i-City convention centre (iCCC) in the capital city of Selangor is the newest event space in town and business is thriving, says I-Berhad marketing director Monica Ong.
The iCCC was launched last November as part of I-Berhad’s RM3billion tourism expansion master plan for the mega i-City development, and marks the company’s entry into the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) sector.
Ong told NST Property that since its opening, response for the convention centre booking has been favourable.
“We are getting a lot of bookings for multiple use from seminars, workshops to corporate dinner and weddings.”
The 20,000-sq-ft iCCC is located on i-City centralWalk (level 1). It can house 1,000 guests in a banquet-style seating or 2,000 guests in a theatre-style seating.
Ong said the complementing amenities in i-City like a hotel, shopping mall, theme park and offices all in one location make the iCCC very convenient.
“Furthermore it has easy access from all over with the well-connected infrastructure, including its proximity to the airport and seaport,” she said.
Big Tree Event & Supplies business development manager Naveen Sachdev said companies and people in general are constantly looking for new and grand event spaces to host.
Naveen believes the iCCC will be popular as it has 6,500 parking bays, existing accommodation like Best Western Hotel, theme parks for leisure purposes and Central i-City Mall, the largest shopping mall in Shah Alam.
The i-City development, located in the heart of Selangor’s “Golden Triangle”, will also house the four-star DoubleTree by Hilton i-City Hotel, which is scheduled to open next year with about 300 rooms.
“Companies and soon-to-wed couples, among others, are looking for an event space where there is hotel accommodation to host guests from overseas and outstation. Just like Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, which is connected to Suria KLCC for shopping, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur and Traders Hotel, the iCCC is linked to Best Western Hotel, Central i-City Mall, theme parks and the DoubleTree by Hilton i-City Hotel. Assessibility is also important. These, for me, are unique sellling points for the convention centre,” Naveen told NST Property.
Bullish outlook for event planning
Naveen is positive on the outlook of the event planning industry and its direct economic impact to the country’s gross domestic product growth.
“If you take a good look at the business environment, there are opportunities that exist. There are great prospects to engage in brand launch parties, corporate meetings, festivals and weddings. Despite what people say about the current business environment, it is still very active. Property developers are launching housing projects every month, while other corporations are having business meetings and corporate events. People are also getting married, celebrating birthdays and engagements, among other things.”
Naveen said the knowledge and experience Big Tree Event & Supplies has gives his team the confidence to plan, execute and coordinate events regardless of their size and nature.
He said an interesting challenge is transforming an old venue, especially those located in the suburbs, into magical event spaces.
“We have customers who live in the suburbs and the only available space to rent are multi-purpose halls and they want it to look grand for their big day. It is how you do it that is changing the atmosphere of a space from feeling empty into another world by focusing on the details! Even if your reception space is a rented hotel ballroom or a plain white industrial loft, it can be transformed into your dream place,” he said.
The Petaling Jaya-based company is a one-stop centre that plans, organises, executes and coordinates all facets of meetings and events. It has been doing this for over 20 years.
Naveen believes that MICE and banquet events, including weddings, will continue to lead the way in the event planning industry.
“What we need for the industry to thrive on are the major events like concerts by international artists and sporting events. Having these events will benefit hoteliers, convention centres, retail, F&B operators, airlines, rail operators, transport and logistics firms,” said Naveen.
It was reported that at least 200 major events were held in between 2012 and 2017, generating a revenue of RM3.13 billion for the local economy via tourist expenditure.
The hotel and retail industries had contributed 30 per cent each to the total RM3.13 billion revenue, while 25 per cent came from the entertainment industry, namely leisure activities, food and beverages.
Transportation and tour operators contributed 15 per cent.
In terms of MICE, the market is worth a few billion ringgit. In 2016, the market generated RM1.04 billion from 153 events while the weddings industry exceeded RM7 billion in value.
According to the Statistics Department, 226,605 marriages were recorded in 2016.