December 17, 2008

Another conference at a hotel...

It is not that I don't appreciate the place or the ambiance, in contrast, say to a classroom or a lecture hall at a local university (where a lot of this has been going on too), but going to conference after conference in a hotel somewhere in the middle of Kuala Lumpur does become a tiring routine sometimes. This is true especially if you have been doing it the whole 2 months. As one writer in the Star did mention, people seems to push the events one after another in Malaysia exactly after Eidul Fitri (she was talking about fashion shows but I tend to agree that its the same with conferences)

For the past 2 months, there were at least 5 big Islamic finance forum and another 5 quite as important law conferences. As I am a student of the former through my current alma mater and as a profession in the other, I have to pick and choose the conference that I wanted to attend. Another factor is affordability as most of this conference were marketed internationally and were quite expensive. I actually attended those I was invited to for free and that already made me having to go at least one every other week.

Its good that Malaysia manage to promote itself as a MICE or Meeting, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition venue. There are a lot of facilities in the Klang Valley either already operational or in the middle of being build. There is the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, which is THE exhibition centre to be. It displaced Putra World Trade Centre, which is still going strong and is competing with Mid Valley Convention Centre. There is also various other new malls with attached exhibition centre like Sunway Pyramid, SACC Mall (yet to be finished) and such. There is also the government run exhibition centre like the Putrajaya Convention Centre.

Let's not forget the hotels which had cried foul when the government decided to not do anymore conferences at their facilities. Each hotel has at least one ballroom, a few seminar rooms and a business centre. Even if their occupancy is not at the break even number of 40% they can at least manage to cover their cost in a month from the conferences and the event organising (this is of course on top of the REAL money making F&B)

So, these conferences that I attended did support the business of these places and then some. Some were well attended and was a hit among the targetted audience but some were just fillers to the end of the year time. Most were just finishing off their calendar. There were some good conferences but there were those which were just harping the same agenda. As there were too many to attend to, I just went to the free one or the least expensive one and still gain new or updated knowledge.

As they say, there are always new things to be learnt....

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