July 6, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Rail Solutions Asia 2022 taking place in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
From Singapore to Malaysia and Thailand, in-person business events are taking off again in Asia following the easing of pandemic-induced restrictions.
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) is reporting a “significant increase in demand” for face-to-face events, with 127 global meetings – comprising 51 conventions and 76 exhibitions – scheduled to take place at the venue between 2022 and 2024.
“We definitely are seeing an improvement in Malaysia’s business events landscape after two years, which were heavily impacted by the pandemic,” said the centre’s GM Alan Pryor.
The venue is also seeing the return of entertainment events to its 3,000-seat plenary theatre, with at least six concerts and comedy shows locked in for the second half of 2022.
“Confidence and enthusiasm are high in the marketplace which is positively contributing to the business events industry and country’s recovery. We have done well in navigating the treacherous waters of the pandemic but now, must look forward to ensure our guests and stakeholders continue to experience excellence from our expert team and world-class service standards,” said Pryor.
Since Malaysia’s major easing of restrictions in April, KLCC has hosted almost 300 in-person events for around 200,000 attendees.
“We hosted a record number of corporate open houses this year during the Hari Raya season, hosting up to five dinners and thousands of guests, in one night. The open houses are an important part of Malaysia’s business culture and are a key avenue for local organisations and companies to build and maintain professional affiliations, as well as engage with their team members during the festive period.
“Malaysia as a destination has demonstrated its capability to create a safe environment for business events moving forward and the strength and resilience of its supply chain and logistics, showcasing flexibility and agility in the face of a global crisis,” said Pryor.
The venue recently notched up wins for a 6,000-delegate architectural conference in 2024 and a 5,000-pax medical conference in 2026 and will host several major international congresses in the remainder of 2022, including the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2022 (IGARSS 2022), the International Medical Exhibition & Conference (IMEC EXPO) 2022 and the International Congress on Infectious Diseases 2022.
On Singapore’s resort island of Sentosa, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has flagged a major return of MICE business, with an anticipated 100,000 local and international business events attendees expected to visit the island before the year is out.
The resort has confirmed more than 50 corporate events and conventions for the second half of 2022, including the World Ocean Summit Asia Pacific, the Business Network International (BNI) Global Convention, the 25th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention and Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH).
Resorts World Sentosa is also playing the role of event co-creator with TEDxSingapore, providing a stage for a series of six TEDx events focussing on sustainability, innovation, marine science and conservation, marine biodiversity, marine exploration and climate action, which will take place on the island this year.
“RWS embraces and walks the talk on sustainability. RWS is privileged to provide this platform to TEDxSingapore and inspire meaningful dialogue across disciplines on sustainability,” said the resort’s senior vice president of sales and marketing Edward Chew.
“RWS’ success and strong track record in supporting many clients’ flagship events will put Singapore on the radar as a choice destination for business-leisure events.”
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has reported 84 business events leads following IMEX Frankfurt at the end of May, with the potential to bring 28,000 delegates to the Asian nation.
TCEB and 14 suppliers, including five DMCs, eight hotels and one business events venue, were on the Thailand stand at IMEX Frankfurt and managed to confirm business during the show, securing over 1,000 delegate visits.
Event interest came from Singapore, the UK, Germany and the USA for both corporate and association business.
“The number of leads are encouraging as Thailand has been lowering travel requirements to reopen the country, allowing [the] event industry to operate,” said TCEB president, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya.
“With our new MICE routes and localised experiences, visitors can also discover the magic of Thailand in all four corners of the country. Now the world is travelling again, Thailand is ready to distinguish itself in the eyes of MICE planners with the promise of a superlative and magical experience for all,” he said, while talking about TCEB’s new “Meet the Magic” campaign targeting the global business events industry.