Double the goodness

Having both the BE@Penang conference and ICCA Asia Pacific Summit concurrently gifted attendees with enriched content, expanded networking opportunities, and more.

Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) and Malaysian PCO Anderes Fourdy Events jointly won the bid to host the inaugural ICCA Asia Pacific Summit; the summit was co-organised by the ICCA Asia Pacific Chapter. The ICCA summit was run concurrently with the fourth edition of BE@Penang, an annual conference organised by PCEB.

The idea behind concurrently running two conferences in a single venue was to provide networking opportunities and promote knowledge sharing among local and foreign delegates. It was also an effort to expose delegates to what ICCA was about and the benefits it brings to the industry.

The co-located conferences featured 40 speakers comprising industry leaders from 20 countries, and 300 delegates from the global business events industry.

In his keynote address, ICCA president, James Rees, conveyed the importance of ICCA as the leading voice within the meetings industry. Later in a Q&A coffee shop-styled interactive session, delegates posed questions to Rees and gained insights on how to leverage their membership in an increasingly competitive industry. Attendees also learnt about the changes and trends in the meetings industry which could, in turn, influence their business strategies.

On the morning of the second day, delegates of both conferences convened for an interactive workshop session with meeting designers from Orange Gibbon, Mike van der Vijver and Han Chiang. The takeaway from the 1.5-hour workshop was that for meetings to be effective, meeting owners had to put the audience and their needs first, and create a format that engaged the audience.

For foreign delegates who were short on time to experience Penang, co-organisers worked with venue provider Setia SPICE Convention Centre to offer themed coffee breaks and lunches that included local entertainment and an array of dishes Penang was known for.

PCEB also organised a post-tour on December 7 to the Penang Turtle Conservation and Information Centre. Located on Pantai Kerachut beach, it provided an opportunity for delegates to learn more about turtle conservation efforts undertaken by the centre and an example of a corporate social responsibility programme in Penang.

Hosting the dual conferences proved to be challenging as it involved two different organisers.

Tricia Loh, head of sales at PCEB, shared: “Good and effective communication was vital for the success of this event. Our team at PCEB worked very closely with Anderes Fourdy Events which was based in Kuala Lumpur. Anderes Fourdy Events in turn, had face-to-face meetings and provided regular updates with the ICCA Asia Pacific office based in Petaling Jaya.”

Another challenge was to obtain a good representation of delegates from Asia-Pacific, in addition to the target of 60 per cent local delegates.

Loh shared: “We marketed the event to the various CVBs in Asia-Pacific which in turn, helped market it to the travel trade in their respective countries. We also made sure the programmes had topics that were relevant and useful to all, regardless of nationality.”

Event ICCA Asia Pacific Summit 2019 and BE@Penang 2019
Organisers PCEB, Anderes Fourdy Events, and ICCA Asia Pacific Chapter
Venue Setia SPICE Convention Centre
Dates December 5-6, 2019
Attendance 300 people

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