Monthly Archives

June 2020

Sarawak Introduces New Incentive Packages to Reactivate Business Events as it Re-opens for Business

By | 2020

Business events planners can look forward to two brand new incentive packages from Sarawak that is: the Business Events Planner Incentivised Package (BEPIP); and BESlegacy Reward Programme.  Both of which are supported by the Sarawak government to help restart the business events industry in the state in East Malaysia.

The programmes also include financial support for events happening from this year until 2022 with the condition that the events attract more than 150 international delegates.

Under the business development and event support programme, event planners are  encourage to plan for home grown events whereby seed fundings are provided for organising conventions and exhibitions in Sarawak.

Further to this, is the support given to associations in Sarawak through promoting their events by making it visible on an international scale, as well as identifying the legacy the conventions organised that will bring to the world.  This is through its BESLegacy Reward Programme.

More information on the two incentive packages is available at

Trade Fairs, Exhibitions, Congresses and Events can Resume in France

By | 2020

It’s official beginning from September 1, trade fairs, congresses and other major events may again be held in France.  This was announced by the French Defense and National Security Council (NSDC).

Viparis who manages nine main venues in the greater Paris region, will resume in autumn its business activity at Espace Champerret, Espace Grande Arche, Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, Les Salles du Carrousel, Palais des Congrès d’Issy, Palais des Congrès de Paris, Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris Le Bourget and Paris Nord Villepinte.

More than 40 events are already scheduled for September alone.  The Palais des Congres de Paris is from September 1 to 3.  Paris Nord Villepinte will kick off with Premier Vision Paris on September 15 to 17.

The first event for Paris Expo Porte de Versailles which welcomes eight million visitors each year is Workspace, dedicated to commercial interior design held September 1 to 3. Leading international fashion event, Who’s Next will be at the venue from September 4 to 7.  Paris Retail Week takes place September 15 to 17.  This is followed by Pro Days, a professional trade show for the bicycle September 20 to 22.

“Business meetings are one of the linchpins of our economic recovery, and Paris will maintain its appeal as a business destination and its leading international position,” said Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, chief executive officer of Viparis.

Union of International Associations (UIA) Round Table Asia-Pacific Goes Virtual – Hosted by Seoul Tourism Organization

By | 2020

UIA’s 8th Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific is set to take place on September 17 and 18 in a virtual meeting space in Seoul with speakers comprising of association experts.

The programme addresses topics of immediate interest and relevance to associations from working with remote teams, finding the ideal destination for an event, association business model innovation, mobilising resources, achieving goals and finding partners.

During the session, delegates and speakers will split into virtual break-out rooms for parallel sessions, where each speaker, will present a workshop on their topic. In the virtual break-out-rooms, delegates will be able to conduct discussions in real time with the speaker and their peers.

At the same time, participants are invited to join in mini games individually or in teams with opportunities to win prizes. They will be a virtual tour of Seoul showcasing the city’s tourist attractions and convention options.

Throughout the session, UIA team members will moderate, guide and assist delegates.

Seoul Tourism Organization provides the virtual meeting platform for easy access, networking and educational content and will combine it to provide an engaging experience for delegates.

UIA Associate members and other industry partners are welcome to join all education and networking sessions through the full virtual event.


Business Events Resume in Malaysia – Country Reopens its MICE Industry

By | 2020

Decision has been made by the Malaysian Government to reopen the business events sector in the country – allowing the industry to host domestic events with up to 250 participants effective immediately – under comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures.

According to a statement from the Business Events Council Malaysia: the announcement demonstrates the recognition and importance of the business events industry in contributing to economic recovery of the country. It also affirms the government’s confidence that the sector can operate safely, and provide a controlled, regulated and secure environment for the commencement of events.

“Our industry understands that it is crucial in this new environment to deliver assurance and trust through the delivery of safe, hygienic, secure and controlled business events, and that is why, the industry as a whole, worked very hard to develop the comprehensive SOPs, in line with directives stipulated by the Malaysian Government and guidelines and standards outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to deliver safe, hygienic and healthy environments for all. It was great to witness how everyone came together to develop the various SOPs. This process has truly strengthened the voice of our industry and we recognise and thank all partners and stakeholders for their active involvement,” said the chairman of Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM).

While the chief executive officer of MyCEB, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud mentioned that is has been  heartening to see how the entire industry supply chain in the country, has come together and worked in solidarity to proactively engage with the government to establish detailed standard operating procedures to enable the business events sector to reopened.


How to Plan a Virtual Meeting – by Nigel Brown, BestCities Global Alliance

By | 2020

Getting Back to Basics: The Purpose of your Meeting

Seventy percent of meeting planners are shifting upcoming face-to-face meetings to a virtual meeting. Due to Covid-19, we’re looking at alternatives to face-to-face meetings by moving to a virtual platform –this causes one to disconnect as many, lose sight of what the purpose of their meeting is about.

So get back to the basics, sit down with your stakeholders to identify the purpose of your meeting.

Are you aiming to educate, offer a space for networking or create a marketplace? Could it be a combination or all? Answer this core question and move on to looking at differences between a face-to-face vs a virtual environment.

Differences between virtual vs face-to-face meetings

  • Time: if you usually run a whole day or multi-day event do not expect to do the same in the virtual world. You will fail, as it is much harder to keep the engagement up with a virtual audience who can get distracted. The sweet spot is one hour for a virtual event going up to at most two hours.
  • Meeting formats: your virtual sessions will need condensing, resulting in impacts on your session formats and programme design. It is key to brief your speakers so they are to the point and keep time as overruns will be disastrous for the rest of your programme. Make sure to build in some buffer between sessions for participants to grab a coffee and for your team to reset and prepare for the next live sessions.
  • Networking: your participants will need a little more help with networking in the virtual world as opposed to the real world. You should include networking in every virtual event you are running. Why? Because it makes your participants feel part of the event when they can interact with others.
  • Content: one of the benefits of virtual meetings is that it opens up the world to content. That great speaker you couldn’t get to your face-to-face meeting can now call in to your virtual meeting to deliver their talk. Yet, being smart about your content will also help you deliver great virtual events. What content could be pre-recorded and what needs to go live.

Once you understand the differences between face-to-face versus virtual meetings and how, it impacts your meeting, you can start looking at platforms to deliver your event.

Identifying the right platform

You have established the purpose of your meeting and how a virtual event will impact it. Your next step will be to identify the technology to help deliver it:

  • Webinar and networking style sessions like Zoom and GoToWebinar
  • YouTube and Vimeo to store pre-recorded videos and embed in your virtual event, or live broadcasting
  • Integrated virtual event solutions like OnAir from EventsAir, for integrating everything from registration right through to delivery

Next comes the most important step in the whole process, rehearsing till you get it right.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

There is not a lot room to improvise in a virtual as opposed to a face-to-face environment. Moreover, any technical glitches could result in participants logging off and not returning. Thus, rehearsing is paramount to your success:

  • Speakers: your speaker brief is important in identifying what you want them to speak about and for how long. Get their content in advance to help determine if the time allotted is going to be enough. Rehearse the session in advance to ensure speakers are comfortable using your platform. This allows you to check lighting, video and audio settings.
  • Your event team: a face-to-face meeting will rely on an events team, each with a specific role in delivering a great event. A virtual event is no different and you will need to have resources for this. Your event manager should map out all the moving parts of your virtual event. What could go wrong? Work out scenarios and plan procedures with your team.
  • Technology: when your technology fails, you fail! The technology has to work, if not you run the risk of irreparable damage to the event and to your reputation. Checking technology is essential.

Converting your virtual audience to a face-to-face audience post Covid-19

Organisations are seeing an uptick in registrations for their virtual meetings, but once life returns to normal, don’t assume this will translate into an increase in attendance at your face-to-face meetings. So what can you do now to capitalise on opportunities post Covid-19?

  • Identify people registering for your events who are not part of your core audience. Who are they? What made them register for your event? This allows you to start profiling this group with the aim of converting them into customers.
  • Have a rethink of all the events you deliver throughout the year. Do they need to be face-to-face or can they be virtual? Can you offer a hybrid meeting solution to bring together the face-to-face and virtual world?
  • Explore new opportunities in underserved regions or segments. Are there possibilities to launch initiatives, face-to-face meetings or tap into a new customer base?

For the last few months we have all needed to operate in a virtual world and adopt technologies that are new to most of us – but returning to the core purpose of your meeting is at the heart of success. Most importantly, capitalize on your new skills to create new opportunities when we can go back to meeting face-to-face.




Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau Released Guidelines for MICE Event Organizers on Infectious Disease Control

By | 2020

MICE event organizers when hosting events in Osaka are encouraged to use these guidelines and at the same time, incorporate infectious disease risk mitigation in their event planning and management.

The guidelines cover items to be implemented before the event and after. Published in a booklet available in English and Japanese; it includes policies and structures for infectious disease control, collaborative preparation with venues and associate companies, spreading awareness to event attendees, maintaining hygienic environment and how to prevent close spaces in crowded places and managing close-contact settings.

It was formulated beginning of April this year.  According to the bureau, consideration has been taken from the voices of MICE organizers in Osaka and related industries, resumption of MICE activities from around the world as well as, government policies in putting together these guidelines.

The bureau however will revise the guidelines along the lines of the latest situation of the pandemic and through monitoring the reopening of the MICE industry worldwide.

Statement from Reed Exhibitions Organiser of IBTM Americas

By | 2020

Reed Exhibitions Mexico, organiser of IBTM Americas announced that IBTM Americas 2020, scheduled for August 26 and 27 has been postponed as a result of the ongoing effects of the coronavirus, including international travel restrictions and other factors, which would significantly impact the quality of the event.

For the past ten years, IBTM Americas has been a bridge to connect leaders of the meetings and events industry across the Americas. Its main purpose is to bring the community together to do business, network and inspire each other; so rather than a live event IBTM Americas will offer a series of virtual events throughout the rest of the year through to 2021.

Commenting on the announcement, David Hidalgo, show director, stated, “We are in an unprecedented situation that has affected of the entirety of our industry. However, our purpose of connecting and inspiring our industry remains alive and stronger than ever, so to face our common challenges together we are going to transform the way we engage our community. IBTM Americas is evolving to a 2.0 version that offers the opportunity to continue delivering our mission through an always-on 365-day platform to do business, to network and to learn from each other.”

This 2.0 version of IBTM Americas will be a mix of on-line and off-line marketing actions and sales opportunities, to deliver a virtual and face-to-face experience focused on the meetings and events industry. More information will be available in the coming days.