MCEC Turns its Exhibition Bays into Indoor Drive-In Cinema

By | 2020

A one-of-a-kind concept is developed in partnership with Australia’s Village Cinema, where Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s enormous unused exhibition bays, which are normally for housing global business events and cultural exhibitions, are converted into an indoor cinema that can accommodate 174 cars.

Cinema sessions will be held from January 7 to 26 next year and shows are from early morning to the late evening in a completely weatherproof and daytime-friendly venue for audiences, who can enjoy child-friendly matinees.

This program has come about as part of MCEC’s “business relaunch” initiative, under which the venue is exploring new business models, products and revenue streams.

“Like many in the events sector, we have found ourselves not being able to perform our core business for much of this year, and the immediate loss of revenue has proved challenging.

“That’s why we’re exploring new ideas and ways of working, to secure MCEC’s future and to ensure the business can continue to be a driver in the State’s economic recovery,” said Peter King, chief executive of MCEC.

In terms of health and safety measures, the cinema will operate under MCEC’s VenueSafe plan.

The indoor drive-in cinema program is the latest innovation from MCEC, following a recent investment in a new virtual events solution and live-streaming studios and hosting an idea-generation hackathon event called Unconventional Ideas.



Change for Good Raises HKD6.7 Million in Donations to Improve Children’s Education

By | 2020

Change for Good inflight fundraising programme has been running since 1991, where travellers on Cathay Pacific flights, are encouraged, to donate their spare change in any currency to UNICEF, when returning from their journeys. The money collected, is used to fund UNICEF’s programmes helping deprived women and children in more than 190 countries and territories around the world.

One third of the proceeds from Change for Good are used to support UNICEFS’s School for Asia – an initiative to protect children’s right to education.

The covid-19 pandemic in East Asia and the Pacific region has caused an unprecedented disruption to local education system.  Girls are particularly vulnerable to the impact as many of them have limited access to distance learning during school closures, and they are less likely to return to classrooms once schools reopen.

It is estimated that more than 1.2 million girls could drop out of school due to covid-19. UNICEF and its partners are working to ensure all children especially girls, have access to distance learning including through online, TV, radio and take-home learning-kits.

Proceeds from Change for Good will also support UNICEF’s work to keep children learning amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, UNICEF is implementing campaigns to encourage girls to continue their studies after the pandemic.

American Airlines and British Airways with Oneworld Airline Alliance Introduce Covid-19 Tests on Transatlantic Flights

By | 2020

The free tests will initially be offered to  passengers booked on American Airlines flight AA50 departing Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to London Heathrow, British Airways flight BA114 departing New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to London Heathrow and British Airways flight BA268 from Los Angeles International Airport to London Heathrow beginning November 25.

Passengers who choose to participate in the programme booked on flights that are part of the trial, will be contacted by American Airlines and British Airways with instructions, on how to volunteer. Each passenger participating in the trial will take three tests in conjunction with the journey. If a customer tests positive, they should reschedule or cancel their travel.

The first test to be taken 72 hours before departure from the United States is a convenient at-home RT-PCR test provided by LetsGetChecked. Passengers will self-collect a nasal sample, under the supervision of medical professionals via a virtual visit.

After landing at London Heathrow, participating passengers will proceed to their second test at the airport. The Lamp test provided by Collinson which involves the collection of a nasal sample by a medical professional.

Once the test is completed, a test kit for the third test will be provided to the passenger. The test kit offers an at-home testing option, through the self-collection of a saliva sample which is taken three days after arrival in to the United Kingdom.

The three-test approach, aims to validate a passenger’s negative status for COVID-19 throughout the travel journey and, will provide insight into the most effective and practical testing interval. The third test is intended to further confirm the results of the first two tests, to demonstrate that one or two tests would be sufficient to allow travel to safely restart.

A task force comprising oneworld member airline representatives and independent medical experts are overseeing the implementation of the trial. The task force will also share aggregated results with the US and UK Governments and other stakeholders to demonstrate the essential role that COVID-19 testing programmes can play in safely restarting travel.

Based on current UK Government policies, international travellers arriving in the UK from the US are required to self-isolate for 14 days even if, they have tested negative for COVID-19. The tests being used as part of the trial will not impact UK National Health Service testing capacity.

British Airways and American Airlines have worked with Heathrow on implementation of the trial in to Terminal  5 and as a result, Heathrow is now exploring whether trials can be introduced, on more routes between the airport and the United States.

The trial for each individual passenger will comprise of: an initial at-home test to be taken 72 hours before departure from the United States; a second test to take place upon arrival at London Heathrow; and the third test three days after arrival in the United Kingdom.

Ultimate objective of this and other trials is to validate that a pre-departure test provides a high level of certainty of a passenger being COVID-19 negative, which are hoped to result in policies that further relax border restrictions of United States and United Kingdom, including the 14-day quarantine and entry into the United States.





Book Donation to Local Library in Sarawak is a ‘Gift of Love’ Project Led by 59th ICCA Congress in Kuching

By | 2020

BESarawak’s viral book donation campaign, #9DAYS500BOOKS, was a hit among Malaysians as the nine-day flash book drive received 5,000 books of various titles and genres for the Batang Ai’s first community library at Nanga Ukom longhouse.

Batang Ai’s community library is a pilot project by BESarawak to understand the legacies of conventions. Rural areas such as Nanga Ukom, often lack access to educational support and with the library, it will help rural children and teens remain in school. The project will also populate the community library that serves at least seven longhouse communities in the area.

Currently 90 percent of the library is completed with add-ons to be installed are solar panels to provide Nanga Ukom longhouse with sufficient power supply.

Organised under the corporate social responsibility project of the 59th ICCA Congress, the project is known as ‘Gift of Love’. Sarawak’s CSR stated the Amelia Roziman, acting chief executive officer of BESarawak, is a continuation of the legacy of the 55th ICCA Congress in 2016.

She added:  “We aspire to transform the library into a preschool and weekend learning centre involving local education authorities to help both children and young adults gain confidence in today’s essential skills such as literacy and numeracy.”

The 59th International Congress and Convention Association concluded with the signing of the Kaohsiung Protocol, a framework of macro and micro trends in the meetings industry and strategies for meetings.

It was a  hybrid event which began from September 22 to November 3 that included four days of live broadcasts with regional hub collaboration in Sarawak, Cape Town, Luxembourg, Malaga, Costa del Sol, Andalusia and Riyadh.

Filming of Hollywood Blockbuster at MCEC – Venue’s Response to Pandemic Sees New Uses for Spaces

By | 2020

The coronavirus restrictions have seen Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre explore new ways to use their unutilised spaces such as, the filming of a Hollywood blockbuster starring Liam Neeson and the training of Victorian Guide Dogs.

MCEC closed its doors in March due to the pandemic, but as a major contributor to the Victorian economy, the venue has been exploring new ways to contribute to the community.

“Even with the impacts of the pandemic, we contributed AUD 740 million in economic impact to the state last financial year, and a further AUD 1.1 billion the year prior,” said Peter King, chief executive of MCEC.

“We can play an important role in the state’s economic recovery by using our spaces in new ways both, to bring jobs back to the city and support the wider community.”

One example of using the enormous venue’s space differently includes as a film studio, an idea that was originally floated as part of an innovative hackathon held by MCEC in August called ‘Unconventional Ideas’.

Since that event, MCEC has been working with the Victorian screen industry, and is now hosting the production of a major Hollywood film called Blacklight, starring Liam Neeson and directed by Mark Williams. The production is expected, to bring more than 500 local jobs for cast and crew back to the local film sector.

MCEC however continues to explore new uses for the venue as Melbourne moves towards a new normal utilising, the creativity and experience of its employees. The venue for example, has already installed new virtual event studios and technologies for hybrid and online events.

In the pipeline are opportunities to use the building, for safe and physically-distanced entertainment and events that can support the hospitality, cinema and arts industries that are affected by the pandemic.


MCEC and Guides Dogs Victoria Continue Vital Services for People with Low Vision

By | 2020

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre has entered into a partnership with Guide Dogs Victoria to ensure people with low vision or blindness in Victoria can continue, to receive essential services during the Covid-19 lockdown.  The venue is being used as a space, for the training of the community organisation’s guide dogs and clients.

MCEC is currently closed to the public. GDV is also faced with significant challenges during this time of adapting to Covid-19 safety protocols and, is finding innovative new ways to continue, providing vital services to people with low vision or blindness in Victoria.

Through this initiative, MCEC is providing an environment that is safe, contained, accessible and free of charge for GDV to continue indoor and outdoor training, in compliance with government restrictions.

Guide Dogs Victoria’s CEO, Karen Hayes AM said the collaboration with MCEC had made a significant difference to GDV being able to continue delivering its services during these challenging times.

GDV’s mobility instructors and clients began training at the centre in September.  It will continue to use the venue as a place for training while space at the centre is not in use.

AIME Partners with Virtual and Hybrid Event Platform Delegate Connect to Power it online

By | 2020

As part of the new appointment, the Melbourne-based company will launch an innovative meetings algorithm, to match connections between quality buyers and exhibitors from all over the globe.

Through its custom functions, meetings will be matched through a series of criteria from business objectives, industry requirements to budgets and region which will then, be evaluated and summarised as an overall percentage rating of each matched meeting.

The event platform will also be able to measure the engagement of onsite meetings through a rating and review system and manage user experience from end to end.

Silke Calder, AIME event director in endorsing the new partnership:  “We understand the importance of delivering AIME as the industry’s first successful hybrid event. While our dedicated teams are experts in the business of creating meaningful connections, we needed to partner with a tech platform that could seamlessly host the virtual experience for delegates unable to visit Melbourne due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.”

You can register for a virtual gathering at  where you can experience the new platform first hand and an overview of the 2021 Hosted Buyer program.

AIME is the first event to kick off the Business Events calendar will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 15 to 17, 2021 and be available online March 16 to 26. For more information please visit



ICCA 59th Congress Regional Hub Sarawak will Leave a Legacy of the Culture and History of its People

By | 2020

As the Asia Pacific Regional hub for the 59th International Convention and Congress Association (ICCA) Congress, Sarawak has chosen to focus on the impact of the heritage of its people and their rich and diverse history for the education agenda.  This according to the acting chief executive officer of Business Events Sarawak, Amelia Roziman is in line with the congress’s theme of ‘Tribe Legacy ICCA’ of legacies left behind from ICCA congress events.

Sarawak born musician and creative artist, Alena Murang who is of Dayak Kelabit and English-Italian ancestry, has been selected as the keynote speaker. Her session will be on ‘Sarawak Tribal Wisdom’, which has been uniquely crafted to inspire delegates to learn and garner knowledge of tribal values which can be applied to today’s business world.

The multi-talented Alena, has been at the forefront of telling culturally rich stories of the indigenous communities of Sarawak through her music and art. She sees herself as the keeper of stories, as her songs, are oral histories learnt from her elderly relatives of the Kelabit tribe

Musician and story teller Alena Murang, an icon of Sarawak with the sape, a traditional musical instrument.

Being the first female professional sape player and teacher, she draws influence from the genres of the world ranging from rock to folk music combined with her interpretation of traditional indigenous music and songs.

She has performed at numerous festivals and featured in various media worldwide. Alena is also a motivational speaker inspiring her audience in her journey in making cultural heritage and its value of togetherness, and caring for the earth relevant and prominent in today’s urban world.

The hybrid regional hub congress will take place on-site at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) with live-streamed programmes from ICCA’s world congress in Kaohsiung, Taipei from November 1st to 4th.

You can get more information on the event at

MyCEB Secures New Bids during the Challenging Times of 2020

By | 2020

Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) announced, a total of 21 bids have been won for conventions and exhibitions and out of which, 19 bids for meetings and incentives and six bids on trade exhibitions. This comes to a total of 46 bids won in the third quarter of 2020.

In terms of exhibitions, MyCEB successfully secured bids from Asian Consumable Appliances and Smart Electronics Trade Expo (ACASE) 2020, Kuala Lumpur International Logistics and Transportation Exhibition (KILAT) 2020 and Asia Fence Expo 2020.

MyCEB has also secured conventions up until the year 2022 which are the 19th Asian Battery Conference and Exhibition (19ABC), the 16th World Federation of Chiropractic Biennial Congress and Asian Mayor’s Summit on Active Living 2022.

Looking forward to 2024, Kuala Lumpur is set to host the Asia-Oceanian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (AOCRM). Considered to be, one of the most highly acclaimed conferences in the field of rehabilitation medicine, the event gathers an average of 1,000 participants from all around the world.


New Events Industry Resilience Roadmap of Best Practice Guidelines for Conferences and Exhibitions

By | 2020

The Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers (SACEOS) and Suppliers together with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore (ES) has introduced, the first event Industry Resilience Roadmap (IRR) on safety measures and best practices  in line, with the gradual resumption of business events.

The Industry Resilience Roadmap has three objectives one is, to help the industry implement best-in-class standards under STB’s Safe Business Events Framework. Second, is to create agile business models with a focus on hybridization and thirdly to develop pathways for professional development in the new way forward.

Apart from providing advice to events, venues and suppliers on the safe management of events in Singapore, the Industry Resilience Roadmap also includes best-in-class practices, a long-term plan for business models, innovative solutions for hybrid events and capabilities development plan to support enterprises and the workforce to survive the pandemic, thrive and emerge stronger.

This will be underpinned by SG SafeEvent Standard which is an industry-led national accreditation programme to be launched later this year. Also by SG Clean a SG SafeEvent Standard certification awarded, as a mark of assurance of Singapore as a safe, trusted and destination for innovative business events.

While the “living” IRR document will be updated to stay current with the evolving situation and prevailing safety and health standards. The first release of Industry Resilience Roadmap or IRR 1.0 focuses on SG SafeEvent Standard and hybridisation.

According to the press release from SACEOS, in development is IRR 2.0 which will expand on the business models innovation together with core capabilities necessary for event enterprises and professionals to pivot successfully.