Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) is once again hosting its reputable 7th edition of BE @ Penang 2022 that will be taking place from 8th to 9th December in Setia SPICE Convention Centre. Kickstarted in 2016, the BE @ Penang conference aims to position Penang as the hub for knowledge exchange for the Business Events industry. Starting from its inaugural theme of BE ENGAGED, the conference has successfully set a benchmark for an intellectual conference within this industry for the past 6 years despite the pandemic.
In 2020 the conference was held virtually despite the pandemic. This homegrown conference managed to gather 25 speakers from 7 countries and over 132 delegates from India, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, USA and many more. In 2021, the conference was held through a hybrid format due to travel restrictions in some of the countries. Nevertheless, it attracted a mixture of 454 delegates through physical and virtual platforms, 16 partners and 25 speakers from the Asia Pacific region.
For this year, BE @ Penang 2022 is themed “BE FORWARD,” as it aims to breakdown and further discuss the opportunities to level up business events in Malaysia, while also allowing them to gain industrial knowledge in technology advancements in the business events sector. “Business Events are one of the contributing factors to Penang’s rising economy. In PCEB’s latest industry review, Penang hosted 77 business events in 2021 and for the Estimated Economic Impact (EEI), we successfully achieved 14 million. For the year 2023, the bureau is forecasting about 2500 events with 260,000 delegates which will generate an estimated economic impact of 1 billion”, said YB Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang.
This year’s topics will provide a new perspective for all attendees in regaining the motivation to bounce back from the pandemic impact and discover the changes in operational trends. The conference’s sessions will also revolve around the use of technology and sustainability in light of global trends. Some of the notable workshops will be led by Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), CEO Deep Dive by Deloitte and Orange Gibbon.
“The pandemic has inflicted numerous challenges upon the tourism and hospitality industries, and there is a substantial lack of manpower to handle a high number of travellers since borders reopened. To ease the shortages, the Penang State Government organised a community event called “Ekspo Jom Cari Kerja” in April, a career expo to scout talents and to let job seekers meet and reconnect with the industries, in hope to address retrenchment, unemployment and narrow the gap between skilled workforce and the industries” quoted YB Yeoh Soon Hin, the Penang State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy during his opening ceremony speech.
Another highlight of BE @ Penang 2022 is the bureau signing a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia Robotics & Automation Society (MyRAS), in order to create additional business possibilities for the industry through technology and mark a new beginning in the tourism industry. “The collaboration will foresee efforts to bridge the gaps of technology and manpower adoptions for profitability and productivity of industry players. Also, this initiative will be discussing potential skills and technical training for the future workforce needs of the hospitality industry in Penang. I’m looking forward to a positive outcome for Penang from this collaboration” said YAB Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang.
PCEB will also be collaborating with ICCA next year to curate educational programs to upskill and reskill the business events industry in Malaysia. This initiative will explore the opportunities to develop the young business events professionals in Malaysia. This collaboration strives to provide education platforms and opportunities for the young professionals to equip them with the necessary skills to contribute better to the industry.
This year, the bureau has gone above and beyond by inviting 40 speakers from both locally and internationally for this conference. In addition, there has been a great response from delegates who are interested in attending this year’s conference, especially local universities that have shown interest to participate in order to obtain better knowledge and practical experience in the rapidly evolving business events industry.