Malaysia’s MICE stakeholders innovate now for later

Malaysia's MICE stakeholders discuss ideas on how they plan to survive the economic downturn Covid-19 has brought

Covid-19 is pushing Malaysia’s business events industry players to innovate as they explore different business ideas to survive the economic blow the pandemic has brought.

This move will also help companies prepare for the post-Covid-19 period which will also bring about a change in travel trends, behavioural patterns and meeting requirements.

Malaysia’s MICE stakeholders discuss ideas on how they plan to survive Covid-19 by thinking out of the box

Allen Tan, managing director, IDA Exhibition Services, shared that he is looking into temporarily changing his business model from being an exhibition contractor and go into interior design for offices and corporate companies.

This is because Tan does not expect the exhibition business to recover in the next six months, and currently, there is zero revenue for the company’s core team of 15 employees.

But he can only start actively looking for business after the country’s Movement Control Order (MCO) is lifted. The MCO, put in place as the country fights the spread of Covid-19, started on March 18 and was recently extended to April 28.

“We are not rehiring new people, but upscaling the existing team into another area of work, and when the business events industry recovers, we will return to the exhibition business,” he pointed out.

He was speaking at a recent webinar organised by PCO Place Borneo, moderated by its managing director, Mona Abdul Manap. The webinar was titled Business Events: Business Impacts and recovery ideas for industry players post Covid-19.

Another speaker, Gracie V Geikie, director and principal consultant at Planet Borneo Group, shared that while events for this year have been totally wiped out, the company is looking at events from next year onwards.

Planet Borneo Group has kept all existing staff, but will be reskilling them in this downtime. She elaborated that staff will see a realigning of workscopes where everyone contributes to business development.

“We have to take this opportunity to look at new revenue streams such as managing hybrid conferences. It will require a change of mindset of our employees. We have to reskill staff to sell virtual conferences, which I believe will grow in the future,” shared Geikie.

Mok Venia, managing director, Cat City Holidays, said she was looking at providing virtual tours as she believes that post-Covid-19, the DMC business will evolve with more demand for virtual everything – conferences, meetings and even tours.

She shared: “We will need more specialist guides, such as historians and botanists, to conduct virtual tours which in a business events setting could be pre- and post tours for those who participate in virtual conferences.”

Venia hopes to source for the right talents, and look for a vendor to set up a secure portal, among other things, but all this can only be done once MCO ends.

As for Borneo Convention Centre Kuching’s CEO Eric van Piggelen he shared that the company is developing its non-core businesses until the business events industry recovers.

Piggelen also predicts that in a post-Covid-19 world, there will be more emphasis on health security screenings in convention venues, as well as the an increased number of live streaming of conferences and events.

Sponsored Post