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Penang gets serious for Business Events with the inaugural BE @ Penang Industry Engagement Conferen

George Town, Penang: Business Events (BE) took centre stage in Penang with the BE @ Penang 2016 industry engagement conference organised by the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB). The conference that took place on 6 – 7 Dec 2016 at The Wembley, Penang was officiated by the Chief Minister of Penang, Rt. Hon. Lim Guan Eng on 6 Dec 2016.

The two-day conference themed BE ENGAGED was “designed to be a catalyst to harness the state and industry’s collective effort in developing Penang into a matured and competitive Business Events destination,” said PCEB CEO Ashwin Gunasekeran in his welcoming speech.

This conference is the first in a series of education and skill sharing programme by PCEB, a state bureau established in 2016 to develop the BE industry in Penang. BE is a key component of business tourism and our economy, with the average business traveller spending an average of RM7000 compared to RM2000 spent by the leisure traveller. Business tourism has been identified as a major component of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) for tourism. It will contribute an estimated GNI of RM3,947 million, and a projected 16,720 jobs by 2020.

In his opening speech, the Rt Hon Lim Guan Eng said, “The Penang State Government is fully invested in the vision to see Penang as a desired destination city for Business Events, with strategies in place to develop physical and human infrastructure along with human capabilities to serve this industry segment”.

Following the Opening Ceremony was the keynote speech delivered by Noor Ahmad Hamid, the Regional Director of ICCA Asia Pacific. ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) is the leading authority in the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. Noor’s keynote speech was titled “Engage in the Power of Meetings”.

BE @ Penang 2016 also brought together prominent figures from the Malaysian and regional Business Events industry, namely Francis Teo of MACEOS; Wong Wai Kin of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau; Oh Kin Tat of ?Putrajaya International Convention Centre; Datuk Koe Peng Kang of S P Setia Berhad; Karen Yue of TTG Media Group, Amos Wong of AOS Conventions & Events, and Fu Kei Cheong and Rahul Bharadwaj of Anderes Fourdy.

The speakers from Penang included Tony Goh of MAH Penang Chapter and The Wembley, Allen Tan of The Habitat Penang Hill, Rina Mariani of Hotel Equatorial Penang, Dr Mary Ann Harris of PCET and PMED, and many more.

Among the topics covered at BE @ Penang 2016 were “Analysis of Business Events in Penang”, “Branding a Business Events Destination”, “Getting a venue ready for the convention & exhibition business”, “Associations, NGOs & Government Conferences”, “Growing from a DMC to a PCO”, and “Succeed at bidding”.

BE @ Penang 2016 is co-organised by Anderes Fourdy, one of Malaysia’s leading Professional Conference Organisers, who have been working hand-in-hand with the PCEB team on the programming and logistics of the conference.

BE @ Penang 2016 is supported by The Wembley, Penang, Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) – Penang Chapter and media partners TTGmice and TTGassociations.