World Mice Awards 2022 “Malaysia’s Best Convention Centre:
MITEC was created to meet the growing demands of the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry. Positioned as an economic catalyst and Gateway to Southeast Asia, MITEC’s modern corporate philosophy is closely aligned with its vision to see Malaysia becoming the leading MICE destination in the Southeast Asia region.
To find out more about this award winning business BTN caught up with Mala Dorasamy, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre.
BTN: As one of South East Asia’s largest MICE venues what does winning the World Mice Awards “Malaysia’s Best Convention Centre: mean to you and your staff?
MITEC: The MITEC team, well known as ‘MITECians’ are super proud and ecstatic about winning Malaysia’s Best Convention Centre. This fantastic achievement is certainly a testament to the excellent work and team spirit at MITEC. The passion and commitment the team possesses will spur us to continue improving, evolving, and ensuring service excellence in all areas of our business.
BTN: What types of events, conferences, and exhibitions can you cater for?
MITEC: The Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) sits on a sprawling 75.5 acres of the KL Metropolis, an integrated development within Kuala Lumpur’s International Trade and Exhibition District. Positioned as an economic catalyst and Gateway to Southeast Asia, MITEC is the largest MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) venue in Malaysia and fourth largest in the Southeast Asia region, and the largest trade and exhibition centre in Malaysia, offering over 51,000 sqm of exhibition space and triple volume exhibition halls with infinite possibilities. With the large, flexible, multi-purpose, and pillar-less mega exhibition halls as well as meeting spaces available at MITEC, we can organise banquets, concerts, sports events, conferences, exhibitions, lifestyle events, and weddings. The capacity based on event type varies from 50 to 50 000 people per day. Every hall is equipped with a massive loading bay on each floor. This convenient facility can withstand mid-weight and heavy trucks allowing our clients to load and unload exhibition materials easily without the requirement of a forklift or cargo vehicle.
Apart from size, MITEC also wins when it comes to a well-planned architectural design. With detailed planning, MITEC has heavy-duty loading exhibition halls on level one with a maximum floor loading of 50kN/sqm, enabling it to support the weight of heavy machinery and vehicles. The ceilings also go up to 36m in height making even indoor sporting events feasible. These features are the first of its kind in Malaysia.
BTN: The wedding market is one sector that is seeing growth in Asia, now that the pandemic has ended, are you witnessing an increased interest in this area for your ballroom space?
MITEC: Yes, MITEC has been receiving various enquiries for wedding packages. Post-pandemic, we hosted a glamorous Indian wedding ceremony that saw 2,500 guests at our grand ballroom and reception at one of the exhibition halls. Another amazing wedding will be hosted in December with 3,500 guests in attendance.
BTN: What was or is the largest event that you cater for in terms of floor space and visitor numbers?
MITEC: The largest event organised was the Defence Services Asia Exhibition & Conference hosted every two years at MITEC. The event takes up the entire Centre which consists of three levels, floor space covering eleven exhibition halls, ballrooms, and meeting rooms. The event attracted 50,000 delegates on average. The largest banquet was 6500pax and the largest theatre seated conference was 45000 pax per day
BTN: How will you promote your success at the World Mice Awards informing customers and future clients of your standing within Malaysia and South East Asia?
MITEC: We have taken various initiatives to promote our success to the public and the business events industry by promoting our win on MITEC’s social media platforms and incorporating the message into little touch points to thank our clients. A media release was sent out to the mainstream media and industry magazines. Meanwhile, the internal and external digital screens at MITEC carry the visual of MITEC as “Malaysia’s Best Convention Centre 2022” Winner Shield by World MICE Awards. All MITEC staff email sign-off carries the visual containing the World MICE Award Winner Shield, and the same logo will be used in future marketing and culinary collaterals.
BTN: Are you seeking to make any changes or improvements in your company and the services it provides over the next 5 years?
MITEC: With a proven award-winning track record and as Malaysia’s largest exhibition and convention centre, MITEC has embarked on a digital, environmental transformation, and innovation agenda as part of its ongoing effort to reinforce its brand presence in the business events industry post-pandemic. To further enhance the Company’s digital transformation journey, MITEC is introducing additional digital innovations to fulfill customers’ evolving needs and continue improving their efficiency and quality. These are achieved through continuous training, research, customer experience journey emphasis, and technology investing.
Qualtrics – MITEC has appointed Qualtrics as their online survey platform vendor to measure the Company’s stakeholders’ satisfaction in an effort to improvise customer experience. Establishing an approach for measuring Customer Satisfaction enables MITEC above all to attain knowledge about their customers, and their behaviours. This will help build brand loyalty. The moment customers think of MITEC, they are reminded of MITEC’s services and the employees who assist them to make the events successful and memorable.
MITEC App – As an extension of the digital efforts, MITEC is set to introduce the MITEC App which can be downloaded via the Google Play store and is available on Android and IOS. With a swipe of the finger, the MITEC app makes it easy and convenient for users to obtain information about MITEC, upcoming events, and business partners, and access MITEC’s e-commerce platforms.
MITEC’s e-commerce platforms – Smart Trade Zone (STZ), MITEC’s Co-Working Space & Incubator Hub. Through the STZ e-commerce platforms, customers can book space at MITEC’s co-working space and enjoy the benefits (free flow of Tea/coffee and usage of meeting rooms, subject to availability). Garden Court Café (GCC) provides customers the opportunity to pre-order the meals and beverages to take away through easy steps on the e-commerce platform.
BTN: How many employees do you have serving all facets of the MITEC business and is this number likely to grow as the market develops?
MITEC: It’s back to business with the opening of the economy and the borders. It has been a busy start, and it’s great to see events returning at MITEC, including international events. MITEC places great emphasis on delivering an excellent customer experience. At MITEC, we look for commitment, great people skills, exceptional attention to detail, innovation, leadership, teamwork skills, and contagious enthusiasm and attitude. We believe in employing staff who are like-minded in providing our customers with a seamless experience from start to finish with our five-star venue and facilities. We have a core team of approximately 90 multi-skilled and talented staff but this increases on monthly basis subject to event size. We are looking at increasing the numbers for 2023 subject to business growth and the progress of international events confirming in Malaysia.
BTN: Are you seeing any trends within your sector that will inevitably redefine industry practices and that will shape the future of MICE?
MITEC: Post-pandemic, the MICE industry or business events is considered the fastest-growing segment of the tourism and hospitality industry. It makes up a big part of global business travel, and the main aim here is always to bring professionals together, foster connections, promote new ideas, and foster growth. Humanising the brand is still key and an integral part of the success of the hospitality industry.
The business events industry needs to be conscious of the usage of suppliers, materials, and green venues (GDI) and their impact on the environment and community. MITEC is working on several projects to improve its ESG contribution and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Some of the projects at MITEC, include Farm to Table using locally sourced fresh produce, and Circular Economy which is a model of extending a product’s lifecycle that involves sharing, reusing, recycling and, thereby reducing water. Rain Water harvesting by re-using rainwater collected on the rooftop for toilet flushing and irrigation purposes resulting in a reduction of potable water consumption. MITEC supports SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals, by actively partnering with new business events, and SMEs in the industry on new projects to catalyse the growth of key economic sectors. Good Health and Well-being – Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. MITEC has partnered with the Food Aid Foundation to support relief projects in the KL area as part of its #myWorld campaign to promote a sustainable future.
Quality Education – Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. MITEC has partnered with Taylors University, Sunway University, and Asia School of Business to capacitate industry development and ensure practical experience and thought leadership at an executive level.
MITEC will ensure to promote of lifelong learning to its team members and community in the business events industry by sharing the industry’s best practices.
Sustainable Cities and Communities – Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. MITEC launched the #myWorld campaign on 14 January 2018 to create a healthier, cleaner, and better place for quality living.
SDG Goal 5: Gender Equality and Empowerment of women, MITEC Diplomatic & Corporate ladies networking events, the key purpose is to encourage networking between diplomatic and corporate ladies to help further economic, commercial, cultural, and scientific relations.
SDG17: Partnership for the Goals which calls for Global partnerships: #MITEC #myWorld partnership with Impact Hub, Be the Change 2022: Happy People Happy Planet project. Part of the Change towards creating positive learning experiences for young people and driving sustainability development, Investing in our Future, Amplify our Impact, and being a Social Impact Leader.
By incorporating sustainability into the industry, we will be able to reduce the carbon footprint and protect the environment. However, being accountable requires continuous improvement, for instance, continuously seeking the adoption of greener technologies as they become more accessible without compromising the quality of service. This is something achievable through strategic collaborations.
Digitalisation and innovation
The business events industry needs to be proactive and stay above the competition. The industry must keep abreast and leverage technology to make the most of existing and emerging trends to respond to consumer preferences and further boost the industry’s growth. Traditional functions are gradually being replaced by digital signage, social media, mobile event apps, interactive activities, Virtual Reality (VR) apps, and bespoke food and drink options. Digital technology has reshaped the way we see modern business events. The ubiquity of smartphones and mobile internet is allowing event planners to create events that feel personalised for each attendee, while at the same time collecting unprecedented amounts of real-time data about those attendees. The benefits can be seen at every level, from easier check-ins to the facilitation of easier networking and content sharing between delegates and clients. MITEC has recently implemented LED screens throughout the centre, went online with the Ungerboeck Exhibitor portal to ensure a seamless online exhibitor order, and installed the MITEC App as the new e-commerce platform.
At MITEC, our mantra is #justdifferent. The key here is to remain agile and keep a real-time pulse on changing customer preferences and rapidly innovating to redesign journeys that matter in the MICE industry. We hope to use our professional experience in hosting business events as an avenue to facilitate and generate leads that will help create opportunities for businesses, leading to more trade and investments for the country as well as supporting legacy programs.