MEA2014 National Conference kicked off Friday morning with excitement an humour. Friday marked the official beginning of the conference sessions at Kulala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Despite the rain, business coach Peter Bliss still had a reasonable turn out at his Tai Chi in the Trees. Mr Bliss described Tai Chi as the “ultimate technique”, the group spent 15 minutes working on acknowledging their energy and starting the day fresh and relaxed. Mr Bliss said, “whether you’re a beginner and know nothing about Tai Chi it’s a class which everybody would enjoy”.
Most delegates came in for the plenary session in the morning and MC Nigel Collins had the crowd laughing and smiling in the first 30 seconds of his session, “Is you conference too boring?”. Mr Collins’ talk was followed by the first of MEAs “Thought Starters” which gave attendees a taste of the Deep Dive Sessions to follow.
The Deep Dives covered a wide range of topics including branding, communicating effectively and leadership skills. Lieutenant Michael Bonning’s talk “Lead Like You Were Born To It” was the most popular session. Using his own experience as a medical officer in the army, Lieutenant Bonning explained how being a team player and seeking feedback can make you a better leader. When talking about the fear of receiving negative feedback Lt Bonning said, “separate job performance form you as a person”. Many in the crowd agreed it was an inspiring session.
Delegates were treated to a range of Asian dishes, drinks and deserts for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea in the exhibition hall, giving them an opportunity to eat and browse. A live Malaysian band performed at lunch and several artists’ stalls were installed.
Daren Isenberg drew a large crowd with his breakout session “The Power of ‘I’ – The Impact of Individual Influence”. Mr Isenberg’s humorous presentation taught delegates how to be influential by cooperating with colleagues and having a positive disposition.
The through the day the program’s teaching stream helped delegates understand some of the finer points of the event industry. Matt Crouch taught attendees how to navigate the legal side of doing business abroad and later in the day Denisa Admamova and Giovannia Toldi held a session about important industry case studies.
The last two sessions of the day were run by chair of the MEA2014 program, Ian Stuart. “Hypothetically Speaking…An Interactive Conference Journey” took delegates through the plight of a pharmaceutical company attempting to host a conference in the Asia-Pacific region. The session was highly interactive with the crowed choosing options for the company via the MEA2014 app. “Satay, Sambal & Sesame” allowed delegates to ask the tough questions of their fellow attendees. The session was very relaxed with participants moving from table to table to learn about various issues or confusing matters in the industry.
The day finished with a causal dinner at Feast Villiage in Starhill Gallery.