A Conversation with Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud, CEO of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB)


~ BE Forward – Let’s Meet in Malaysia and BE Greater, Together! ~

What has been your biggest task since the Coronavirus situation erupted as a global pandemic? What are some of the challenges for Malaysia’s business events (BE) industry, as well as the challenges faced by you and your team?
The tourism sector was first to be affected and the last to recover due to the outbreak. MyCEB has recently opened up to a new normal but there is a crucial need to share what is really happening in the bigger picture, the collective force that is reshaping and rebuilding things.

MyCEB is on the lookout to revive and maintain the survival of stakeholders and industry players by strengthening domestic campaigns. This may effectively reassemble local and international players in organising business events in the new norm that can revive the overall tourism industry in Malaysia.

The business events industry evolving with the hybrid model and style in the New Normal, do you think the BE industry in Malaysia is able to keep up with the paths? What will be MyCEB’s plans in helping BE industry players in the new trend of digital usage?
Given the opportunity to fully utilise modern technology and adapt this in the BE industry, MyCEB has embarked on implementing digitalisation to reach the maximum potential and engagement with our respective partners be it in the BE or other various economic industries.

In August 2020, MyCEB successfully implemented digital usage by organising the Meet in Malaysia @ Malaysia Business Events Week (MBEW) 2020 via a hybrid mode by setting up onsite and virtual livestream which resulted in a total number of 669 attendees. Other forms of digitalisation are also taken into action when attending webinars as well and award ceremonies.

Despite experiencing a significant shift due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the global business events landscape, MyCEB is proud to announce a total number 21 bids won for conventions and exhibitions, 19 bids won for meetings and incentives and 6 bids won for trade exhibitions which total up to 46 bids won in the 3rd quarter of 2020.

In your opinion, what are the effective plans to assure the Malaysia tourism revival, and continue to boost domestic and international tourism?
MyCEB aims to strengthen domestic campaigns and initiatives that has been introduced to re-boost the domestic and international tourism whilst assure the industry’s revival.

The first one is the Meet in Malaysia campaign which encompasses of two simultaneous initiatives entitled Let’s Meet Tomorrow and Let’s Meet Locally programmes, which runs until December 2021. Let’s Meet Locally consists of competitive packages and government subsidies to stimulate domestic meetings while the Let’s Meet Tomorrow programme is initiated to help industry players in planning and preparing for future international business events organised in Malaysia to welcome international delegates and will take into effect once the international borders are open.

Addressing stakeholders such as professional conference organisers (PCOs), local associations, event management companies and destination management companies (DMCs), the Let’s Meet Tomorrow programme strives for collaborations with venues to develop competitive and appealing campaign packages. 

On top of this, MyCEB rolled out additional packages such as the Tactical Malaysia Twin Deal V, Exhibition Enhancement Package and Homegrown Event Support. Support from the bureau and participating industry partners will come in the form of subsidies or services.

What will be your idea of “Turning Crisis into Opportunity” in Malaysia and global market? 
MyCEB believes that this is the best time to promote Malaysia as a safe destination and has received several awards reflecting their persistence in the BE industry. Most recently, Malaysia was awarded the ‘Best Conference & Exhibitions Destination (Asia) 2020 during the M&C Asia Stella Awards. 

Malaysia has constantly worked closely with the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition and Suppliers (MACEOS) and Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) to formulate BE SOP’s which was endorsed by the Malaysian government and was able to roll it out quickly to implement the new norm measures together with the local industry’s concerted effort. This way, the business events industry is reaching towards greater heights to promote Malaysia as a safe destination. 

What competencies do you feel necessary for an individual to succeed in the hospitality industry? As learning and development never stops, what will be your words to the BE industry players? 
Every industry has their own specific roles to play in order to ensure progress and success for the country. MyCEB has initiated an online professional education platform by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) through a partnership with Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to continuously expand the nation’s business events industry.

The IAPCO WebEDGE platform is specifically designed for Malaysia-based professional conference organisers (PCOs) by providing globally accredited training, which is customised to enhance their professionalism and raise their capacity and capability to meet the current and future industry expectation, needs and demands. This is a new take of direction to ensure the implementation of learning and development. 

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) is dedicated to maximise the success of your meetings and events in Malaysia. We provide a wide platform for planners and organisations to seek specialised services ranging from consultations to board-based collaborations and on-ground support.

What trends in branding and marketing are you interested in exploring?
Suited to the current situation, MyCEB is looking into focussing and expanding on marketing strategies to promote Malaysia as the leading Business Event Hub at an international level. As MyCEB is specialised in securing and supporting international corporate meeting, incentive travel, association convention and trade exhibitions events, we anticipate more business events to be organised in Malaysia for the days to come.

MyCEB is also promoting internationally the newly launched campaigns and incentives in order to give a broader coverage for international delegates. MyCEB believes that having a strong marketing strategy will encourage more international delegates to collaborate with Malaysia thus securing more meetings, conventions & exhibitions as well as tradeshows in Malaysia.

In terms of sustainability, what are the projects MyCEB will be engaging into the next years? 
MyCEB looks forward to hosting our flagship event, the Malaysia Business Events Week (MBEW) that is held annually which serves as a platform built for industry players and stakeholders to share thoughts, skills and experience that gives impact to the development and sustainability for the business events industry. MBEW is also a platform that gets industry players to gather and seek opportunities in order to gain knowledge about business events through every perspective.

Apart from that, MyCEB is also introducing a series of roadshows in different states such as Sarawak, Sabah, Penang, Melaka and more within the peninsular region. These roadshows serve as a platform to showcase Malaysia’s best facilities and latest offerings to entice more industry partners to participate in this campaign.

Let’s transform your professional works in the new normal era and shape a better future of Malaysian BE Industry, always putting the name of Malaysia in the international level.

Do check out the Meet in Malaysia Campaign’s offerings to give your homegrown national, regional and international business events a boost.

Looking forward, what are the key goals that you would hope and expect to achieve for the coming years, in regard to the BE industry for MyCEB as well as for the country?  
Malaysia has recognised the BE industry as one of the major contributors for the Gross National Income (GNI) and is gathering efforts together with other industry representatives to achieve recognition from time to time as a platform to promote Malaysia.

MyCEB also believes that BE Leisure has its own significant value to the business events industry as every destination has their own experience and uniqueness for delegates to discover and explore. 

So what are you waiting for? Let’s Meet in Malaysia and BE Greater, Together!