Here is a collection of answers to frequently asked questions, grouped into specific topics for your convenience. Select a topic from the menu below to view more details. For any further enquiries, please feel free to contact us.
Business Event Support Programme
What is a subvention?
Subvention is a financial and/or non-financial incentive designed to attract international business events to Malaysia. MyCEB's subvention programme has been established in 2011 to strengthen our competitive position in the international meetings market.
Can you tell me more about the subvention programme?
As part of the Economic Transformation Programme, the government will be allocating subvention funds of RM25 million for the year 2011 and a further RM25 million in 2012, to enhance the competitiveness of Malaysia's business tourism industry in the global marketplace.
The subvention programme focuses on supporting bids for very targeted international business events which offers a high economic value to the nation.
What are the criteria for application of subvention?
Support given will be based on an economic assessment, the agreed performance criteria as well as mutual benefits for the government and the local host organisation. Subvention will also depend on:
- No. of international delegates (minimum 20%)
- Length of stay of international delegates (1,000 visitor days)
- Event profile (international publicity and attendee profile)
- Key industry sectors
- Time of the year
- Overall economic value of the event
- Legacy and community benefits
Applicants are required to complete and/or commit to the completion of a business and event marketing plan to ensure the necessary planning and commitment are in place for the event.
How will the funds be disbursed? Is there a check-and-control process in place?
The application process is handled through MyCEB. Applicants should be the event owners or local host organisations. On receipt of application the event is assessed to evaluate the economic value and recommendations for subvention are then submitted to the appointed MyCEB Board committee for approval. Subvention support is conditional on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which outlines the support schedule, mutual obligations and agreed performance criteria. The support schedule outlines when and how funds and support will be dispersed in the lead up to the conference. Support will be directed to specific activities agreed to in the MOU. This may include international bid activity, event planning and marketing as well as on-site support. Priority is given to activities that help generate higher returns for the local economy e.g. delegate recruitment programmes. Support may be a combination of financial and non financial components.
When can the local host organisations (meeting planners, associations) start applying for subvention?
The subvention program commenced on January 1 2011. Interested parties may contact MyCEB now for further information and to make an application. Allowing plenty time for approval will be important and applicants are encouraged to allow at least 3 months prior to activities to make their submission. Late applications risk not being approved.
Who will decide what amount of funding to be given to an organisation? Is there a check-and-control process in place?
The decision is based on a pre-set criteria developed by MyCEB and to be approved by the MyCEB Board (Refer to Question 3). MyCEB will review applicants against set criteria and provided recommendations on support levels to an appointed Board committee for final approval. Support levels are dependent on an economic value assessment.
Can a foreign organisation (e.g. international association/PCO) apply for subvention?
Yes, but support will be directed towards local suppliers and activities to maximise benefit to local economy. PCO's may apply on behalf of an organisation however the support will be directed towards the event owner and/or local host organisation.
Why is there a need for a subvention?
The competitive nature of the business tourism industry has led to the development of financial and non-financial incentives to attract international events to a destination.
Some form of financial and/or non-financial support may be prescribed within the bid guidelines of an international organisation meaning that the local host organisation may need subvention support to effectively compete for the business.
Most international business events these days require some level of support from the host country for their event to be financially viable. This is partially due to rising costs and an increasingly tough environment in which to secure other forms of sponsorship and support.
What is the type of support that MyCEB can provide?
MyCEB provides support to meeting and event planners right from the start of the bidding process through to the staging of the actual event in Malaysia:
- Bid strategy, bid document preparation and presentation materials
- Event planning and marketing support (to boost delegate numbers)
- On-site support
Some of the incentives MyCEB offers include:
- Technical advice on conference venues, accommodation, transportation, relevant local suppliers
- Provision of ideas on social programmes, accompanying persons programmes and pre/post touring options
- Promotion and publicity of the event through Tourism Malaysia's website (and MyCEB's website in the future)
- Dissemination of conference and exhibition information to relevant organisations through Tourism Malaysia's overseas offices
- Supply of promotional materials, souvenirs or giveaways
- Organising of Kuala Lumpur / Putrajaya / Melaka city tour
- Hosting of cultural show or pocket shows at the opening ceremony or social evening
A number of cultural programmes have been developed as value-added packages for conference organisers. For example, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) offers the "1Malaysia Dance" which represents dances from major races in Malaysia and a drum symphony to conference organisers as part of its efforts to acquaint delegates with local art and culture. A "Teh Tarik" demonstration*, batik and henna painting sessions can also be arranged. These value-added offers are subject to meeting planners fulfilling the criteria set.
Support levels are subject to application and evaluation of the event.
Industry Partner Programme
What is the Industry Partner Programme (IPP)?
It is a MyCEB initiative to create greater synergy to position Malaysia as one of Asia's leading business tourism destinations. IPP is a cooperative sales and marketing programme between MyCEB and Malaysia's business tourism industry designed to strengthen our competitive position, provide business and professional development opportunities.
Why join MyCEB's IPP?
Organisations should join if they wish to partake in MyCEB's cooperative sales and marketing programmes that targets the international business events market.
Would it make a difference whether we join or not?
Yes. Partners will be given access to a range of benefits and opportunities including:
- Industry newsletters
- Participation in trade shows, road shows and promotions
- Inclusion on CRM sales database used for business referrals
- Inclusion on website and Meeting Planners Guide
- Access to sales leads through RFPs (Request for Proposals), our interactive website and business events calendar
- Access to international media program
- Some programmes have a participation costs associated with them
- Inclusion into some programmes may be subject to specific criteria
Who should be a member?
Organisations that are actively engaged, specialise or wanting to grow their business in the international business tourism market. It includes a wide range of products and services.
How do we sign up?
Complete and send application form.
Apart from the form, do we need to attach anything else?
Certified true copy of your Registrar of Company (mandatory) and Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia (if applicable) certificates, public liability insurance and latest audited financial statement.
Let's Meet & Green™
Can you tell me more about this programme?
The Malaysia Business Tourism Green Programme is the country's first ever environmental programme for business tourism.
The programme operates on the simple premise whereby the participating event's delegates are given the opportunity to contribute a minimum USD10 (RM31) as part of the events' registration. MyCEB will channel all contributions collected to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)'s already established tree planting activity.
*Each tree worth RM100, which includes planting and maintenance cost
Why tree planting and not any other environmental initiatives?
Tree planting is the most effective and relevant effort towards conserving nature. Even the smallest contribution can make a positive difference in leaving an ongoing environmental legacy for the respective events by preserving, conserving and protecting nature.
This programme is in line with the government's commitment to reduce carbon emissions by up to 40 percent compared with 2005 levels (United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, Copenhagen) and supports the nationwide campaign "Green the Earth: One Citizen, One Tree" launched since April 2010, to plant 26 million trees by 2014. The 26 million trees represent the estimated 26 million population of the country.
It supports the government's efforts to ensure that at least 50 percent of the country had forest cover in accordance with Malaysia's commitment made at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.
A total of 5.3 million trees had been planted throughout the country so far involving 4.2 million hectares of land under the campaign (Oct 2010).
With the launch of the programme for the business tourism industry, delegates attending business tourism events in Malaysia can now do their share to green Malaysia.
What is the objective of the programme?
- To neutralise environmental damage caused by the carbon emissions (from delegates traveling to attend business tourism events in Malaysia)
- To green Malaysia by preserving, conserving and protecting nature
- To allow the Malaysian business tourism industry/events/delegates to make a positive difference in developing an ongoing environmental legacy for Malaysia
What are MyCEB's goals for this programme?
MyCEB targets to achieve 1,000 trees planted in 2011 and this number will increase progressively, in line with our target to increase business tourism arrivals from 5 to 8 percent as a percentage of overall visitors arrival by year 2020 (as part of the 10th Malaysia Plan/MyCEB's Business Plan).
What is the process involve in participating in this programme?
Interested delegates of participating business tourism events are invited to contribute a minimum of USD10 (RM31) as part of the events' registration fees.
All contributions collected will be channelled to MyCEB and subsequently the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) to carry out the tree planting activity.
An independent auditor will be appointed to monitor the collections and an audit report will be produced after the event.
How will the donations distributed be monitored?
An independent auditor will be appointed by MyCEB to monitor the collections and an audit report will be produced within 5 working days upon the completion of the event.
A cheque will also be issued to FRIM by MyCEB to implement the tree-planting activity.
Is FRIM allocating a special plot area for MyCEB for the tree-planting activity? What is the size of the area? How many trees can be planted?
FRIM will be allocating a dedicated area about half an acre (400 trees) to MyCEB to plant the trees contributed by the business tourism delegates under this programme.
FRIM will also be looking at other areas that can be used for MyCEB's future tree-planting activity (once the first area has been used up)
What type of trees are being planted?
Amongst the type of trees to be planted include tropical trees such as Pokok Karas (Aquilaria malaccensis) and Pokok Belian (Eusideroxylon zwageri). The distance between each tree would be 3 x 3 metres. These trees are estimated to be about one year old when they are planted.
Is FRIM the only location? What if there are other locations/states that are interested to provide a plot?
Currently, we have chosen to work with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) as its tree planting efforts are well established.
We are also looking at the possibility of other tree planting initiatives in other parts of Malaysia. Interested parties who wish to contribute to the project are welcomed to contact MyCEB.
Can any business tourism event participate in the programme?
Any business tourism events i.e. Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions hosted in Malaysia, whether local, regional or international in nature are welcomed to participate in this programme.
The first participating event was the 18th World Congress of Accountants, which attracted a record 6,000 delegates and donated 600 trees to the 'Lets Meet and Green' initiative.
What do you do to encourage business tourism participants?
As the country's one-stop centre to assist meeting and event planners to bid for and stage international business tourism events in Malaysia, MyCEB will be working hand-in-hand with its industry partners to promote the programme and take on a facilitator role to encourage participants to contribute to greening Malaysia.
Meeting planners and event organisers are invited to contact MyCEB should they be interested in the programme and if they require assistance.
Why did Malaysia decide to set up a convention bureau?
- To provide international business event organisers with a neutral source of information on all of Malaysia's products and services.
- Convention Bureaus have the capacity to mount city / nation-wide support for international conventions.
- To provide specialist local knowledge, expertise and contacts relating to the business events industry.
- To provide a one stop shop for business events organisers.
- To be a conduit between private and public sector.
- Convention Bureaus have the capacity to focus on development of medium to long term business.
- To support local host organisations bid for and stage international conventions.
- To create co-operative sales and marketing platforms for the business events industry in order to more effectively penetrate the international market, creating economies of scale and synergising Malaysia's marketing efforts.
What are MyCEB's goals?
- To position Malaysia as a world leading destination for business and international events.
- To secure business and international events for Malaysia.
- To grow Malaysia's business events and international events segments and market share.
- To contribute to economic and employment growth.
- To prioritise the attraction of events that support Malaysia's priority industries.
- To maximise attendance, length of stay and spend of business events and international event attendees.
What are MyCEB's roles?
Business Events (meetings, conventions, incentives, exhibitions)
- Develop Malaysia's business events brand and position for the international market.
- Develop business events sales and marketing tools.
- Research, qualify and prioritise new business events leads and potential.
- Identify and support local hosts for international meetings.
- Facilitate bids for regional and international business events.
- Coordinate international bids between government, industry and event organisers.
- Create cooperative industry platforms to sell and promote Malaysia's business events products and services.
- Advice and assist business events organisers to plan and promote their events in Malaysia.
- Assist organisers in the selection of local product and service providers.
- Facilitate requests for support with government and industry.
- Business events product development, facilitate and promote education, training and accreditation for the industry.
International Events (sports, art and cultural events)
- To identify, assess and bid on new international sports, arts and cultural events for Malaysia, working in collaboration with the relevant Government Ministries and host organisations.
- To identify and develop international profile of homegrown and home hosted events with the goal of increasing number of international visitors to Malaysia.
- To synergise and develop a cluster of events around existing major international events.
- To identify and address issues that impedes the attraction of international events, in collaboration with the events industry and relevant Government Ministries.
Can you explain the membership of the bureau – is it based on subscription or is it a local government run free service?
MyCEB has introduced an Industry Partner Programme and establish conditions of participation. Initial membership is complimentary however there is a fee schedule for the specified range of benefits and activities offered.
How does the bureau work in a day-to-day manner with convention centres/PCOs (Professional Conference Organisers) to win international business?
MyCEB researches for international or regional meetings that the country could potentially bid for. We assist with bid preparation, planning and site inspections. We work closely with industry partners including Professional Conference Organisers (PCO), Destination Management Companies (DMC) and venue providers on a number of initiatives to secure business events for Malaysia. This includes trade shows, sales missions, joint bids, website and publications.
Does the city have any funding put aside specifically for attracting major conferences and congresses? If so, how does this mechanism work?
MyCEB has a subvention programme to provide both financial and non-financial incentives to attract international business events to Malaysia. It also has an event support programme for international business events that is designed to maximise the yield and success of the event being hosted in Malaysia.
Consideration is given to home grown business events that attract significant international attendees and media profile.
A support programme also exists for international sports, arts, culture and lifestyle events as well as home grown events that have the potential to attract international attendees and media publicity.
Applications for support are reviewed and the support provided is based on an assessment of the direct and indirect benefits to the Malaysian economy.
Successful applicants must sign a Letter of Agreement and/or Memorandum of Understanding (depending on the scale and size of the event) that outlines mutual obligations, performance measures and a support schedule in the lead up to the event.
How can the relationship between the bureau and Malaysia's industry players be improved in order to attract more international conferences and events?
Our immediate plan is to strengthen the collaboration between local industry players and MyCEB. At present there are a core number of industry players that are actively engaged in the international market. MyCEB's goal is to grow the number of industry players engaged in the market in order to strengthen our market presence and product offering.
MyCEB's Industry Partner Programme is designed to provide a sales and marketing platform for the industry to join so that Malaysia can compete more effectively in the international business events market.
How has Malaysia performed so far in the global MICE arena, and how can it progress further?
Malaysia leaped a notable three spots to the 28th position in the latest ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association country rankings for 2010. The number of meetings hosted grew 24 percent, from 96 meetings (2009) to 119 meetings (2010). Within the Asia Pacific region Malaysia retained its ICCA country ranking of 7th position.
Malaysia is a cost-effective destination for international organisers, ranking among one of the most value for money destinations in the world. By leveraging on what Malaysia has to offer and its value for money proposition, the country is in a good position to attract more international and regional meetings and events to the country.
What are Malaysia's USPs and competitive advantages in the business events industry?
Value for Money
- Malaysia is one of the world's best value for money destinations making it very affordable for event organisers and attendees. Malaysia on many occasions has attracted record attendances due to its affordability.
- Malaysia's political, social and economic stability provides a peaceful and conducive environment for business and leisure. In Malaysia, delegates experience minimum or no visa issues and enjoy the freedom of a safe environment in a country with a stable government
Excellent Airline Linkages and Infrastructure
- Kuala Lumpur is well equipped with first-class infrastructure such as the purpose built convention centres, expressway linkages, Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Putrajaya administrative city, with high speed road and rail links. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is home to 47 airlines while national carrier, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flies to more than 100 destinations globally. In addition, the growth of low-cost carrier flights makes the city even more accessible to delegates from other countries.
- Strategically located in the middle of the world's largest economic growth region, Malaysia has long been a business and trading hub between the Middle East, India, China and the West. Having a strong mix of Asian cultures i.e. Malays, Chinese and Indians as well as being a multilingual country (proficient in the English language) make Malaysia a conducive and productive place to do business.
- Our multi-racial population with the main races, Malay, Chinese and Indian make for a culturally interesting experience. All manner of practices and custom are respected. Apart from its multicultural diversity and the sights and sounds of the country, there are many and varied tourist and shopping attractions for visitors who can also look forward to being welcomed by the warm, friendly Malaysians.
Pre- and Post Conference Tour Options
- Malaysia is home to a wealth of attractions, from modern cities, pristine tropical rainforests, unique flora and wildlife, breathtaking islands and beaches to refreshing highland resorts. Most pre- and post tour destinations are within two hours flight time from Kuala Lumpur and the availability of both mainstream and low cost carriers makes the options affordable to all delegates.
- Malaysia boasts some of the region's best convention and exhibition facilities. This includes purpose built facilities such as the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, integrated resorts such as Genting Highlands and Sunway Lagoon, hotels and resorts with meeting facilities as well as multi-purpose venues.
Experienced and active players in the international arena
- Malaysia has a full range of service providers to provide the right experience and expertise for international business events. This includes business event specialists such as convention bureaus, professional conference organisers, destination management companies, event management companies and exhibition management companies. MyCEB can assist with matching international business event organisers up with local service providers.
Proven Track Record and Reputation
- The country has a proven track record and strong reputation in successfully hosting international and regional meetings and attracting record number of delegates for the events. The 16th World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT) for example, attracted 3,313 delegates from 92 countries which resulted in a 43 percent increase in delegate numbers as well as quadruple sales in exhibition space.
- One of the biggest conferences held to date in Kuala Lumpur include the XVIII FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO Congress) 2006, hosted by the London based International Gynecology and Obstetrics Federation, which attracted 8,294 delegates.
- Most recently the World Congress of Accountants, held in 2010, attracted a record attendance of over 6,000 delegates.
Culinary / Gastronomy
- The wide range of cuisines available in Malaysia caters to even the pickiest eaters. With sumptuous cuisine options which reflect the melting pot of Malaysian cultures, Malaysia offers both a taste for the adventurous and the familiar. Halal food is also widely available.