The Anak Sarawak Appreciation Award (ASAA) is a much celebrated annual event. Taking on a new format in 2012, industry members and suppliers were acknowledged for their extraordinary passion, leadership and commitment in building up the local industry. Among the categories that were introduced include: The Anak Sarawak Outstanding Achievement Award, The Best Venue of the Year, The Best Supplier of the Year, The Best Exhibition of the Year, The Best Incentive Program of the Year, The Best Conference of the Year and Global Appreciation Award.
The awards were presented by YB Dato’ Joseph Salang Gandum, Deputy Minister of Information Communications & Culture and YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhd. Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah, Chairman of SCB, amidst the pomp and splendour at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK). Themed ‘Sarawak Hornbill Festival’, the Great Hall transformed to a traditional village scene, complete with villagers and traditional games to entertain the guests. Local cultural elements and traditional folklore sprung to life and gave guests an unforgettable taste of Sarawak.
In his speech, YB Dato’ Joseph Salang Gandum emphasised, “The winners tonight, in tandem with SCB and its industry partners will be the driving force behind the development of Sarawak’s business events industry. The Bureau has successfully positioned Sarawak on the global map; it is up to you in the industry to propel it further.”
SCB took the opportunity to celebrate its total bid wins since 2006. To date, the Bureau has supported 215 convention bids representing 97, 507 delegates and 362, 745 delegate days, which contributed an estimated direct delegate expenditure of RM 222, 368, 567 (RM 222 million) to Sarawak. In 2012, SCB achieved 37 out of 45 targeted bid wins. Moreover, much of the Bureau’s focus was split between not only on winning bids, but assisting existing clients who had won conferences in the previous years.
YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhd. Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah, Chairman of SCB commented, “Without the strong support of the Federal and State Governments, and our industry partners, the local business events industry would not be where it is today. It is a proud moment to see Sarawak enter the global ranks and we will continue our efforts to keep the momentum going.”
Mr Mike Cannon, Managing Director of SCB added, “We are thrilled to maintain our bid win achievements. We’ve come a long way and all our team and industry members are committed to giving their full support to ensure our client’s meetings are a success. Our core focus will remain on winning new bids, however, we are pleased to see the fruits of our efforts in the years to come through the events to be held in 2013, 2014 and so forth.”
The SCB aimed to create an award night of exceptional quality and set new standards to ensure the success of international, regional and local business events to Sarawak. Themes from previous years included: Oscar Night (2007), James Bond (2008), Phantom of the Opera (2009), The Egyptian Night (2010) and Rainforest Magic - Homecoming Warriors (2011). The theme selection for this year was to highlight the celebration of Sarawak’s business events industry through the spirit of ‘agi idup agi ngeleban’, which means ‘we will fight to the end’.
The event was sponsored by BCCK and jointly supported by Grand Margherita Hotel, who graciously hosted accommodation for the award recipients.