What role does the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) have in growing the professional development of Malaysia’s business events industry?
Since opening in June 2005, we have played a pivotal role in the promotion, growth and development of Malaysia’s business events industry. This has involved strengthening collaboration and increasing cooperation with industry players to enhance the destination proposition in order to attract more international associations’ conferences and conventions to Kuala Lumpur and to drive professional development and training for the industry supply chain.
On the local front, we have been working closely with the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau, InvestKL and Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, to boost the growth and professional development of Malaysia’s business events industry and align initiatives to national key economic areas and the Economic Transformation Programme.
In addition, last year we were awarded our ‘Certified Training Provider’ accreditation from the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources’ Human Resource Development Fund. This enabled us to launch our Training Academy, which ran its first public Food Handlers Certification Course for the local hospitality industry in November 2016.
We also recently launched our first ‘earn and learn’ initiative – the Professional Development Programme, in collaboration with the University of Malaya, the Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management and DHS Hospitality Academy Sdn Bhd.
The 12-month programme will expose participants to various departments within the Centre through both classroom-style and on-the-job training, which will help students to learn the fundamentals of the business events industry and familiarise themselves with the different career opportunities available in the sector. Upon completion of this programme, students will also have the opportunity to continue in a full-time position with us or join our Ambassador Programme.
How does the Centre educate the wider Malaysian business events supply chain?
We have established strong partnerships with primary stakeholders in order to help develop Malaysia’s business events supply chain. We are a founding member of ‘Team Malaysia’, a collaborative partnership which works cohesively to promote Malaysia’s business events proposition to attract international events to the country, and grow Malaysia’s business events footprint globally.
We also played a pivotal role in the Malaysian Government’s National Key Economic Areas Lab process representing the business events industry and this culminated in the establishment of the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau in 2009.
In addition, our Accredited Suppliers Programme has been at the forefront of local supply chain enhancement, which has helped develop Malaysia’s business event proposition and prompted industry players to raise their quality of service delivery. Implemented in 2008, the Accredited Suppliers Programme, part of our responsibility to protect the health and safety of clients, visitors, staff, contractors and suppliers and to minimise its impact on the environment, ensures that all approved suppliers/contractors are ISO-accredited and equipped with a full working knowledge of the facility.
The spill-over effect, has been for local companies to continually enhance and improve their respective products and services, thus lifting professionalism and quality standards and in turn, making the local industry and Malaysia, more competitive in the international marketplace.
Tell us about the partnership with IAPCO?
In 2016, we focused our efforts on strengthening collaboration with local and international industry players to drive the business events agenda for Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. In line with this, we formed a strong partnership with the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO).
Our partnership with IAPCO aims to create greater awareness of Malaysia’s multi-cultural diversity and compelling business events proposition amongst their 114 members across 40 countries. As part of this partnership, we will be hosting the IAPCO Council Meeting in September 2017.
What are the wider benefits of hosting the IAPCO Council Meeting in September?
The IAPCO Council Meeting brings the world’s top professional conference organisers to Malaysia and provides the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our facility as well as highlight Kuala Lumpur’s premier business events proposition.
In addition, following the IAPCO Council Meeting, IAPCO in conjunction with AOS Conventions & Events and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, will host the IAPCO Edge Kuala Lumpur. The programme is focused on a well-rounded look at conference management and the changing landscape of the industry. In order to maximise learning outcomes and networking opportunities, this seminar is strictly limited in size and allows for maximum interaction with faculty and industry experts.
This seminar will provide a unique learning experience for local industry players and will allow them to engage directly with some of the world’s leading professional conference organisers. This sharing of knowledge and experience will undoubtedly help develop Malaysia’s business events industry moving forward.
What internal programs does the Centre run to raise the service standard?
We have numerous policies and guidelines which were identified pre-opening and have been implemented since day one. We became the first organisation in Malaysia’s hospitality industry to address the flexible staff shortage faced by the sector by creating a professional development initiative – the Ambassador Programme.
The Ambassador Programme, which aims to nurture and grow a pool of talent to ensure there is consistent staffing with the right skills set to meet client and event requirements at the venue. These ‘Ambassadors’ when not on duty at the Centre can freelance with other hospitality organisations which helps address the flexible staff shortage faced by the Malaysian hospitality industry. To date, more than 8943 ‘Ambassadors’ have been trained under the programme.
Our Ambassador Programme has also resulted in a paradigm shift on how the industry operates and manages its flexible staff. The model has gained industry acceptance and is being adopted through various government initiatives and programmes, and used as a basis for curriculum in educational institutions.
In addition, we have various on-going training programmes and initiatives to increase service standards and our Training Department will continue to play a leading role in ensuring that employees are competent and capable of executing their duties in an efficient and positive manner.