Current Affairs

More Than Back to Business: Up for New Challenges

16th July 2020

Eager to get back in the conference room and pass constructive knowledge around, for associations it is not about when their next event will take place anymore but about how safe the destination is and how valuable the impact of their event will be for the communities involved. Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) covers all the bases as the state opens for business post-virus with a new campaign and innovative digital tools to set higher standards for disruptive business events.

Words Vicky Koffa

What’s new in the state

The state of Sarawak has now come out of the crisis landing well on its feet. Domestic association events are welcome once more as of this month for up to 250 participants under comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), as the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak recently announced. BESarawak, appreciating the government’s continuous support to the industry, did not take long to organise its first hybrid event in Kuching called Tribal Gathering 2020, following the safety guidelines in place.

The milestone event gathered less than 250 industry partners from Kuching on site and a great number of industry stakeholders virtually with the aim to exchange views and present Sarawak’s latest Strategic and Tactical Plans of 2020. BESarawak’s Acting CEO, Amelia Roziman, welcomed the challenge as a learning experience: “Being the first hybrid event also meant that we were ready to face the unexpected in regard to going virtual. Through such efforts we are learning, unlearning and relearning together.”

BESarawak will collaborate with our industry partners to design a Hybrid Business Events Checklist for business events planners. It is our responsibility to ensure that planners are confident about Sarawak’s capability of hosting hybrid events as much as they are confident about our destination’s safety.”

The destination has made quite a name for itself with its ‘Redefining Global Tribes’ campaign over the years and now the time is ripe for a new launch. The ‘Tribe Legacy Sarawak’ marketing campaign promotes exactly what business events need at this period of reset: collaboration and unity for a lasting impact on the community. The 5 pillars of the campaign are complementary to the Business Events Planners Incentivised Package, an initiative that targets event planners and industry partners supporting them through the Bureau’s reward programmes: BESLegacy Reward Programmes and BESTribe Reward Programmes.

The root of all success

The Convention Bureau’s pledge for better quality events that lead to actual professional, governmental and social change goes even deeper to the root of success, education. During the Tribal Gathering, BESarawak set in motion an innovative education platform which aims to connect and help evolve event planners and industry partners in order to stimulate new business opportunities. ‘Tribe Digital Campus’ comes to aid the meetings industry with the skills training necessary to start building valuable impactful business events. 

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The two arms of the up-to-date initiative are spot-on when it comes to the destination’s Tribe Spirit policy. The first arm, Tribe Digital Innovation, promotes collaboration among the local industry players, potential local hosts and the government in order to raise the bar for business events offerings in Sarawak. Through ‘Knowledge Camps’ (free 60-minute courses or webinars) and ‘Innovation Masterclass’ (a knowledge exchange platform leading to an international accreditation programme for participants), Tribe Innovation offers industry partners and associations the essential training to build stronger communities through business events.

Tribe Digital Xchange, the second arm of the program, offers B2B sessions with potential meeting planners who get the chance to experience the local industry partners’ latest products and services. In other words, new business opportunities are created which again leads to BESarawak’s ultimate goal, closer collaboration. Amelia recognises that “learning is a life long journey that we, as Sarawak’s business events industry, are committed to recover and activate.”

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