MALAYSIA’s vow that the business events industry will play a major role in all its National Key Economic Areas by 2020 may appear at first glance one of those high-minded gestures government types are fond of handing down. But if the mood at Malaysia Business Events Week is anything to go by, then the efforts of MyCEB – the nation’s convention bureau – are already paying off.
It’s not often an association conference organiser makes a star appearance, but Roberta Odebrecht did so in the ballroom of the One World Hotel in Petaling Jaya, the satellite city alongside Kuala Lumpur.
The K.I.T Group account director flew in from Berlin to give the background story on how one her big clients, the IFLA, selects host cities for its World Library and Information Congress.
It turns out that the world’s librarians are mightily impressed by Malaysia’s national development policies. Libraries and information technology are viewed as crucial in nurturing a “reading and knowledge culture” within communities that are literate and knowledgeable. So much so that the 84th IFLA WLIC 2018 is all set for Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre next August.
This is just one of the conference wins that Malaysia sees as vital in accelerating the growth of its business events industry. And this was made clear at the opening of MBEW 2017 when Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Malaysia’s minister of tourism and culture, took the rostrum.
“The business events industry is linked to all NKEAs [National Key Economic Areas] in high-growth sectors covering health, finance, investment and education, as well as playing a major role in achieving the 2020 goals of other ministries under the NKEA,” he said.
“Business events are a catalyst for socio-economic growth. The benefits from hosting international meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions stretches beyond tourism. The legacy these events leave behind will help power Malaysia’s continued development as a knowledge and creative society.”
About 200 business event professionals attended the three-day conference, which opened other events including MyNext, the gathering of Malaysia’s association powerbrokers who are seeking to build on an already formidable roster of conference wins. And with between 3,000-4,000 librarians and information specialist heading to KL next August, it looks like Malaysia’s keen to be on the same page when it comes to conferences and business events.