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MAY-JUN 2018 23 MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MCMAG-ASIA.COM WORDS ESTHER FAITH LEW W e want to learn and to share. We want to be heard and not talked at. We want to network – and better if we can do it in engaging and unique spaces. And did I mention, we also want to have our coee outside of the ocial breaks too. "Turning exhibition halls into networking hubs and giving companies much more freedom about how they prole themselves in such an environment is a welcome move away from tradition. Such a central gathering point also lends itself to small sessions such as problem-based learning discussions," says Jan Tonkin, president, IAPCO and managing director, The Conference Company, New Zealand. These shifting preferences reect the current wants of delegates who desire a more dynamic and interactive ambience at conventions and exhibitions. This places the onus on planners and organisers to create programme designs and formats that are dierent and even unconventional. MOVING FORWARD A world-class development comprising the SPICE Convention Centre, SPICE Arena, SPICE Aquatic Centre and SPICE Canopy to provide a versatile range of spaces, it now looks forward to launching a business class hotel in 2020. It will be a state-of-the-art 25-storey property with 453 rooms. EVENT HIGHLIGHT V Conference Malaysia is a ve- day conference by QNET, a Malaysian direct selling company, it is the largest incentive-based conference in Malaysia and attracted 15,500 attendees from over 50 countries. It has been held in Setia SPICE for ve consecutive years. Planning Flexibility was key in planning the space and layout for the conference. A stage was set up in the middle of the Arena for impact during presentations, and allowing seating for 15,300 pax. Displays and activities were set up at The Concourse on level 3, while the Convention Centre was used for registrations and exhibition booth set-ups. Experience Accommodating such a high number of attendees required smart space planning to ensure everyone experienced the programme highlights well. The Arena and Convention Centre served that purpose and also facilitated a seamless ow via a covered walkway. Talking point It was a large-scale event of international proportions that drew much attention with its live broadcast, and high-tech audiovisual elements made for a dramatic and colourful experience. Contact: "Penang will be the first Asian country to host the World Seafood Congress come September 2019, and Setia SPICE is proud to be the venue for this congress. With this winning bid, a legacy will be created for the fishery and aquaculture industry in the region." DATUK KOE PENG KANG, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF SP SETIA BERHAD HIGHLIGHTS FROM ASIA'S TOP CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRES SETIA SPICE

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