MICE sector in M’sia picks up, increase in hybrid format requests

The domestic MICE scene is showing gradual signs of recovery; Kuala Lumpur pictured

Malaysian venue operators have reported a pick-up in enquires, and along with them, a growing interest in hybrid and virtual events.

This comes not long after the government gave the green light for business events – such as seminars and conferences – to start from July 1, with the exhibitions sector given the go-ahead on July 15.

The domestic MICE scene is showing gradual signs of recovery; Kuala Lumpur pictured

Christy Woon, director of sales & marketing for Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur shared that event organisers were asking the hotel for production studio set-ups in order to do live streaming sessions, as well as virtual reality productions.

Meanwhile, Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara’s assistant director of events, Emral Kuek, shared that the property has received a number of requests for physical meetings for 15 delegates or less.

She added: “Organisers for groups above 20 are opting for virtual meetings using Zoom, Webex and so on.”

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s general manager, Alan Pryor, agreed that the venue has seen growing interest from organisers for hybrid and virtual events, and he expects this demand to continue moving forward.

Pryor added that conferences, especially those that will take place from now until the end of this year, will “likely proceed, with many adopting a hybrid format”. Currently, the Centre has successfully hosted several small corporate meetings in July, with more upcoming.

When asked about the outlook for the meetings industry, Pryor said there will be a continued focus on domestic business events, adding that “it will probably take at least a year or two for business events, especially those with international attendees to make a comeback”. However, he acknowledged that this is also dependent on the global situation.

Woon also agreed that domestic events will lead the way through to 1H2021, where companies will request for venues with more space to conduct staff trainings.

Last week, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau unveiled a Meet in Malaysia campaign, where one component is focused on encouraging domestic MICE events.

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