May 16, 2018
 

The PCEB’s 2017 business events industry review stated that it had brought about an estimated economy impact of one billion ringgit (US$256 million) in 2017, hosting a total of 2,511 events, with 267,518 participants in a chitchat with Irene Susan Eapen.

 

The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB), conducted their first ever Penang Sales Mission in India covering Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai & Bengaluru. The 17-member Sales Mission highlighted Penang as the destination for corporate and association meetings, incentives and leisure travel. The sales mission included hotels, destination management companies and PCEB’s official Airline Partner, Malaysia Airlines. “India is one of the top five markets for Business Events in Penang, and over the past year, we have received interest from event planners and conference organizers. The youth from India loves to explore Penang especially for street food & heritage architecture.” said Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer, PCEB. One the side-lines of the event series, Ashwin Gunasekaran, CEO, Penang Convention Exhibition Bureau, Malaysia spoke to Voyager's World on the bureau's efforts to reach out to the Indian Meetings market. Indian MICE Outbound - Opportunities The growth from the Indian market for the past three years has topped up to number 5 this is largely because The V Conference is a multilevel marketing conference and we have also confirmed the similar group for this year and next year for about 20,000 to 22,000 guests. In 2017 we witnessed 18,000 guests in terms of MICE from India. Marketing Plans We have set a brand campaign, “Experiences Unfiltered”, which we had launched in 2016 and will continue till 2019. The response has been very good and is all about the liveliness of Penang and how can MICE businesses benefit with Value Additions when an event is conducted in Penang. For E.g., the incentive market engages on a lot of curated activities, where in a performance of the very local 'Lion Dance' are a useful addition to the activities. We are also introducing the certified MICE specialist programme or the ambassador programme, where we will be training the selected individuals to represent Penang.This will help us reach out and translate what Penang has to offer to the market. We will also be launching the online version of this programme by Q2 of this year.We also have a partnership programme for the Industry as well. We are soon launching a Global Partnership Programme by Q2 that will be for everyone outside of Malaysia who will be selling Penang they will be incentivized and will have benefits when they are bringing groups into Penang. We will be focusing a lot more on the Indian market, and hence this series of Roadshows to begin with. New infrastructure: We have a new convention center 'Penang Waterfront Convention Centre' to open in 2020 - 2021, which will support the existing meeting infrastructure such as Setia SPICE Convention Centre and Straits Quay Convention Center. We have over 20,000 rooms available and will add 9 new hotels opening with extra 3000 rooms by 2019. MICE Trends We have had 1251 events in 2016 and have already lined up 1731 events from January to September 2017. We are anticipating a growth of 30 percent for overall growth in MICE events. We have noticed more of association related conferences of late.We have had a good mix of families, young travellers and business travellers from the Indian market.

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