The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre took the initiative under its KLCC BE Alliance programme, and invited two representatives from the United States-based Maritz Global Events to Malaysia. This was for them to familiarise with the local scene in Malaysia and explore opportunities to partner with the Centre in bringing international events, meetings and congresses into the country. The Centre welcomed Ben Goedegebuure, global general manager of Maritz from The Hague, and Nancy Debrosse, senior vice president strategic account management in Arlington, Virginia.
Some background facts about the KLCC BE Alliance: It was established by the Centre in collaboration with key business events players and stakeholders who are located within the heart of the city of Kuala Lumpur. The alliance offers a seamless single point of contact for organisers and meetings professionals in planning their events, from venues available in the area, to accommodation and entertainment.
In an interview with MICE in Asia, global general manager Ben Goedegebuure who has been to Malaysia before, was enthralled with the multicultural society of the country which he said, augurs well for the country’s attractiveness as a host, and destination for incentives and events. According to Goedegebuure, it’s good that the Centre is taking the lead in advocating business events in Malaysia and promoting it to the global market for there is a need to know more about the country, as Malaysia has a lot to offer.
Meanwhile Nancy Debrosse informed that the American market tends to gravitate more towards the Asian destinations of Singapore and Hong Kong. Her clients are also currently looking at diverse location to go to. Having experienced Malaysia through this trip, she can testify to her clients to have a fresh look at Malaysia, especially through the favourable currency exchange, Malaysia offers value for money, from affordable hotel rates to shopping.
Both guests however agree that Malaysia has both the hardware and software and can hold its own in the global events market. They were also impressed with the technology level of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre which has the necessary hi-tech requirements for a top venue to host international events.
Angeline van den Broecke, director of sales and marketing of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre mentioned that the Centre is actively working with the Malaysian government particularly with the Ministry of Tourism, to develop an infrastructure to empower a business event environment in Malaysia. Together with a proposition to establish a business events industry that can contribute to the country’s GDP, as well as create jobs and promote the local economy.