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Saturday, 21 November 2015 | MYT 12:00 AM

Recognising business event players

IT was a night of glitz and glamour as the winners of this year’s prestigious rAWr Awards 2015 celebrated their victory at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (KLCC) ballroom recently.

Also known as Recognising Award Winning Results, the rAWr Awards helps local industry players in the field of business events, organisers and event venues to be recognised internationally.

Winning the award elevates one’s reputation as an event professional as it is the only recognition of its kind in Malaysia.

“This award night is like the Oscars for industry players and the theme is ‘black tie’ to make the night more special,” said Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) president Datuk Vincent Lim.

MACEOS, together with the Malaysian Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), launched the awards in 2013 and this is the second time it is being held.

Lim said he was happy for the opportunity to collaborate with MyCEB and hoped that the event would continue in years to come.

“Entries for this year were encouraging and tonight gives us the chance to recognise the men behind the industries,” he said.

Also present at the event was MyCEB chief executive officer Datuk Zulkefli Sharif, who said the event was is in line with the country’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

“Malaysia is gearing up to become Asia’s premier business events destination while also focusing on business tourism as much as leisure tourism,” he said.

MyCEB, which founded in 2009 by the Tourism and Culture Ministry, has helped spur the growth of the business events industry in Malaysia by supporting some 261 business events last year.

This has helped contributed about RM1.5bil, marking a 28% increase compared to RM1.26bil in 2013.

“We aim to attract 2.9 million business tourism visitors to Malaysia, making up about 8% of overall visitors to the country by 2020.

“We strongly believe that we can reach our goal and aspire to become the top five Asia Pacific destination for international conventions,” said Zulkefli.

This year, the rAWr Awards covered four major industry sectors – exhibition, convention, incentives and business events, with about 27 sub-categories.

In addition, there was a new Special Award introduced this year, aimed at recognising contributing operators from China, Indonesia, South Korea and India.

This award aims to further encourage top achievers and recognise them for bringing in large corporate groups to Malaysia.

“With this award, we hope to develop more industry players who will strive to position Malaysia as a leading destination of choice for international meetings in the region,” Zulkefli added.