NAME OF EVENT 2013 International Dragon Award Annual Conference (IDA 2013)
ORGANISER IMM International
TYPE Conference
VENUE Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
OCCUPIED SPACES Exhibition halls, conference halls, ballrooms, banquet hall, plenary theatre, meeting rooms
WHEN August 15-18, 2013
PAX Close to 5500
BUDGET Undisclosed

Event overview

The International Dragon Award (IDA) Conference, the largest annual meeting of China’s insurance and financial services industry, picked Malaysia as its host destination for 2013.
The event brought 5500 delegates from 16 countries including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Australia. Themed “Diligence Makes Perfect” and held in conjunction with the 17th Malaysia Chinese Life Insurance Congress, IDA 2013 saw 57 discussions and presentations by 92 speakers over four days.

ExecutionThe opening ceremony was officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Minister of Tourism & Culture, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, and the event brought an estimated economic impact of RM55.8 million to Malaysia.

One of the main conference requirements was seating all 5500 delegates in a theatre set-up in a single venue that could allow everyone to view stage proceedings.
The opening ceremony saw two exhibition halls combined into one massive space with three stages (a combined 21 metres in length and 90 metres in width) in the centre to form a “T”. Along with a 11-metre-main screen on the stage, 10 additional suspended screens (measuring six to eight metres in width) were strategically placed across the 167-metre wide hall for visibility. Wide rectangular seating blocks were also configured at different angles so that the information projected on the screens was visible to all.

KLCC’s fourth exhibition hall spanning 2245 sqm was converted into an easily-accessible risk catering facility to accommodate F&B requirements and social networking. The first of its kind in the Centre, the set-up involved food kiosks and a dining area to emulate a local food street bazaar. Besides a familiar spread of dim sum (bite-sized Chinese food served in small steamer baskets or plates) and BBQ chicken pau (steamed bun with barbecued chicken filling), the Centre introduced some local Malaysian favourites such as soto (broth, meat and vegetables), wanton soup noodles, nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk served with anchovies, peanuts, egg, curry, vegetables and shrimp paste chilli) and Penang char kuey teow (stir-fried rice cake strips). A free Wi-Fi zone was made available in the hall delegates to stay connected.

Delegates got to experience Malaysia’s rich and diverse cultural heritage through the Centre’s showcase of eight local arts and crafts – batik painting, basket weaving, wood carving, songket weaving, pewter smithing, henna painting, and Chinese calligraphy to the sounds of a traditional Malaysia orchestra.

Catering logistics

KLCC’s culinary team researched the delegates’ profile to create menus that would please any palate. The research was crucial for the risk catering approach and assisted the culinary team to customise a catering solution that gave delegates options from a variety of food kiosks. Pop-up risk catering outlets were also conveniently located to provide more variety and items to snack on the go.

Pre-planning and meticulous attention was paid to the quantity of food items ordered to ensure there was no unnecessary waste. The daily consumption for breakfast and lunch was also closely monitored to effectively manage food quantities and preferred choices.

Challenges & triumphs

The Centre managed the conference with detailed planning from the beginning, with deputy general manager Alan Pryor and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau attending IDA 2011 in Seoul, Korea for a clear understanding of the event and its requirements.

With a Mandarin-speaking clientele having Mandarin-speaking staff at the Centre was key throughout the two-year preparation for an event that comprised complex technical requirements. With an extensive stage set-up that had to include all delegates in a single venue, multiple revisions to the floor plan needed to be made. The Centre’s on-site team was able to comfortably execute requests and also ensured all liaison and documentation were in Mandarin.

Event Outcome

To cater to the large number of delegates where Mandarin was the primary language of communication, more Mandarin-speaking ambassadors and catering staff were arranged to be on-site, while materials such as signage and menus were bilingual.

The dedicated catering area worked well, offering enhanced networking opportunities as well as choice, variety and an alternative atmosphere for smaller group discussions and one-on-one engagement during social breaks.

By embracing the cultural diversity of the delegates, the Centre was able to be responsive and accommodate requests that were out of the ordinary.