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Industry trends highlighted at Kuala Lumpur Annual Seminar

Now in its seventh edition, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center’s annual Association Seminar provides a platform for local associations to network, exchange information and gain first-hand information from industry experts. This year’s program included presentations by representatives from the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), the Institute of Internal Auditors Malaysia (IIA) and the Kliman Group on industry trends building the capacity of local associations.

This year’s topics included the successful bid win and hosting of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Conference 2011 – a true Malaysian success story.

“We highlighted the country’s unique qualities such as easy accessibility, fully integrated transportation, ethnic diversity, abundant food choices and myriad of pre- and post-tours, which worked to our advantage,” said Wee Hock Kee, organizing chairman, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Conference 2011. “In addition, we had tremendous government support which gave us the edge against countries like China and Japan.”

Representing MyCEB is Ho Yoke Ping, general manager, and Cik Yushiza Mohd Yusof, senior sales manager. Both will shed light on the various programs initiated by MyCEB and provid useful tips and advice to help associations in the bidding process.

This year’s international speaker, David Kliman, president of the Kliman Group USA, focused on global industry trends and the growing impact of technology.

“Mobile apps, cloud computing, demand for greater bandwidth, social media, Near Field Communication or NFC and ‘Freeconomics’ are some of the technology trends that are truly impacting the global meetings industry,” said Kliman. “These trends are being seen at meetings, conventions, exhibitions, association meetings, corporate meeting, etc.”

Kliman cited NFC as the next big impact as the technology allows one to use a smart phone device for their secure retail transaction for example, to register for a meeting that the participant has not paid for, one could go up to the registration desk, take out one’s mobile phone and immediately carry out a secure transaction to pay for his meeting registration. He was confident that NFC will take the meetings industry by storm; from using one’s smart phone to communicate with a vendor of an exhibition on the tradeshow floor to carrying out secure transactions for point-of-sale food & beverage purchases.

When asked about how Malaysia can interest the very U.S.-centric international meeting planning associations, Kliman’s advice was to focus on those that rotate internationally versus associations that won’t leave the shores of the U.S., and those who are looking for new destinations!

“As a leading convention center in the country, we are conscious of the importance of bringing more meetings and events to Malaysia as we grow and improve our business tourism industry,” said Datuk Peter Brokenshire, general manager, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. “Our annual Association Seminar is aimed at providing local associations with the necessary knowledge by bringing together industry experts and spokespersons to share insights and experiences.”

The Center’s Association Seminar this year saw approximately 200 participants in attendance.

“The Center’s annual Association Seminar continues to benefit us, Association Management Companies (AMC) as the renowned speakers at the event help us understand which way the meetings industry is moving,” said Aldia Lai, general manager, AOS Conventions & Events Sdn Bhd. “I applaud the Center for taking on this role yearly and I hope more people take advantage of this program to better understand what an association is all about and who to work with when planning for conferences or conventions.”

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