Two years ago I gave a talk in a property cum electrical goods fair in Persada Johor International Convention. Yes, that’s the largest convention centre available in Johor Bahru. It’s quite convenient in the sense that you can get food easily and parking was also available. However, the crowd then was nothing to shout about when compared to MAPEX JB held in City Square mall. The reason? Connectivity. Everyone coming into Johor Bahru would pass by City Square. Thus, they can guarantee the crowd and they can charge so much higher than any other malls. The question would thus be, would these two new international convention centres be well connected?
Of course, in terms of actual design for a convention centre, Persada is definitely better than City Square. You cannot do an international conference in City Square. Even a slightly bigger car show is not possible. Thus, for these type of shows, currently you have just Persada and I think the two new international convention centres are needed in the future. I think there would be many times in a year which it would be booked by Singaporean companies because of the cost factor. By doing it in Johor instead of Singapore, they can actually give more to the participants as the rental is surely lower.
The only gripe I always have with these facilities would be its maintenance. Even in Penang, the Penang International Sports Arena was badly maintained that the lift broke down on and off during events. Fortunately, it is now SPICE and is rebuilt by SP Setia and will be maintained by SP Setia for many more years to come. Please, get a good developer to do it and do it in such a way that they manage it and not just building it. Personally, for these kind of facilities, the best developer with experience should build and maintain it and not just any developer with the lowest tender of all. There are times for a fully open tender and there are times for guided direct tender. Make the right decision please.
written on 18 July 2014
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