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ICCA Malaysia researchers assemble!

Research, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, and the power of “Legacy” were major components of the 2019 ICCA Malaysia Researchers X-Change and Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau’s Legacy Clinic, July 4 – 5, 2019 in Penang, Malaysia.   

Twenty like-minded participants gathered under one roof for back-to-back events held at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre, Penang, an ICCA venue member which is the first hybrid solar-powered convention centre in the world.

This year’s curtain raiser was an interactive, fireside chat led by Jane Vong Holmes of GainingEdge. Dressed in pajamas, Jane chatted with a panel of ICCA Malaysia researchers (Gomagan Gopalakrishnan-MITEC, Kirubananthini Pushpanathan-PCEB, Lim Jing Qi-BCCK) on “The Journey: From Leads to Bids”. This warm session (with hot chocolates!) saw ICCA Malaysia’s elite group of researchers sharing their journey of turning leads mined from the ICCA Database into ideal sales qualified leads (SQLs), and how they tackle challenges along the way.

In an interactive Slido session, KLCC’s Hairul Hafeedz Esa quizzed participants’ familiarity on numbers in the ICCA Database. Hairul, a top ICCA data provider who was ICCA’s Researcher of the Year 2017, shared his personal stories on how he leveraged the data-using every piece of direct/indirect information for his own data analysis and collation.

Moderated by Kavitha Pragalathan, Chief Judge of the day, our researchers were then split into two groups to expound their views on four pre-selected motions, for example, “Capital cities grab more business”. The two teams engaged in heated discussion for an hour on motions involving issues of research and Catherine Khor from Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau won the “Best Presenter” title.

The exchange ended with 2 researchers - Elynnie Jau of Sarawak Convention Bureau and Kavitha Pragalathan, Manager ICCA Data Research Asia Pacific, sharing interesting case studies from different angles on what defines “uncommon” conferences – non-mainstream conferences, as well as predatory conferences. When “uncommon” conferences become common, how do you deal with this different kettle of fish? Elynnie and Kavitha left some food of thought for the researchers. 

Since its inception in 2018, the annual ICCA Malaysia Researchers X-Change - an initiative organized by the ICCA Malaysia Committee - has become the interactive knowledge space for researchers who are working in the forefront of data mining. The event offers a rare, but essential opportunity for researchers to network and share knowledge, especially when it comes to research and beyond research.

PCEB’s Legacy Clinic took place the next day where four passionate leaders shared their fervent beliefs that the “beyond tourism” impact of events was equally  asvaluable as the event itself. The session, steered by Jane Vong Holmes, saw thought leaders Amelia Roziman, COO Sarawak Convention Bureau, Mr. Geh Thuan Tek, Local Host of World Congress on Drowning Prevention 2015 and LAr. Charles Teo, Honorary Secretary Institute of Landscape Architect Malaysia speak about their organisation’s vision in leaving behind measurable inspirational outcomes for the host community and conference delegates alike. As quoted by Margaret Mead, an American cultural anthropologist: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.