Malaysia moved a notch higher in the business events industry as the country welcomed the prestigious 13th UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2018, held from 1 – 2 March 2018 at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Hosted by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MoTAC), and organised by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, the two-day conference and was opened to both members and trade players to participate in various insightful sessions that enabled valuable knowledge gain. “The initiative in having the 13th UFI Asia-Pacific Conference here in Malaysia is in line with the government’s aspiration under the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) to position Malaysia as a preferred Business Events (BE) or Meeting, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions (MICE) hub and a choice destination in the region to complement the target of achieving 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion in revenue by 2020,” said YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia during his speech at the Welcome Reception for the delegates at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC).
The Welcome Reception with the theme ‘Spice Market’ also saw the presence of YBhg. Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah, Chairman, MyCEB, YBrs. Pn. Haslina binti Abdul Hamid, Secretary General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, YBhg. Datuk Zulkefli Hj. Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, MyCEB, YBhg. Datuk Vincent Lim, President of Malaysia Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), Prof. Dato’ Ir Dr. Hj. Mohd Rizon Juhari, Rector of ASWARA, Mr. Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director, UFI, and Mr. Gunther Beissel, Chief Executive Officer, MITEC.
The distinguished VIPs were also treated to the Lion Dance Eye Dotting ceremony to celebrate the Chinese New Year Festival. “We believe that the hosting of the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference is an excellent opportunity to showcase our progressive facilities and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia’s investment into this industry. UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2018’s arrival to the country was timely as it not only shows that Malaysia are now evermore ready to host exhibitions with large capacities, but this time around, we are also the platform for experts to congregate and share the knowledge with 250 delegates contributing greatly in terms of insights and expertise. I believe that it was truly a rewarding opportunity for UFI and Malaysia,” said Datuk Zulkefli Hj. Sharif, Chief Executive Officer of MyCEB.
“MITEC is honored to be the host venue for the UFI Welcome Reception and showcase Malaysia’s largest iconic trade and exhibition space that provides the UFI delegates with an opportunity to network in an environment where “ingenuity meets business,” said Gunther Beissel, Chief Executive Officer of MITEC.
Adding to the milestone, UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2018 also made notable marks prior to the Conference as the association huddled delegates to leave meaningful footprints. An education programme involving UFI and students from the local universities took place on the 28th of February at Sunway University, providing an avenue for a knowledge transfer session for the students who will be considering the industry as a career path. UFI also held a courtesy call to MoTAC to further explore opportunities of a cross partnership between the association and Malaysia.
Besides MITEC, UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2018 was also powered by several other sponsors such as Asia Experience, Doremi, Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre, Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Pico, Qube, Sabah Convention Bureau, and Sabah International Convention Centre, all of which contributed to ensuring a memorable and fruitful conference for the delegates.