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Events in Sabah embrace the new norm


KOTA KINABALU, 24 June 2020: Malaysia’s Federal and State governments are embarking on the next phase to open tourism, especially the business of events known as MICE*.

As part of the latest easing of Covid-19 measures events of up to 250 delegates can meet in a venue that fits the specifications under the new norm SOP. The key element is the setting of a one-metre distancing rule in addition to more vigorous sanitary requirements and check-ins.

The announcement gives Sabah’s MICE business confidence that the gradual easing of Movement Control Order (MCO) will ultimately enable a reboot of a very important segment in the state’s tourism.

Hybrid events

Sabah International Convention Centre is now finalising the technical specifications for hybrid events to offer a venue for clients to carry out live-streaming of their events and also video-conferencing packages. All this will be available post-MCO when business events are allowed to resume.

For all meeting packages, breaks and lunches will be served in single portions with the options for delegates to have a takeaway pack. SICC also took the initiative to mobilise food delivery from their brand new SICC kitchen to your home.

Sounds Tech Productions

Sound Tech Productions a local event organiser hosted their first virtual charity concert live on Facebook and garnered an average of 1k live viewers, 34k viewers to date and raised MYR50,000. The venue was created in a warehouse transformed into a concert space equipped with the necessary outdoor broadcasting systems and PA systems.

“During MCO we had many online meetings with our event team and operation team to keep updated with current pandemic situation and keeping everyone on the right track so they will be ready anytime to get back in the working environment.

“We also kept in touch with our clients all the time and update of any new progress in our business. Our events team listed in advance few thematic ideas for upcoming events once the pandemic is contained” explains Sounds Tech Productions, CEO Kenny Shiau.

He adds, “with the current pandemic situation having a real live event is not an option at all, and the virtual event was the best and safe option. We have built a production studio system which can cater to any kind of virtual event for Live or Prerecorded event. One of the main factors in the virtual event is connectivity, and we have high-speed broadband internet connectivity. Professional sound system and lighting system are being used to integrate with the virtual event software which will provide a real live actual event environment in the virtual event. High definition cameras are being used to record and broadcast the virtual event. We have acquired all the necessary tools needed for the virtual event.”

Freelance emcee, Ben Uzair noted: “I’ve always enjoyed collaborating with local businesses, and there was a huge opportunity during MCO to organise events online. Hosting a webinar and moderating an online forum was nerve-wracking at first; however, in the new normal, getting uncomfortable will open doors to unfounded avenues.

Freelance Emcee and Writer, Melissa Leong

The MCO threw a curveball to many of us – freelancers like myself were not spared. Needless to say, with the MCO, public events came to a screeching halt, and freelance emcees had to find other ways to sustain our livelihoods. One of the services I could offer was to host or ’emcee’ online events, from digital discussions to live online forums.”

The Sabah Tourism Board, managed its first hybrid event on 18 June led by the Honorable Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah, Datuk Christina Liew. The in-house Communications team managed the setup of the broadcast while other staff members played the role of moderators for the physical and online session.

“This was never quite part of our job description, but the circumstance has allowed us the opportunity to acquire new skills. Systems such as Zoom and Google Meets will remain essential to us akin to using our typical office utilities such as MS Word and PowerPoint,” commented Sabah Tourism Board general manager Pn Noredah Othman.

“We cannot make excuses to say that we cannot proceed networking with our industry partners due to physical limitations. This new opportunity at hand gives us more leverage and efficient ideas to connect with them, especially those overseas, and we shall continue this effort as we await more updates on the ability to travel. As of now, domestic events will remain the focus and progressively other regions that begin to lift travel restrictions.”


(*MICE: Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions)

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