23 December 2022
Association-led events have been steadily returning to BCCK in 2022. These events include the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS 2022), Sarawak Oil & Gas Conference (SOGC 2022), the International Conference on Clean Energy (ICCE 2022), the Medico-Legal Society of Malaysia-Medico and Legal Society of Singapore Joint Seminar (MEDICOLEGAL 2022), and the 12th Asian Conference on Lactic Acid Bacteria, World Engineering, Science & Technology Congress (ESCON), to name a few. BCCK also saw an upward trend in banqueting, weddings and meetings segments, which clocked in at 128, 21 and 187 events respectively.
BCCK’s CEO, Eric van Piggelen said the Centre was thrilled to see a strong comeback of events this year. “Initially, we thought it would take at least four years for the industry to bounce back to pre-covid times but it was a huge relief that it did not take longer”.
“For example, we hosted the Ramadhan buffet during the Holy Month in April – not long after the restrictions were lifted. And during that one month alone, we catered for over 35,000 customers, which is approximately 94% of our total highest record that we achieved in 2019, prior to the pandemic. That certainly was a major feat!”, Eric continued.
Redefining Business Events
BCCK has begun focusing on generating its own home-grown events with the goal to create annual events that can be become hallmark events which like-minded delegates can look forward to annually. This will also encourage and nurture local grass-root events into regional events in the near future. This year, BCCK has hosted the successful inaugural Engage and Taste Borneo Conference 2022 (EAT Borneo 2022). The 3-day conference welcomed more than 200 delegates from around the Southeast Asia region.
Other upcoming home-grown events are the Borneo Extreme Auto Show & Tradefest (BEAST 2023), Borneo International Garden Expo Sarawak (BIGEXS 2023), Asia Pacific Tourism Expo & Conference (APTEC 2023) and Borneo Travel Mart (BTM 2023) which aim to be the catalyst for change in bringing together industry-leading experts to convene in Kuching, Sarawak.
Windows of opportunity
While BCCK may have seemed quiet on the outside during the pandemic, there was plenty happening behind closed doors. The BCCK team decided to take the lull as an opportunity to work together to revamp, reinvent and revitalise the Centre. It focused on improving modern comforts, digitalisation and efficiency.
The enhanced facilities such as the top-of-the-line sound systems for D&B Audiotechnik, digital signages, a Mobile Telescopic Bleacher Seating System that can seat nearly 1,900 people, a Digital Broadcast Suite complete with high-definition recording and broadcast camera sets and other studio fixings. It has upgraded its current systems to the best-in-class versions available.
“We sharpened our axe during the slowdown, so when the pandemic was over, we would be ready to resume, better than ever,” Eric reveals.
In addition to the facility upgrades, BCCK took the food industry by storm, ventured deeper into large-scale offsite catering and portable food production to deliver its clients with bespoke offsite catering services. The diversified business model has expanded up to 8% of BCCK’s revenue stream this year alone.
The culinary team at BCCK’s Raintree Restaurant also took the windows of opportunity to revitalise its menu, to offer variety of menu options whilst maintaining the Sarawakian identity. The new menu offers customers with distinctive Bornean gastronomy experience at fair prices. The well received menu has garnered 24% more than its 2022 overall restaurant’s target. The mobile pizza ovens that the Raintree Restaurant invested in has sold more than 5,000 gourmet pizzas at Sarawak’s largest food festival – Kuching Fest 2022 in July. BCCK continues to bolsters its F&B offerings to enhance its clients’ culinary journey, be it at BCCK or offsite venues.
Looking to the future
The Centre is set to host diverse of international conferences in 2023, including the Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA 2023), Asia-Australasia Conference of Radiological Technologists (AACRT 2023), International Primatological Conference (IPC 2023), Asia-Pacific Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (APSTH 2023), Annual Conference of the Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health (APACPH 2023) and the Federation of Asian Veterinary Association Congress (FAVA 2023), among others.
Looking to the future, Eric van Piggelen further revealed that BCCK has a number of plans to further enhance its offerings and raise its game. “We are also looking to host more live events such as concerts, sporting events, and theatre productions, and the new equipment will enable us to broadcast these events live, as well as record and distribute them” he said.
“BCCK through its excellent leadership, coupled with the unwavering support from its team has produced stellar results. We would like to express our deepest appreciation to all our stakeholders for their immeasurable support which has enabled BCCK to thrive as a contributor in making Sarawak a competitive business events destination”, added Y Bhg Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wilson Bayak Dandot, Executive Director of BCCK.
For over a decade, BCCK has served as the largest and best-equipped convention centre in Borneo. Its recent enhancements are designed to ensure it welcome’s back its international clientele at in-person, hybrid or digital events.