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21 JAN-FEB 2020 MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MCMAG-ASIA.COM the speakers, and at the end, with a smaller event, I was able to say hello to everybody in the room. "The quality of the attendees was also much better because those who came were serious about the event," shared Mr Codinach. Of course, the two-day conference went on to offer more insights and knowledge sharing between the 40 speakers and 300 delegates from the business events industry. New audiences, new trends At the Innovation In Business Events panel, industry leaders emphasised the need for meetings to adapt to the growing number of Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z meeting attendees. This followed a PCMA Workshop introducing "5 Future Trends of Meetings and Events", which included designing events with the end user in mind, crafting meaningful interactions, and making a social impact. "If somebody comes into a 30-minute session, spends just 10 minutes there, and walks away – that's an indication of the interest of that person," said Veemal Gungadin, CEO of meetings technology company GlobalSignIn. He suggested that meeting owners could make use of attendee data to personalise networking for delegates, such as by seating people together at meals based on their professional background or the sessions they have attended. Han Chiang, co-founder of Orange Gibbon, also reminded the audience that novel formats alone would not fulfil the objectives of meeting owners or participants, be it to network or to leave a legacy. In fact, she and co- founder Mike van der Vijver also hosted a workshop where participants got busy moving around the room to create a "Meeting Design Triangle". "In this day and age, we're moving from one-way delivery to two-way exchange," said Ms Han. "We like to shorten the speakers' time to 15 minutes, get people to participate and hear from each other, because we truly believe in the wisdom of the crowd." Industry leaders discuss to appeal to Millennial and Gen Z attendees during the "Innovation in Business Events" panel. DUAL CONFERENCES: TURNING SERENDIPITY INTO SUCCESS BE @ Penang 2019 was held in conjunction with the inaugural ICCA Asia Pacific Summit, a member-led initiative by ICCA's Asia Pacific chapter. In fact, the idea of dual conferences played a big part in the committee's decision to host their event in Penang – out of 12 cities' bids. "When we reviewed the bid documents, we could see that Penang had a very strong commitment to this event in terms of resources," shared Jason Yeh, 3rd vice president and Asia-Pacific chapter chair, ICCA. "What Penang offered was not just their city, but a Malaysian bid. So, most of the members from Malaysia are involving themselves in all the panel discussions as moderators or panellists because they want to be a part of that conversation," added Noor Ahmad Hamid, ICCA regional director for Asia Pacific. Some of the features at the dual conferences of BE @ Penang 2019 / ICCA Asia Pacific Summit 2019 included: + A programme featuring parallel sessions for delegates of each event, as well as joint sessions featuring the region's MICE industry leaders + Joint networking coffee breaks and themed lunches featuring local cuisine and entertainment + Hands-on sessions in innovative formats that boosted interaction among delegates and engagement with speakers + Sharing of bidding journeys and event case studies + Exclusive CEO Deep Dive session designed for C-level executives to explore new strategies for their businesses "This edition of BE @ Penang really means a lot to us, thanks to the partnership with the ICCA Asia Pacific Summit. This sets the standards higher for Penang in terms of organising world-class conferences," said Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of PCEB. Delegates got a first-hand experience of how Orange Gibbon uses the "Meeting Design Triangle" to create more effective meeting programmes.

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