Malaysia Opinions

This pandemic will push us to our limits

Think Event’s Ronald Lim reflects on life in lockdown in Malaysia.

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the business event industry has come to a complete halt. This feels like a test to see who can survive, but it’s also an opportunity for all businesses to evolve and get creative.

Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO)

The Malaysian government’s recently imposed movement control is our chance to ‘flatten the curve’ of this outbreak. It is our one chance to press the reset button so that lives can go back to normal. China proved to us that they managed to slow the spread of Covid-19 by restricting movement, and I hope the current MCO will also help to mitigate the issue in Malaysia.

Surely there are people who may not understand or see the importance of this control order, or perhaps may not be aware of how this virus could potentially cripple the global economy.

We all have a role to play in ensuring our communities understand and respect the order, as well as ensuring that we share reliable, accurate information from trusted sources.

Business impact

Thanks to several online communication platforms available in the market, we can still conduct our work and organise meetings. This is also our opportunity to introduce online event services to clients, transiting their live events to virtual.

Needless to say, some of our operational activities are restricted — for example, as event producers we provide 3D simulations of our event set-ups. This requires us to conduct site inspections and take measurements at the venue. At this current time, this is not permitted, but we can manage workflow disruptions with virtual meeting tools and e-learning platforms.

Luckily, our clients are very understanding. We work with a lot of international clients based in the U.S., Australia and Europe. We are all united in this current situation, and I feel that, across the industry, we sincerely care of one another’s safety and wellbeing.

This outbreak will definitely reshape our business model and push everyone in this industry to evolve — or risk getting left behind.

Ronald Lim is the co-founder of Think Event by Think Tank Productions, which has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak.