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Sarawak seizes 424 meetings in a decade of business events

The 8th Anak Sarawak Award ceremony, Sarawak’s flagship award for the Business Events (BE) sector and the first of its kind in Malaysia, launched a victory celebration early this month to mark the milestone of 10 Years of Business Events in Sarawak, and to honour a decade that saw Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) seize 424 events that encompass the arrival of almost 167 thousand delegates from around the world.

In the same period from 2006 to July 2016, SCB has also supported 194 other events, equivalent to almost 56 thousand delegates, injecting a further RM92 Million into the State’s turnover.

“As Malaysia’s inaugural award for Business Events, the 8th Anak Sarawak Award (ASA) recognized 90 meeting hosts and honoured 7 special winners to acknowledge the contribution of hosts and industry partners to the growth of Business Events – formerly known as MICE or meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions,” said YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah, Chairman of SCB.

“BE was virtually uncharted territory in Malaysia until the State Bureau began a decade ago, an initiative that has resulted in the positioning of Sarawak as one of the leading second tier destinations of the Asia Pacific region,” he said in his welcoming address.

Many of SCB's 424 victories over the past decade showcase topics of significance to Sarawak or high delegate numbers, for example the 21st Joint Singapore - Malaysia Nursing Conference 2016 (800 delegates), 29th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention 2017 and 21st Malaysian Conference of Psychological Medicine 2017 (1300 delegates), the Congress of the Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies 2018 (1200 delegates) and the International Marine Conservation Congress 2018 (800 delegates).

Guest of Honour, State Governor Yang Di Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, declared the importance of BE to State development where, “BE has the capacity to bring greater investment to a multitude of industries and professions and is also a channel to showcase the business potential of Sarawak and the forging of international partnerships and alliances.” Taib also defined a true Business Event as; “one that is able to enrich Sarawak’s communities for many years to come.”

Acknowledging that it is impassioned people who drive the BE sector, Mike Cannon, Managing Director of SCB, asserted “We are witnessing a revolution of programmes, campaigns, ideas and initiatives which create innovative changes.”

ASA’s seven special award categories and winners were: Prof. Dr. V. Sivaram of Bangalore University (Outstanding Achievement Award), Obstetrical & Gynecological Society of Malaysia (Convention of Excellence Award), Borneo Adventure (Corporate Event of Excellence Award), Semadang Borneo Adventure (Products and Services of Excellence Award), Imperial Hotel Kuching (Meeting Venue of Excellence Award), Ms. S. Puvaneswary of TTG Asia (Business Events Journalism Excellence Award), and Ms. Charlene Bong of Pullman Kuching (Young Leadership Scholarship Award).

The seven Awardees received marketing and training grants of RM10,000 or RM20,000 to be used for international marketing efforts or to attend conferences – such as the ICCA Congress 2016 in November in Kuching - to build or reinforce influential BE networks, skills, capacities, and knowledge.

SCB thanked its sponsors Imperial Hotel, Grand Margherita Hotel, CPH Travel Agency, Cat City Holidays, Borneo Tru Events, Events Horizon, Sarawak Tourism Board, Screen Sarawak, MBKS and DBKU.

As the pioneer of the BE profession, SCB is a one-stop centre to assist meeting and event planners to bid for and stage national, regional and international business events in Sarawak and help connect associations, corporate organisations and government bodies with elements needed to ensure success.

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