MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) and weddings are growing industries in Malaysia. Soaring demand for venues has led to more convention centres and event spaces being set up here.
The Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) is currently the country’s largest exhibition centre with over 45,000 sq mof gross exhibition space.
The next biggest will be Malaysian Exposition and Convention Centre (MyExpo), which together with Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) is set to be the largest exhibition centre in Southeast Asia.
It was reported that the MICE market is worth billions of ringgit as in 2016 it generated RM1.04 billion from 153 events while the weddings industry exceeded RM7 billion in value.
According to the Malaysian Statistical Department, there were226,605 marriages recorded in Malaysia alone in 2016.
The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is one of the more popular venues for MICE-related events and large-scale weddings.
Companies, especially those which started as interior design (ID) firms, are transforming into event or wedding planners for a share of the cake and this is motivating developers to invest in multi-purpose halls and small convention centres.
Reka Teemor founder Rozana Mumtaz said, “Fundamentally, both (ID and wedding) involve designing a space to suit the client’s requirements.
“However, the stark contrast between the duration and the complexity of delivering ID projects versus a wedding design made us transition into the wedding industry full time.
“In ID, it is a long-term project ranging from two to three months to more than a year for complete setup. You have to visit sites many times, and you are dependent on many third parties. Worst cases are problems with plumbing and defect of workmanship that can affect client relationship.
“Interior fittings are permanent where you need to search and buy new items for each and every project. Each and every site of an interior project is a new area that might cause new ruling (by local government) and thus new challenges. There are also possibilities of getting called back after a few years when a defective element appears.
“In comparison, wedding design and planning is a short-term project that requires only a one-time, that is 24 to 48 hours to set up. Within a week, we can design and deliver multiple wedding events and reach the same (or more) income compared to a single ID project,” said Rozana.
She expects a positive growth in the weddings industry, especially in the premium segment, despite the current market uncertainties,
Rozana said the market was not slowing down as many hotel ballrooms were already fully booked for weddings this year.