Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) in Malaysia and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) have officiated their global collaboration on the International Journal of Business Events and Legacies (IJBEL). With IJBEL, both partners want to foster the merger between business meetings, inclusive code of conducts and legacies.

The IJBEL is the first journal in South East Asia to cover business events as a whole, and the first in the world to merge business events and legacy topics under one roof. Its objective is to widen the knowledge capacity of the global industry, ranging from practitioners and researchers to consumers and policymakers, by addressing real-world issues on business meetings, tourism, and legacies.

Currently, there are 44 global advisors and expert editors from 15 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania. To add credibility, support is also given by well-established industry players such as the Professional Convention Management Association, The Iceberg, GainingEdge, the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau and many more.

Source of inspiration for the MICE industry

“The journal is beyond a learning tool, but a platform for every destination in the world to innovate, improve and inspire the sector,” highlighted Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak’s Minister of Tourism, Creative Industries and Performing Arts. “The Ministry is serious about business events flourishing in Sarawak, hence the inclusion of this sector in the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030. The latter is a 10-year policy by the Sarawak Government.”

The Minister continued to say that such collaboration with ICCA is the “strongest yet between the Government and the global industry” and is encouraging more associations, convention bureaus, and academia around the world to become IJBEL strategic partners.

Sarawak is no stranger to the international business events market. Since establishing BESarawak in 2006, the destination has been earning sweeping recognition for its creative marketing efforts with a total of 20 marketing and communication awards to date—many from the business events sector. But this is just one of their strengths; Sarawak is also a rising star in both the regional and global meetings industry for its advocacy of business event legacies.

Sarawak protecting legacy
Events such as Sarawak Rainforest Festival is a way to nurture Sarawak heritage and legacies. Local group Nading Rhapsody is drawing inspiration from Iban-Bidayuh folklore and musical forms (Photo: LC/Cleverdis)

BESarawak and ICCA IJBEL to be a reference of good practices

“The world is beginning to embrace the fact that associations and destinations need each other. The most effective way for these two to connect is through legacy impact,” stated James Rees, President of ICCA. “ICCA is more than delighted to support a destination like Sarawak as a strategic association partner in developing the journal. It is a platform and voice for ICCA members and their networks, far and wide. We definitely will endorse, recognise, and actively develop the journal; share resources, and continue supporting education goals which are aligned with ICCA objectives.”

Rees praised Sarawak’s adaptability to circumstances and unique approach to collaborations that label Sarawak as a high-impact business events destination.

Meanwhile, having seen the many changes that Sarawak’s business events sector went through over 15 years, BESarawak’s CEO Amelia Roziman is optimistic that the journal will connect more global partners to unite the industry and advocate for the highest purpose of business events. “IJBEL will be a journal to most. But it’s really a grandstand to drive the growth and possibilities of this sector,” Amelia asserted. “With enough contributions and collaborations, we’re foreseeing better professionalism from global industry partners and stronger G2G and G2B support, resulting in a better experience for planners and delegates.”

In November 2021, the Business Events Sarawak Legacy Initiative endorsed by ICCA was launched by the Premier of Sarawak. This marked the most significant collaboration between associations and the Sarawak Government.

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