The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre successfully hosted the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) Council Meeting recently – the first time this influential meeting of leading international Professional Congress Organisers has been held in Malaysia.
The Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, shared “We are delighted and indeed honoured to have hosted the IAPCO Council Meeting, especially because it was the first time the meeting has been held in Malaysia. I would like to thank our team, who really went all out to ensure the Council Members experienced the country’s rich culinary and multicultural heritage during their stay.”
The itinerary for the Council Members included an experiential site visit followed by a sumptuous Peranakan-style feast. This interactive immersion not only showcased the Centre’s world-class facilities, but provided a hands-on culinary exercise, which saw its chefs guide attendees in making a local favourite, Kuih Pie Tee – a traditional Nyonya dish of spicy and sweet sliced vegetables and prawns served in a thin pastry shell.The Centre also surprised the Council Members with some famed Malaysian hospitality when setting up a unique Indian lunch in the Plenary Hall (the theatre with a capacity of 3,000). The lunch was also accompanied by special live performance of Tabla (South Asian membranophone percussion instrument) and Veena (Indian traditional instruments) and Kolam (a form of drawing that uses coloured rice flour) demonstration.
“The occasion provided the perfect platform to expose top international industry professionals to our facility and showcase Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia’s multicultural diversity and compelling business events proposition. We hope the visit will inspire them to consider hosting future international association meetings in Kuala Lumpur and here at the Centre,” Pryor continued.
Commenting on the experience at the Centre, IAPCO Vice President, Mathias Posch, said, “The IAPCO Council meeting held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre will be remembered for a long time. Maya Angelou said that ‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’ – there isn’t a better way to describe what we experienced at the Centre over the past few days. Your entire team – on every level – made us feel welcome and deeply cared for at any given time. We didn’t leave the venue for almost three days but we felt we experienced more of the Malaysian hospitality and everything your wonderful country has to offer, than if we had been out exploring. Having our President Jan Tonkin attend the meeting via video call also allowed us to test the state of the art AV and the dedicated support you offer. The breaks, lunches and dinners were each unique and incredibly creative – with attention to even the smallest details.”
Echoing Posch’s comments, IAPCO Secretariat, Sarah Storie-Pugh, said, “Our whole visit was genuinely one of excellence. The Council Meeting was fantastic, delivered in such clever inventive ways to show us the venue and all that you can do for a meeting. It made our experience so completely memorable, that it will remain with us forever. Everyone was so attentive, from ‘our chef’ to the techies, all with such a smile, it makes so much difference. Our KL Immersion was just right, with fun, excellent food, cultural heritage and some great knowledge into how the kitchens operate. The gala night was fabulous and we all had a great time. Our experience will help us to promote the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Malaysia to both our members and to the outside world. We can genuinely say ‘it was perfect’.”
“To end the visit in style, we hosted a Malay-themed Gala Dinner on the final evening. Arriving to the soothing sounds of gamelan (traditional Malay orchestra), the Council Members soaked in some of Malaysia’s traditional arts and craft, including trying their hands at batik painting and Chinese calligraphy. This was followed by a multicultural spread that included dishes such as ayam percik (roasted spiced chicken), rendang daging Minang (beef braised in spices and coconut milk), ikan panggang (roasted fish), serawa nangka (jackfruit porridge), sago gula melaka (sago with coconut milk and palm sugar) and kuih bakar pandan (baked pandan cake), to name a few,” Pryor concluded.
The three cultural activities experienced during the Gala Dinner were part of the Centre’s unique and interactive Cultural Showcase offered to event planners of all international association meetings under its Conventions Value-Add Programme.