State ready to accept MICE events

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 25 Jul 2020

PCEB sales executive Carenne Loh showing the pledge of adherence to guidelines during the launch of the Next Normal Guidelines for Business Events in Penang.

PENANG has launched a compilation of its ‘Next Normal Guidelines for Business Events Penang’ standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Offering specifications for individual sectors, the guidelines detail what SOPs relevant parties have to follow from every aspect, including basic lighting suppliers.

Penang Convention and Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) chief executive officer Ashwin Gunasekeran said the SOPs are divided into six sectors.

They are namely venues and convention centres, hotels, unique venues, destination management company (DMC) and transportation, professional conference organisers (PCO) and exhibition organisers, and event and exhibition suppliers.

“Everyone came together and agreed on the SOPs hence there will be no confusion.

“We have also gotten approval from the Health Department, ” he said during the launching ceremony of the Next Normal Guidelines for Business Events Penang at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas, Penang.

On the recovery of the state, Ashwin said on the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) front, Penang is expected to recover from the Covid-19 crisis from September this year.

“PCEB is optimistic that the national-level MICE in the state could recover soon.

“We expect the MICE industry in Penang to recover earliest by September, provided everything goes well, and if the SOPs are followed and the number of Covid-19 cases remains low.

“As for international events, it would depend on several factors which include connectivity. We hope to receive international-level conferences next year, ” he said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the guidelines were aimed at instilling confidence in organisers, so that they are confident to host events in Penang.

“It is to be seen as a concerted effort, led by the government and supported by the various stakeholders and industries.

“We must work together and project a united front to show that we are ready to accept MICE events in Penang that are subjected to the SOPs that have been developed.

“The state welcomes organisers to consider the ‘hybrid’ method when hosting an event.

“The ‘hybrid’ method can benefit participants who can be physically present at an event and those who can only attend the event virtually.

“The organiser can reach out to a wider target audience if he practises the ‘hybrid’ method, utilising the online platform while hosting the event here.

“We can reach out to an unlimited number of participants online, ” he said.

Also present at the event was state tourism development, arts, culture and heritage committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin.

He said the business events industry is a key contributing sector to the state’s tourism.

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