MALAYSIA – The Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Annual National Conference will be hosted at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) in Malaysia next year, making it the first time the pre-eminent meetings industry event will be held in Southeast Asia.

“This close collaboration is definitely a win-win opportunity for both Australia and Malaysia as it will mutually benefit and boost business opportunities and relationship between both countries, especially in the area of business events industry,” Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) general manager of sales and marketing Ho Yoke Ping told micenet ASIA.

Convincing MEA to take its conference offshore had been the main barrier in securing the event, Ms Ho said, but it was “propelled by the fact that MEA on its own had, for some time, the intentions to expand its horizons and relations beyond Australia”.

The bureau convinced the association that hosting the event in Malaysia would be cost-effective for organisers and also present value for money for delegates, despite the distance between the two countries.

MyCEB also had to show that they possessed the appropriate facilities to accommodate the conference, and hosted a site inspection at the KLCC for MEA to demonstrate its capacity and support.

MyCEB and MEA will jointly work on the conference’s promotional campaign, and to incorporate key messages such as the conference theme of “Embracing the Asian Century”, introduce a range of Asian speakers and content not seen previously at MEA, and offer pre- and post-tour recommendations .

This comes on the back of the announcement made at the closing ceremony of the MEA Annual Conference this year in Darwin. MEA 2014 will be hosted at the KLCC from May 15-17 next year, marking the first time the conference is taking place in Southeast Asia. The dates have been selected to precede IMEX Frankfurt, providing a convenient stopover for MEA members attending the tradeshow.

MEA 2014 is expected to draw over 600 business events professionals from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, and is estimated to generate RM 6.4 million in economic impact for Malaysia.