More U.S.-based meeting professionals are beginning to recognize the potential to engage new audience members across the Asia-Pacific region. However, many of those planners may feel overwhelmed about mastering new languages and understanding new cultural norms to attract new attendees. If you fall into that category, here’s a quick glimpse into how tourism officials in Kuala Lumpur helped ease those worries at the Women Deliver 2013 Conference.
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Held in Kuala Lumpur from May 28 - May 30 May, the conference united more than 4,500 participants from 149 countries to focus on women’s health and empowerment. As the host venue, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre was determined to ensure the event’s success from the onset.
“Groundwork began some 18 months prior to the event proper,” Alan Pryor, general manager, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, says. “Besides teleconferences and meetings with the client, countless inter-departmental meetings were held to go over details for all aspects of the conference. This pre-planning was crucial to minimize challenges and avoid setbacks during the conference itself”.
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F & B at KLCC
With so many countries represented at the conference, Pryor and the convention center staff made one priority very clear: they had to please a lot of different sets of taste buds and meet quite the range of dietary restrictions. Still, they wanted to introduce all those attendees to the authentic flavors of Malaysia. Led by Executive Chef Richmond Lim, the culinary team spent months brainstorming for seamless logistics for 41 breakfast sessions and 28 cocktail receptions in various locations.
The solution: a combination of booth catering and standing lunches with pre-packed lunch boxes of a main course, salad and greens, dessert and muesli bar and apples on-the-go. “Our kitchens were kept busy preparing over 6,800 lunch boxes during the course of the conference, in addition to a standing buffet for another 1,800 pax daily at the exhibition halls,” Lim says.
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Besides the main conference, there were more than 100 concurrent and back-to-back meetings, partner programs, plenary sessions and receptions, all held in the same area.
“We had everyone; full-time team members as well as our pool of regular casual labor, pitching in to ensure that everything ran smoothly and on schedule, both back and front of house. With so much to do and the adrenaline pumping, we didn’t really notice we were working almost around the clock. In fact, the challenges made the successful delivery of the entire event all the more rewarding,” Pryor says.
All that work paid off in the form of rave client reviews.
"Many thanks to the entire staff of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre! It was the perfect venue for our meeting,” Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver, says.
Interested in learning more about the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center?
Other planners have already been taking a very close look at Malaysia. The Toastmaster International World Convention will be held in Kuala Lumpur in 2014. For more information on why other meeting professionals are making plans to be in Malaysia, click here to visit the official Kuala Lumpur Convention Center website.