Winning event professionals demonstrated courage to innovate and inspire.
The best of Malaysia’s business events industry were honoured at the inaugural Malaysia Business Events Awards last month organised by the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS).
At the opening, Dato’ Vincent Lim, MACEOS president, said: “Recipients of the awards show that they have demonstrated the courage to rethink creativity, to innovate, and to inspire, and that they have the courage to benchmark their performance to an award-winning level.”
Here’s a look at some of the winners:
Honda Asian Journey 2018 by The Hot Shoe Show & Co Sdn Bhd won Most Interesting Event Excellence Award (1,000 pax and below):
Honda Asian Journey 2018 wasn’t going to be the standard exhibition showcase of high-powered motorbikes. Instead, Honda took to the highway, literally, by providing an on-road riding experience to customers, journalists, dealers, motor social media influencers, and fans. Together they covered almost 500km of Malaysian highway on various models of Honda two-wheelers, over different terrains and weather conditions. The tour culminated in a meet-and-greet session with MotoGP riders, and later, the MotoGP race at Sepang International Circuit.
Throughout the event, participants experienced the true power of Honda bikes through exclusive experiences that were conceptualised around the brand’s values of racing excellence to bring them closer to the brand.
Expo Negaraku 2017 by PICO International (M) Sdn Bhd won Most Interesting Event Excellence Award (1,001 pax and above):
How does one deliver a government messaging to the public that is not just informative, but entertaining as well? To pull off Expo Negaraku, hosted by the Government of Malaysia to showcase its nation-building achievements, PICO International (M) Sdn Bhd realised that typical government exhibitions were a thing of the past. To ensure public engagement, they utilised multimedia tools and interactive experiences to communicate the achievements of the government.
Complementary side events strengthened the government’s messaging through ground activations such as movie nights, football matches, fruit parties, go-karting on one of the city’s main roads, and night shopping bazaars. It was one of the largest experiential events organised in Malaysia, with over 600,000 visitors from all walks-of-life reported to have made their way to the expo during the month-long event. It was possibly one of the first “festivalisation” of a grand-scale event in Malaysia.
Penang Signature Gold Fair 2018 by Elite Expo won Digital Integration Excellence Award:
Digital technology has many applications but none more crucial than to ensure security and offer crowd-control and surveillance solutions. At the last Penang Signature Gold Fair (PSG), some 1,200 kg of gold jewellery worth over RM212 million was transacted. Naturally, the high value of products on the show floor called for uncompromising security measures.
To improve PSG’s security rating, Elite Expo, the organiser, adopted the Artificial Intelligence Face Recognition (AIFR) technology. Within seconds, the technology could match a visitor’s identity by analysing facial textures and shapes. No physical interaction was required from visitors, thus avoiding registration hassles. The system’s easy deployment and high degree of accuracy trumped other available technology at the time such as fingerprint scanning, iris scanning and voice recognition.
The event successfully delivered an engaging experience for attendees, seamlessly integrating technology without disrupting the flow or quality of the show.
Metal Technology Expo by MTE Exhibition won New Home-Grown Exhibition Excellence Award:
The award was introduced to recognise and incubate home-grown exhibitions that had potential in raising the profile of Malaysia and its exports. For a relatively new kid on the block, the Malaysia International Metalworking and Machine Tool Exhibition, Metal Technology Expo 2019 (or MTE 2019), was doing pretty well. It had just concluded its second annual event but was already showing great promise.
The 2019 exhibition grew by 35% in size compared to 2018. There was a larger participation from key industry players this time around, requiring a third hall to accommodate all exhibitors; positive sentiments from existing and new exhibitors; and a conducive venue environment that fit really well with the event. It had also reported better than expected sales and business transactions, estimated to be well over RM 540 million.
Given time and room to grow, the event was perceived to help enhance Malaysia’s branding overseas, attract foreign investors and generate strong economic impact.
MACEOS also awarded long-standing home-grown events that had successfully built up their profile and reputation over the last 15 years. These events started out as a locally-produced show and eventually achieved what MACEOS calls “iconic status”.
Lim felt it was important to recognise these events for the impact they had made on the country’s economy and within the niche industry it served.
Lim said: “These homegrown brands have become internationally known and is a crowd-puller with participation and visitors coming into Malaysia, which in return bring in the business events ringgits.”
“They have put in great effort and investments to build and market the brand locally and internationally. Their effort, passion and drive in creating their own niche brand for a specific industry or market has put Malaysia on the world map,” he added.
Among recipients of the Iconic Event Award were:
ARCHIDEX (International Architecture, Interior Design and Building Exhibition):
ARCHIDEX first came into the scene in 2000 bringing inspiration and ideas to the fraternity of architects, interior designers, urban planners, engineers and the like. In later editions, it had pushed the conversation towards innovations in green building technology, and recently, to the impacts of Industry Revolution 4.0.
A new feature at this year’s event was the Innovation Hall which unveiled digital technology applications and the possibilities of using Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence and big data in the industry.
Malaysia International Furniture Fair:
The Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF) had its first show in 1995 with the intention of promoting Malaysian home and commercial furniture for the export market. The close partnership it has with the country’s furniture industry association has seen it grow over the years and now more than 140 countries tap into this platform for trade purposes. This UFI-approved event recorded a total of US$1.01 billion in on-site sales over the four-day show in 2019.
Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS):
What started out as a halal food and beverage trade show in 2004 has now broadened its scope of halal products to include fashion, cosmetics, digital technology, pharmaceuticals, finance, tourism and logistics solutions. A key aspect of MIHAS is its International Sourcing Programme (INSP), which, over the past 15 years, has arranged 54,000 business meetings between buyers and sellers, and generated more than US$4.8 billion worth of actual and potential sales.
Food and Hotel Malaysia:
This event brings together buyers and sellers from the hotel, restaurant and food service industry together but what makes it memorable is the multi-faceted platform it utilises to draw in attendees.
Besides the main exhibition, the event also sees a food technology conference, a cooking competition among top chefs, live food demonstrations, food entrepreneurship training, and a food truck zone, among others. This year’s edition saw a couple of new features, i.e. the Agriculture Pavilion and Robotic Food Zone.