The MICE industry is one of the fastest growing within the tourism industry in Malaysia as more meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions markets have made Kuala Lumpur a preferred business events destination.
The term MICE is associated with business tourism and the events industry whereby a large group of people or professionals are brought together to for a specific purpose.
In recent years, Malaysia has gained popularity with its impressive infrastructure, convenient transportation, and a variety of world class venues to cater for events of all sizes including meetings, conventions, incentive trips, conferences and seminars.
These centres or venues usually offer exhibitions space, meeting and function rooms, catering and parking amenities to cater for a large crowd.
Organising committees spend months on end to request for proposals in search for the right venue(s) to host such activities. Finding a suitable venue based on the requirements and theme of each activity is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire event. Business tourism, unlike leisure tourism which targets consumers directly, involves business-to-business marketing.
Hotels have always been a preferred venue for MICE activities as it provides the many facilities needed for MICE activities to run smoothly. This includes accommodation for large group bookings, food and beverage outlets, boardrooms to ballrooms, and of course, entertainment.
Today, there are many venues alike which are able to cater to a growing demand for the MICE market. World class venues like Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre also 2015 Asia Pacific MICE Awards winner for Best Networking Venue, needs no introduction as it continues being a preferred destination venue for MICE events where it is easily accessible and conveniently located near hotels.
The ground floor offers an impressive exhibition space of almost 12,000 square meters, The Plenary Hall can seat up to 2000 people, a grand ballroom for 2000 people as well as its massive exhibition space.
A similar venue, Setia City Convention Centre located in Setia Alam consists of a pillarless ballroom, meeting rooms and AV rooms and is certified for the Green Building Index (GBI) for environmentally conscious companies. Their Grand Ballroom sits expansively on the ground floor and can host events for 2000 people banquet-style or 3000 people theatre style seated guests.
Its latest addition, Hall 1 and Hall 2 opened its doors last November to cater to the MICE industry which accommodates up to 4000 people or 400 tables or up to 8000 people if arranged in theatre style seating. These spaces are ideal for exhibitions, roadshows, motor shows, concerts and events alike.
Having partnered with a chain of reliable vendors, Setia City offers all in one package which includes catering options and decorations. Moreover, meeting organisers will be spoilt for choice when it comes to F&B options as the Centre has partnered up with reputable caterers offering a wide range of cuisine and participating outlets located at Setia City Mall which include T.G.I Fridays.
Another venue which is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, StarXpo at KWX Fashion Mall can accommodate up to 3500 people theatre style and 120 booths. This venue comes with VIP rooms, stage truss system and offers easy loading and unloading facilities. It has played host to many concerts, award ceremonies, exhibitions, competitions as well as company events.
The newly-built Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), the crème de la crème of MICE venues, is hosting nine events for SEA Games 2017. MITEC can accommodate up to 40,000 visitors in theatre-style seating and 28,000 guests in banquet style seating. MITEC has a total of 11 exhibition halls, 10 meeting rooms and nine organizer rooms. It is also the largest exhibition centre in Malaysia with 1 million square feet of exhibition space and about 10 times the size of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Its design is said to incorporate local themes while infusing a futuristic look.
Other major MICE venues include PWTC, MARTRADE Exhibition Convention Centre, and Putrajaya International Convention Centre.
With state of the art buildings and facilities and events held at such unique venues, it comes as no surprise why Malaysia will continue to grow as a preferred business destination thereby stimulating the tourism economy. Business events and tourism directly benefit business destinations by increasing revenue as MICE travellers tend to spend more when compared to leisure travellers. Last year, the MICE industry brought in 111, 298 delegates to 153 events, generating RM1.03 billion in revenue. Also, with our vibrant diversity and cultures coupled with our warm Malaysian hospitality, it is no wonder Malaysia is said to be the truly Asia.
Ravena Hundal is Content Director for Venuescape, a Malaysian-based venue sourcing platform for events. For more information, visit www.venuescape.my