Published on : Friday, December 4, 2020
The Malaysian Society of Association Executives (MSAE) held a virtual webinar recently, supported by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), to present their association objectives and their survey findings on the Impact of Covid-19 to the Operations and Sustainability of Associations in Malaysia.
Part of the webinar was also a panel session that discussed how venues are coping with the challenges posed by the pandemic and industry recovery programmes that were recently launched to boost the overall business events market.
Sunny Chee, President, MSAE said, “We would like to first and foremost thank MyCEB for sponsoring this webinar and the Centre for supporting us as well. We are delighted to be engaging with all of you virtually, live from the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, to share our survey findings. It is now a fact that associations are doing their best to navigate this challenging situation.”
According to the survey conducted in August 2020, participated by 108 associations from various sectors, up to 70% of associations have reported that their organisation’s activities such as council meetings, membership, community, stakeholders and government engagements have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Lydia Abdul Latif, Vice President, MSAE, who shared the survey findings also said, “The survey further showed that the associations’ revenue-generating activities such as fund-raising campaigns, events such as conferences, forums and exhibitions have also been significantly impacted with at least 70% of associations reporting event cancellations and change in event format to virtual or hybrid.”
The survey also reported on the expected membership attrition, membership generation as a result of the pandemic, and associations’ adoption rate of the new normal.
Amidst the unparalleled uncertainties and the rapid evolvement of the Covid-19 virus, Malaysian associations have persevered and proved agile as at least 80% out of the 108 associations have adopted online platforms for conducting virtual council meetings, AGMs and webinars.
Sunny continued, “It is heartening to see many of us in Associations have adapted to the new normal. MSAE is a young association and we look forward to increasing our presence and generate more engagement beyond our membership, and establish a relationship with relevant government sectors to establish a stronger voice for Malaysian associations.”
Angeline van den Broecke, Director of Global Business Development and Marketing at the Centre, shared some of the initiatives and comprehensive solutions the venue has undertaken, “From initiating industry partnerships to the implementation of a comprehensive safety plan, our major priority was to be venue ready and team ready and we have kept our team engaged organisation-wide cross-training programmes to assist with operations and support services.
We have maintained an active communication and engagement interface, launched our new website with progressive and innovative features such as a dedicated Covid-19 information section, an AI chatbot and interactive floor plans. To maintain business sustainability we are continuing our progressive adoption of hybrid and virtual platforms and we want to thank all our clients, industry partners and stakeholders who have shown us tremendous support during these turbulent months.”
Edward Lim, Sales Manager, MyCEB said that, “Since the Meet in Malaysia campaign was launched in July, with over 90 industry partners coming forward with new meeting packages, there have been upto 20 applications with over 24,000 delegates being approved. We are thrilled for such a tremendous support from our industry players and their keenness to get back to business. There are variety of packages available under the Let’s Meet Locally Programme, to encourage local meetings and events and the Let’s Meet Tomorrow Programme offers attractive deals for home-grown regional and international events, in an industry recovery effort. We look forward to working with all of you to bolster the damage our industry has taken on this year.”