United Nations takes over KLCC for one of its most high-profile events yet

By Gina Sin on 13/02/2018

Malaysia has concluded the first of its slew of major events for 2018. Biz Events Asia delves into the logistical challenges and triumphs for this 25,000-participant forum, and the other events set for this burgeoning business events destination.

The United Nation-Habitat’s 9th Session of World Urban Forum (WUF9) from 7 to 13 February, further growing the venue’s international high-profile event portfolio. Earlier today, a flag-raising ceremony was held to formalize the commencement of the events with the official opening ceremony to be followed on Thursday, 8 February which will be officiated by YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Themed “Cities 2030 – Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda”, the Forum will be focused on discussing the implementation of the New Urban Agenda as a tool and accelerator for achieving the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Malaysia won the bid in 2014 through collaboration between the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government and Malaysia Conventions and Exhibitions Bureau where Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre was the proposed venue of choice for the event.

With the Seventh Session of the World Urban forum held in Medellin, Colombia recording over 18,000 participation, the current edition of the Forum is expected to converge at least 25,000 participants from national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, professionals, research institutions and academies, professionals, private sector, development finance institutions, foundations, media and United Nations organizations at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre over the next week.

The Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, shared, “We are delighted to be the venue of choice for this highly important and prestigious international event and our team are passionate about delivery and applying their knowledge and expertise to address the complexity of the event.  The exposure and legacy this event creates is not only a win for us but also for Malaysia and the region.”

Challenges and Triumphs

For the duration of the event, as per the organiser’s protocol, the Centre was handed over to the United Nations which puts the venue and its surrounding of approximately 50 metres under UN territory for seven days.

Heightened security measures and protocol including re-routing of entry and exit points for the duration of the event were some of the initial challenges faced at this massive forum. The nature of the event also required short turnaround times on requests and set-ups, given the large number of side meetings, and flexibility to meet those needs. The Centre was also challenged to scale up the Centre’s in-house café operations to serve 25,000 anticipating delegates.

However, the team successfully implemented rigorous security measures in collaboration with Royal Malaysian Police and UN Security Team, with communication carried out to clients, stakeholders and the public to raise and increase awareness of the event and to offer guidance and information regarding access to the Centre for the event duration.

With past experiences in delivering successful high-profile events similar to WUF9, the Centre’s team were able to gauge and anticipate the needs, requirements, and challenges that may arise and were able to tackle them to organiser’s satisfaction in time for the event and to deliver requirements on-site as request arose.

Ensuring an effective communication interface across all parties involved and understanding the roles and responsibilities of the respective organiser and government host were also crucial, and KLCC was able to meet short-term requirements and receive positive feedback from delegates.

The Centre is reputed to be the host of many international high-profile events in the past years and being recognized as a world-class purpose-built venue with industry standard accreditations and a track record that attest to its suitability for events of this stature. These include distinguished high-profile government events such as the Malaysia-China Economic Summit, 26th and 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits; and the 128th International Olympic Committee Session to name a few.

Nuclear science and technology conference bid win a first

Organised by the World Council on Isotopes (WCI),with the successful bid by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) working alongside strategic local organiser, Malaysia Nuclear Agency (Nuklear Malaysia), the five-day expo in February 2018 will attract over 1,000 of the world’s leaders and best researchers in isotope technology to discuss the latest research as well as sustainable development in the field.

“Being the first ASEAN country to be selected as the host for this conference will provide an opportunity for Malaysia to showcase its capabilities and capacities in research and development, particularly in the nuclear and related technologies,” said Zulkefli Hj. Sharif, MyCEB’s CEO.

“The benefits of hosting this conference extend beyond tourism gains, as it amplifies other benefits to Malaysia, such as knowledge and technology transfer, enhancing Malaysia’s reputation as a knowledge and creative hub, as well as raising the potential of trade and investment in the related technology sector.”

Malaysia is set to host several world congresses in 2018, starting with the recently concluded United Nations’ 9th Session of the World Urban Forum 9 in February, the 22nd Biennial Congress of the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists 2018, the WORDLCHEFS Congress & Expo in July, the 84th World Library and Information Congress 2018 in August, and the 2018 World Cancer Congress and the International Solid Waste Association World Congress 2018 in October.

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