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Penang gears up for second industry conference

Second edition of the event will focus on business engagement

Pictured: Be@pPenang will be held at the SETIA Spice Convention Centre

Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) is organising its second edition of the business events industry engagement conference BE @ Penang. Running under the banner 'Be Empowered', the conference takes place on 7-8 December at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Penang, Malaysia.

The first edition of the conference was held last year at The Wembley, Penang. More than 120 delegates from the Penang business events industry attended the conference, along with those based in Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Singapore who were actively involved in hosting and organising business events in Penang.

“Being the first Penang homegrown business events industry conference, it is vital for BE @ Penang to be seen as the benchmark for organising meetings in Penang. The conference is designed in tandem with the meetings and conference trends world-wide, bringing in expert speakers from around the globe to Penang to share their knowledge,” said PCEB CEO Ashwin Gunasekeran.

Business events are a key component of business tourism, which sees the average business traveller spending an average of RM7000 (£1270) compared to RM2000 (£363) spent by the leisure traveller. In an industry report released by PCEB in January this year, Penang hosted 1,251 business events in 2016, with an estimated economic impact of RM808 million (£147m).

“The progression of Penang as an important second tier destination in the Malaysian business events sector is taking place parallel with the development of infrastructure in the state,” said the Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng.

“With the completion of the RM350m (£64m) Setia SPICE Convention Centre together with the refurbished SPICE Arena and the slated RM 450m (£82m) Penang Waterfront Convention Centre (estimated completion: 2021), Penang will be able to host business events of larger scales, and multiple events at one time. At present Penang is able to host events of 10,000 delegates and above as seen in the 15,000-delegate conference that was held at SPICE in May this year,” he added.

Headlining the conference is the keynote speaker Roy Sheppard, a specialist international conference facilitator/moderator. Roy Sheppard has a background as a BBC TV and radio journalist, reporter and presenter. Joining him are industry experts  Gracie Geckie, CEO of Place Borneo, and Fu Kei Cheong and Rahul Bharadwaj of Anderes Fourdy.

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