Penang first regional host of advertising world congress

Chow (centre), with Chacko (left) and Wong at the event to announce the congress happening from March 6 to 8. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

History will be made this March when Penang hosts the 45th International Advertising Association (IAA) World Congress, making Malaysia the first country in South-east Asia to do so.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the congress, to be held from March 6 to 8 and which is expected to draw over 1,000 guests, would bring in an estimated economic impact of RM5.84mil to the state.

“The event promises to be a catalyst for economic growth and innovation, featuring a line-up of over 30 speakers and industry experts,” he told a press conference at Komtar.

The state government, explained Chow, saw this event as an opportunity to showcase Penang’s investment potential and create a more resilient economy that would foster innovation, job creation and sustainable development.

“Participation in the World Congress offers a platform for knowledge exchange, networking and collaboration, positioning Penang as a thriving hub for diverse industries,” he said.

The event will be co-hosted by IAA Malaysia, Penang Tourism and Creative Economy Committee Office (Petace) and the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB).

IAA Malaysia president John D. Chacko said the organisation and the Penang government were proud to host the congress that he described as a historic event.

“With the theme “Brand: RE-CODE, for a Better World, Better Life”, this congress is not just a convergence of ideas but a celebratory moment, commemorating the 85th anniversary of IAA Global, 30th anniversary of IAA Malaysia and the International Women’s Day,” he said.

Among other event collaborators are Lions, BBC News and CelcomDigi.

Also present at the press conference were Petace chairman Wong Hon Wai and PCEB chief executive officer Ashwin Gunasekeran.

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