Malaysia witnessed an unprecedented virtual movement today with the gathering of the country’s Business Events (B.E.) players to highlight the plight of the industry through the #saveourconventioncentres initiative.
Championed by the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), the initiative which virtually gathers an estimated 500 industry players, aims to draw a critical focus on the survival of B.E. through visual representations on social media.
Teo, who is also seen donning the T-shirt together with other stakeholders nationwide, said that like how B.E. has vastly contributed to the Malaysian economy pre-COVID-19, the industry can now help to rebuild country.
“We are very thankful for the announcement that Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) has principally agreed to allow the opening B.E., and also starting to look into opening the borders for Johor- Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak as well as Langkawi by January 2021. It is one of the best news we have heard from the year’s challenges in surviving,” continued Teo.
The industry hires 33,000 permanent staff and engages almost 60,000 part-timers during the peak of the business. As of December 2020, Malaysia’s closing of travel borders and various levels of MCO has resulted in more than 1550 business events cancellation and postponement with the estimated industry loss of RM2.25 billion, according to a report by MACEOS.
An industry which prides itself by bringing together people to not only create economic wealth but more importantly the exchange of knowledge, expertise and skills, B.E. industry players see domestic events such as tradeshows, conferences and more as a meeting point needed more than ever now to help businesses survive the challenges. With that underlying need, convention centres can still serve as the platform for these exchanges.
Industry players highly acknowledges the need for strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) due to the precarious situation, of which MACEOS has duly drafted an enhanced guideline for the industry, making sure that it adheres to the various levels of Movement Control Orders.
“Our expertise lies in organising and hosting large events and I assure the authorities that our SOPs are based on our experiences, professionalism and extreme mindfulness to balance lives and livelihoods. At the same time, we appeal to the Security Committee of the pandemic namely the MKN, Ministry of Internal Security, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) to work with us and refine our SOPs so we can make the comeback of B.E. a reality,” Teo explained.
In line with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture’s (MOTAC) core objectives of restoring confidence for travellers, MACEOS believes that balancing lives and livelihoods will pave way for a faster reopening of travel borders.
“If we can pull through domestic business events successfully, this will automatically win the confidence of international delegates. Once our borders are open, we can look to restoring the industry and destination in full glory or even better pre-COVID-19. We can start by saving our national prides first, for our convention centres to operate and boost local businesses,” Teo concluded.
For more information, please visit maceos.org.my.