59th ICCA APRH Congress 2020: A celebration of Sarawak’s Business Events

Sarawak has done it again! The State has successfully hosted The Asia Pacific Regional Hub Congress for the 59th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) from Nov 1-3, 2020 with remarkable response from the Asia Pacific business events industry.

This congress is a milestone for the State, making Sarawak the first ever ICCA Asia Pacific regional hub to champion for legacies of conventions, otherwise globally known as legacy impacts.

59th ICCA APRH Congress 2020: A celebration of Sarawak’s Business Events


Hosted through Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak), this three-day educational affair centred on the theme ‘Tribe Legacy ICCA’, featuring over 25 regional and international speakers.

A talent who stole the spotlight at this congress was none other than the Sarawakian musician, artiste and community influencer Alena Murang, who captivated the hearts of her audiences with her oral traditions and storytelling inspired by her Kelabit heritage.

The congress also saw Borneo Convention Centre Kuching CEO, Eric Van Piggelen sharing the outcomes of a retrospective legacy case study made on the ICCA Congress Kuching 2016; and Associate Professor Dr. Margaret Chan  disclosing her case study on the 1st International Conference on Education in the Digital Education (ICEdDE) 2019 and its potential to influence policy makers on endorsing innovative teaching practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

On top of that, among the international speakers at this congress were Gary Grimmer of GainingEdge (Australia) who spoke on the importance of convention legacies in today’s business events world and Soren Birkelund Pederson from Inspiring Denmark (MeetDenmark), whose key message was on legacy planning and implementation to influence tangents and outcomes from legacies. 


In line with Sarawak’s aspirations

According to Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the regional congress theme speaks very closely to the aspirations of the Sarawak Government, which are to reduce social exclusion, economic disparities, and our carbon footprint.

“Business events have been specially selected to lead the way for Sarawak’s sectoral, economic, political and community development under the Sarawak Economic Action Council,” he said.

“The congress is fortifying Sarawak as a knowledge hub in the field of legacy which we strongly believe will be the next big topic in the global business events industry,” the Minister added. 

Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Hii Chang Kee also extended his gratitude towards Sarawak’s strategic partners (ICCA and GainingEdge), various associations, and industry partners for the solid support throughout the congress.

“Sarawak is fortunate to have a set of excellent speakers from all over the world to make the Asia Pacific congress relevant for the industry,” he said.


The impact of legacy

One of the feature speakers for the congress was BESarawak’s Acting CEO Amelia Roziman. Her ‘Soft Power of Conventions’ session revealed the results of a year-long legacy impact study of 12 participating conventions that were held in Sarawak, in 2019.

The study revealed that the traditional way of assessing a convention’s return of investment, through head counts and hotel room nights are unfeasible in this new age.

“The new lens is on how conventions can transform our current economic and social system into one that delivers human wellbeing and social justice,” she said.

“Out of the 4 legacy pillars of sector, economy, governance and community, the findings have shown that every convention made a significant contribution with an impact to Sarawak’s 7 Key Focus Areas to be measured against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” Amelia added.  


‘Gift of Love: Batang Ai Community Library’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Another focal point is on the congress-led CSR project ‘Gift of Love: Batang Ai Community Library’. Under this project, a library was constructed at Nanga Ukom longhouse to help shape the livelihoods of children and young adults for seven longhouses communities. 

This library is a continuation of the legacy created back in 2016 for the 55th ICCA Congress held in Kuching. It is also a pilot project for the newly developed legacy impact measurement instrument, to study its effectiveness in helping children remain in school. 

The library is a collaboration between BESarawak, ICCA, 55th ICCA Congress Local Host Committee and Sarawak Energy Berhad. Supporting partners include Librarians’ Association of Malaysia and Sarawak State Library.

This year, this project aims to gather a quantity of 500 books for readers aged 5-15 years old in Bahasa Malaysia and English, within the duration of nine days, from Oct 27 until Nov 6, 2020. Over the period of nine days, BESarawak has gathered tons of books donated from various individuals, organisations and corporations. 

The expected opening ceremony of this library at Nanga Ukom Longhouse is expected to be held on Nov 27, with the attendance of Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Kudos BESarawak for such impactful achievements through 59th ICCA APRH Congress 2020!

For more info, visit https://events.iccaworld.org/cmspreview/congress2020-sarawak-hub/

Where to stay in Kuching? CLICK HERE

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