KOTA KINABALU, 25 Feb: In a continuous support to the development and growth of the Business Events industry, Sabah Tourism Board initiated the Congress Certification Program (CCP) training together with the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (MACEOS).

The training program which was held virtually from the 22nd to the 25th of February, was attended by 25 participants from Event and Exhibition companies / organisers, Destination Management companies and including the related travel industry players.

The 4-day training program which was fully sponsored by Sabah Tourism Board aimed to equip participants to better understand the tools and processes required in executing a world-class conference. Among the topics covered were Risk Management, Financial Management, Bidding Process, Sponsorship and Subvention, Meeting and Event Design, including Technology and Marketing Plan.

“This is the best time for companies and business events planners to prepare for the return of business events to Sabah. With the fast-paced development of the vaccine and quick actions by governments throughout the world, I would safely say companies must move just as fast,” said Gracie Veronica Geikie, Director of Place Borneo Sdn. Bhd., who was also the trainer for the program, with over 40 years of experience in the hospitality, tourism, marketing, hotel and event management industry.

“The new norm in how we should conduct and operate business events, technology and hybrid models of conducting events will see not only a return of business to Sabah but also an increase in global business as events become hybrid and allow greater participation from international delegates. Eventually these virtual visitors will become ‘real’ visitors.” Geikie added.

One of the participants, Audrey Jinivon, General Manager of Asia Ability Sdn Bhd said “The training session was very engaging and Gracie was a dynamic speaker. She shared great insights in expanding our knowledge on Business Events including additional insights on Event Technology integration where a specialist in the field was brought in to present on the topic. The topics covered were most relevant in preparing ourselves to embark on the new norm of bringing in events to Sabah.  It is of importance that we educate, groom our industry players to be ever ready and up to speed with the latest in the tourism and events industry.”

“MICE or rather business events is not a new industry to Sabah. Sabah has hosted a variety of events, meeting and incentive groups in the past ranging from group sizes of 500 pax up to 3000 pax. Back then, hotels and off-site venues used their creativity to cater their space for the groups. We now have the Sabah International Convention Center (SICC) which further amplifies our ability to host bigger events and groups. In April, we project to organize the Kota Kinabalu Business Events Engagement session, showcasing more related topics to this segment and to further equip the industry with information and skills to undertake and manage events on par with international standards,” comments Pn. Noredah Othman, General Manager of Sabah Tourism Board.

“Trainings are essential as in the world of business events, it is not just about inviting groups to come to Sabah. Established congresses, events or conferences requires a bidding process ahead of the event and those involved needs to understand the ropes on how to bid for it,” she adds on.

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