The Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) is appealing to the Malaysian Government to ease restrictions imposed on business events in areas under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
Its President, Francis Teo, says: “With the MICE SOPs already approved by the Malaysian National Security Council (NSC), business events should be allowed to continue to be organised, adjusting participant numbers according to alert levels and venue size. By allowing small groups to meet, the industry can maintain the minimum numbers needed to preserve and support the entire business events ecosystem.”
He shared that business events industry players had been impacted by COVID 19 since March this year. Through a recent survey of those involved in the business events or also known as meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions, and events space, MACEOS revealed that business events industry players had experienced revenue losses of RM2.25 billion, a drop of 90 percent since the movement control order in Malaysia started.
A total of 5,610 employees had been laid off since March, equivalent to 17 per cent of the total industry workforce.
Looking at the current situation, a full recovery of the business events industry is unlikely to happen before the third quarter of 2021.
In the meantime, many industry players have had to face cancellation and postponement of events during the pandemic as well as other uncertainties regarding the future of MICE in the country. While pivoting to virtual and hybrid events was the only other option, only 13 percent of industry players said they were able to do so successfully while others continued to struggle with the change.
Teo is confident that the business events industry plays an even more critical role in maintaining economic balance during the pandemic.
“Business events is a platform where people from different companies or industries meet to share ideas and establish potential collaborations. It’s a marketplace for product owners and investors to form partnerships. It’s also a platform for knowledge sharing where academics and industry experts gather to find solutions to world problems. It is the fastest way for businesses to connect with each other and rebuild the economy again. This is the reason why business events should be allowed to be organised.”
“The economic benefits of business events will be cascaded down to many sectors, companies, and the rakyat. The benefits are far and wide, which is why we must keep the industry rolling even at minimum capacity. The important thing is not to shut down the industry entirely at affected areas where restrictions apply,” he insists.
Business events as a whole, positively impact various industries, namely tourism, food and beverages, retail, venue and other rental services, accommodation, transportation, event organisers, and more.
To ensure business events are held safely according to government health protocols, the industry has developed a comprehensive framework which was approved by NSC for safe business events to take place during the pandemic.
“Our members are strictly adhering to the SOPs and are already adopting these guidelines in their business events successfully,” Teo says.
Malaysia’s business events industry has been growing strong in the past few years. In 2019, a total of 1,138 business events were organised compared to 1,014 business events reported in the previous year. These business events attracted over 540,000 international business travellers to Malaysia for the purpose of attending meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. It contributed RM9.2 billion in economic impact to the country.
For more information/media enquiries, kindly contact:
G’ny Chin Jin Yi
Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers
Tel: 6012-319 0911