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MITEC –MALAYSIA’S BUSINESS EVENTS ICON

—————Interview with Gunther Beissel, CEO of Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC)

Malaysia has positioned itself as a leading MICE destination in Asia. What do you think are the country’s advantages in terms of MICE?

Gunther: Malaysia is an ideal destination for MICE, with a vast array of unique selling propositions (USPs)including great accessibility, seamless connectivity, value for money, unique cultural diversity, world-class venues and services, the country’s stability and no language barrier with English as a widely spoken language in a vibrant economy. Malaysia ranked 18th most competitive country with strong local support from the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS). Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur strategic location is well positioned to be the gateway into Southeast Asia countries.

MITEC is the game changer in the Business Events industry that Malaysia has been waiting for. With MITEC being the third largest MICE venue in Southeast Asia and the nation’s largest trade and exhibition centre with 45,000 sqm of space. With such a vast capacity of MITEC, Malaysia will have the ability to compete in new growing markets, including regional and international exhibitions, festivals and events, particularly the ‘mega-exhibition’ market which attracts over 100,000 visitors and conferences/conventions from 200 to 20,000 delegates.

MITEC sits on a sprawling 75.5 acres of KL Metropolis, an integrated development within the capital’s International Trade and Exhibition District. It positions itself as an economic catalyst and Gateway to Southeast Asia.

In 2018, your venue has achieved great business success. Please give some numbers and share the success factors.

Gunther: Fortunately for MITEC, Malaysia’s advantages and government supporting policies have helped boost our attractiveness to the regional and international marketplace.MITEC had a fruitful 2018 with the following key achievements:Won the bid to bring the major AIPC Annual Conference 2020;recorded a total number of events at 135,108 national and 27 international;total number of exhibitions held was 18; total foot count for local and international events was 282,390. On top of that, in 2018, we have been exceptionally successful in partnerships, such as locking down a five-year agreement with UBM Malaysia to host their renowned events from 2019 – 2023 and a biennial event from 2019 – 2028.

Internationally, we also sealed an exclusive collaborative partnership with Guangdong Tanzhou International Convention & Exhibition Centre (GICEC) China, already carving our presence in Asia. These are long-term business partnerships that will increase our international outreach and generate an economic impact for Malaysia.

Going forward, we are anticipating a strong growth coming from the high population markets in Asia due to their expanding middle classes. Given our proximity, accessibility,ethnic and cultural diversity, Malaysia and MITEC are well positioned to take advantage of the “Asian Century”.

What are MITEC’s practices in using digital innovation for excellent MICE visitors’ experience?

Gunther: Technology and social media are having a big impact on how venues are marketing themselves and packaging their product offerings. MITEC comes with a list of impressive features.

As a world-class facility, MITEC has a forward-thinking, agile team that adopts the convenience and enhanced level of engagement with an Event and Coordination platform. Powered by Ungerboeck, MITEC’s digital solution demonstrates the Venue’s ongoing commitment to client-centricity in ensuring their needs are met from initial contact, booking confirmation, event planning stage through to its completion.

MITEC also presented a refreshing facelift in the digital sphere with the official announcement of the Venue’s new website. The development of the site which comes in three phases sees its first phase being launched after an immense planning of six months. The website is one of the important service touchpoints for the Centre and will feature MITEC’s chatbot. The Venue is also taking event engagement to the next level with the unveiling of fully immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences and being the first trade and exhibition centre in Malaysia embracing the technology.

That is marvellous. Will there be further updates in digitalisation in 2019?

Gunther: Amongst others,MITEC aims to roll out the Exhibitor Service Centre by mid-2019 which will allow clients to complete applications, manage documents, submit orders for Venue’s services including audio-visual, stand catering, resources and make payments from the comfort of their office. We will also be investing in an e-event evaluation and feedback digital platform for a seamless Client Experience Management.

In your MICE career, what do you think are the major changes in MICE activities? How can venues keep up with client demands?

Gunther:For one, the development of many new venues either newly built or expansion of existing venues can be seen as a positive sign to cater to the booming MICE industry if the relevant economic assessment studies have been done to warrant suchexpansion projects. There is a shift on visitors and exhibitors market from pure Buyer to Buyer (B2B) into a mix of Buyer to Consumer (B2C) mainly through Confex. The interlinking of the real, physical world with the digital world is progressing rapidly and the need to be agile and to stay relevant and sustainable is critical.

Venues should not only be digitally prepared but should be prepared to offer non exhibition-related services to enhance visitors’ experience. We operate in a digital revolution which requires a unique and thoroughly planned Continued Improvement Strategy (CIS).

Please share the entire development plan of MITEC in 2019.

Gunther: MITEC has set up ambitious CIS and Event Strategy. The Venue focus is on economic drivers that bring international investment and development for regional and national economic growth, such sectors include digital automation, smart manufacturing/agriculture, medical, science and technology. These sectors will receive prioritised stakeholder support, including funding, and incubator attention. We will continue to function as a catalyst for Malaysian business events by showcasing and enhancing MITEC’s appeal as the leading trade and exhibition Venue within the Southeast Asia region through hosting a vast selection of major local and international events.

What is your expectation for the upcoming 2019 UFI Asia-Pacific Conference? What are the topics that attract you most?

Gunther: New business events model in the digital economy, a case study of partnership model/concept to integrate competent partners and their expertise under changing conditions and venue standard. Any particular new standard or status to achieve to demonstrate quality and reliability for the organisers to determine a venue for their events.


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