Penang’s new MICE campaign offers support for event organisers

A support programme for events, a CSR initiative, a new mobile app, and a continued airline partnership are all part of a new campaign launched by the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) to enhance the destination’s attractiveness for business events.

Named Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered, the campaign was launched along with Experience Penang Year 2020, a state-level initiative by the Penang State EXCO Office for Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage and Visit Malaysia 2020, an initiative by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia.

The new campaign showcases the PCEB Mobile App, specially designed for event delegates, offering information on Penang, a meeting planners’ guide, and an upcoming events calendar and various business events running in the city at that time. Additionally, PCEB’s comprehensive support programme offers modules for events hosted in Penang with additional support and facilities provided by Penang’s business events stakeholders. PCEB has also created a CSR programme called Penang Turtle Cares, where business events groups can contribute towards improving turtle conservation initiatives in Penang. PCEB and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) have extended their strategic partnership until the end of 2020. MAS is offering discounted rates or free tickets to meeting organisers and site inspection trips for planners and clients of conferences and exhibitions in Penang, as well as discounted rates to bring in hosted buyers and speakers. These offers are effective until December 31, 2021.

Ashwin Gunasekeran, ceo, said that he expects the promotional effort will bring a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in room nights and delegates and a 30 per cent increase in economic impact to Penang. Around 3,000 business events, generating about 360,000 participants, are being targeted. The number of meeting delegates grew by 130 per cent from 141,864 delegates in 2016 to 327,627 delegates in 2018 and the economic impact has escalated by 62 per cent to RM1.3 billion.