IAA World Congress MOU signing ceremony

By V. Sivaji

You might just have the presence of renowned icons in the likes of Elon Musk and Jack Ma either personally or on the virtual platform at the 45th edition of the International Advertising Association World Congress (IAA ) World Congress which is to be held in Penang in 2024.

This is the first time the IAA World Congress is being held in Malaysia or even in the Southeast Asian region.

Previous gatherings were held in cities like New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, Beijing, Dubai and Moscow.

Present to sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU) at Komtar was Penang Chief Minister YAB Chow Kon Yeow, State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy, YB Yeoh Soon Hin and Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau chief executive officer, Ashwin Gunasekeran.

Representing IAA World Congress was Prof John Doody Chacko who is the chairman of the 45th IAA World Congress and president of IAA Malaysia along with his team.

“A crowd of 2,000 attendees from 26 countries are expected at this three-day event. It has the potential to harness RM12.55 million of estimated economic impact for Penang.

“There will also be RM1.5 million in room fees to be collected throughout the congress. The Congress is also in line with our green state vision,” said Chow in his speech.

Yeoh added that the arrival of the IAA World Congress in Penang is one of the many testament of their efforts in elevating and enhancing Penang’s destination appeal.

“There will also be worldwide coverage by BBC, CNN, CNBC, CGTN, Al-Jazeera and Bloomberg for the event,” added Yeoh.

On the same note, Ashwin added that they took undaunted efforts to bring such events to Penang.  

“This event has a high value and high impact and will serve as a catalyst for investment and employment opportunities for the state,” said Ashwin.

Meanwhile, Chacko expressed his delight to host the 45th edition of the IAA World Congress in Penang.

“It took three to four years of intense effort, against other more globally famous destinations, before IAA Malaysia emerged victorious to bid for the World Congress in Malaysia and in Penang.

“This also marks the first occasion the IAA World Congress will be held in Southeast Asia. The IAA is a unique network of marketers, advertising agencies, media, tech-companies and educators who are responsible and constantly evaluating what is new. I truly believe that the congress in Penang will emerge as the congress with the most impact in its 85-year history of IAA,”  he added.

To complement the Malaysia Chapter, IAA also aims to establish a Penang Chapter with the Penang Chief Minister as its patron.

IAA World Congress members with Ashwin (third from left) and other attendees