BECM appeals Malaysian government to distinguish between mass gathering and MICE events

Published on : Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) is appealing to the government of Malaysia to create a clear difference or distinctions between business events and mass gatherings with a view to establishing a resume date for this vital financial sector. Currently, under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) conferences and exhibitions are prohibited from taking place.

The Chairman of BECM, Alan Pryor, said that it was important that the government of Malaysia understood that the business events industry can operate safely under comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

The business events venues and facilities of Malaysia can offer controlled environments combined with high quality operational standards to ensure the health and safety of people, which has always been and will continue to be, a primary concern of the business events industry. As such, the business events sector should not be subject to the mass gathering restrictions that apply to other large-scale events such as weddings, religious gatherings, sports events and concerts.

Alan Pryor commented that event venues are economic engines for their cities and communities, creating significant tax and travel revenues as well as jobs. That is why, in consultation with the industry, we have developed highly comprehensive SOPs, which demonstrate our focus on ensuring the safety of our employees, clients, suppliers and attendees.

Collectively industry stakeholders have submitted these SOPs to the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), who have in turn submitted them to Government. We hope that these will demonstrate proactivity from their industry in working with relevant government authorities to facilitate the reopening of the business events industry sector, which plays a vital role in stimulating Malaysia’s economy.

The comprehensive SOPs, which have been developed by relevant industry sectors with the support of industry associations, incorporate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), food safety measures, air quality control, surface cleaning, and physical and social distancing. Based on the SOPs, Malaysian business event venues will also be required to implement a variety of other measures including temperature checks, thermal cameras, hand sanitisers, reduced touchpoints, contactless transactions and daily monitoring systems.

According to Alan Pryor that the specifics will be further customised for each venue and event, but the primary objective is first and foremost the health and safety of all involved in the planning and execution of events on site.

As an event industry, they are able to run extremely well organised events tracing every one of our attendees, speakers and exhibitors as well as monitoring, tracking and putting in place a range of measures that can ensure these events comply with Malaysian government guidelines on hygiene and physical distancing. This level of capability clearly distinguishes the business events industry from mass gatherings where controls and personal space are often limited.

The government of Germany has agreed that exhibitions, trade fairs and congresses, are now on the list of activities that are listed as possible and can potentially resume under strict health and safety controlled conditions, rather than being classed as mass gatherings, which currently remain prohibited in Germany until the end of August.

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