The northern Malaysian state of Penang won a competitive pitch to host International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) inaugural Asia Pacific Chapter Summit on 5 and 6 Dec this year. The summit will be organised by ICCA’s Asia Pacific Chapter and co-hosted by the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) and Anderes Fourdy (AF), a Malaysia-based PCO.
AF co-founder Fu Kei Cheong told CEI the submission for the bid was a written one and that 12 cities were in competition for the event, including many in China, Singapore, and Bangkok. Because this is an inaugural event, PCEB and AF didn’t have a track record to refer to and had to work it out from scratch. The key, according to Fu, is knowing what ICCA was looking for.
One of the winning factors for Penang was the fact that the summit will be held in conjunction with the annual BE@Penang conference for business event professionals. Fu said while the summit will be held separately to the conference, “some of the streams can be merged” including matchmaking and tea breaks. On top of that, summit delegates can mingle with Malaysian buyers attending the conference. The BE@Penang conference will enter its fourth year and is expected to pull in about 300 delegates.
“One of the bid requirements was that they needed to have a marketplace where ICCA members are able to meet up with potential buyers from Malaysia. So we brought both the events together. Not only are we able to drive the content, but we’re also able to drive the cost down of organising it,” said Fu. “You have to think out of the box when you’re going for such a bid."