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On June 17, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Malaysian government was lifting the moratorium on domestic business events of up to 250 participants.
The reopening of business events comes as good news to the industry that came to a screeching halt even at the onset of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic.
This spells good news to not just to event organisers and event owners but also venues, hotels, food and beverage, transportation and many more on the supply chain. Business events is one of Malaysia’s key tourism sectors, contributing a reported RM3.9 billion in direct expenditure to Malaysia in 2019.
Albeit having to adhere strictly to guidelines outlined by the National Security Council (NSC), the lifting of the ban on business events means that some of the domestic events that were postponed could be held second half of the year.
The type of business events the SOP specifically outlines as permissible include meetings, seminars, workshops, courses, trainings, conferences, and lectures. These events are allowed to take place with the condition that the participants are between the ages of 18 and 60.
While the maximum number of participants allowed is 250, the SOP stipulates that physical distancing of 1 metre is implemented. Therefore, the final number of participants allowed for the event would be dependent on the event venue space.
The SOP does not restrict the hours and time of the events, allaying initial concerns of reducing the duration of events from full day to half day. As for the general health and safety aspects, the SOP outlines the standard measures that are already in place such as health screening, sanitation, usage of face mask, registration on MySejahtera app, and more.
One of the biggest advocates of business events in Malaysia throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) and Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM), who have been lobbying the Malaysian government to allow business events to reopen.
“Led by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), MACEOS collaborated with the Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM), consulted with thought leaders in the industry, compiled global industry best practices, and developed a comprehensive framework addressing the standard operating procedures (SOP) for Malaysia’s business events industry,” said MACEOS president Dato’ Vincent Lim.
It is understood that the SOP developed by MACEOS, BECM and MyCEB forms the foundation of the general operational SOP for private and government events by NSC.