factors, recalled Dreamz’s managing director Cheah Weiyeong.

Cheah explained that the venue could be divided into several sections that would support the main launch event, the press conference, and dinner party for attendees. The sprawling land onsite also provided the perfect spot to feature a collection of Penang’s famous hawker stalls in an open air setting.

A memorable entry and registration area was created – arriving guests were greeted by an art gallery that exhibited works of local artistes which they could pose with for photos going onto their social media platform. This ensured expanded visibility for the launch event.

As this was PCEB’s first time using Hin Bus Depot for its event, Cheah said his team had to work very closely with the bureau to determine the right setup for the event.

Cheah said: “The challenge was to find the best layout for Hin Bus Depot as there were no designated stage area and seating area. There were also limited facilities and amenities available at the venue compared to the usual hotels or ballrooms, such as dining tables, chairs and equipment like large LED screens and lighting effects for the main event.”
Another challenge was the weather, as parts of Hin Bus Depot were outdoors and not sheltered.

Meticulous planning and PCEB’s unwavering support were keys to getting around the challenges.

PCEB gave Dreamz approval for all required equipment to be rented, thus solving the problem of the lack of standard event facilities and amenities.

A wet weather contingency plan was drawn up. “(Our solution) was to move the hawker stalls to the covered patio so guests could continue to enjoy their food (even if it rained),” Cheah said.

Event Launch of Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered
Venue Hin Bus Depot
Date July 12, 2019
Attendance: Approximately 100 people

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