The Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) is appealing to the Malaysian Government to ease restrictions imposed on business events in areas under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
A total of 5,610 employees had been laid off since March, equivalent to 17 percent of the total industry workforce. Taking into account the current situation, a full recovery of the business events industry is unlikely to happen before the third quarter of 2021.
“Business events industry players had been impacted by Covid-19 since March this year. Through a recent survey of those involved in the business events or also known as meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions, and events (MICE) space.
MACEOS has revealed that industry players experienced revenue losses of RM2.25 billion, a drop of 90 percent since the movement control order in Malaysia started,” said Francis Teo, its President.
In the meantime, many industry players have had to face cancellation and postponement of events during the pandemic as well as other uncertainties regarding the future of MICE in the country.
While pivoting to virtual and hybrid events was the only other option, only 13 percent of industry players said they were able to do so successfully while others continued to struggle with the change.
“With the MICE SOPs already approved by the Malaysian National Security Council (NSC), business events should be allowed to continue to be organised, adjusting participant numbers according to alert levels and venue size.
By allowing small groups to meet, the industry can maintain the minimum numbers needed to preserve and support the entire business events ecosystem,” he added.
Business events as a whole, positively impact various industries, namely tourism, food and beverages, retail, venue and other rental services, accommodation, transportation, event organisers, and more.
To ensure business events are held safely according to government health protocols, the industry has developed a comprehensive framework that was approved by NSC for safe business events to take place during the pandemic.
Teo is confident that the business events industry plays an even more critical role in maintaining economic balance during the pandemic.
“Our members are strictly adhering to the SOPs and are already adopting these guidelines in their business events successfully,” he highlighted.
“The economic benefits of business events will be cascaded down to many sectors, companies, and the rakyat. The benefits are far and wide, which is why we must keep the industry rolling even at minimum capacity. The important thing is not to shut down the industry entirely at affected areas where restrictions apply,” he emphasised.