Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Sarawak and ICCA Award First Association Impact Leaders


KUCHING, Malaysia, April 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The first ICCA Association Impact Masterclass kicks off today in Kuching with 24 Malaysian and international association leaders in line to be awarded the "Association Impact Leadership" Certificate. They will become the first cohort to be recognised as Association Impact Leaders awarded by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) in collaboration with their co-creators Meet4Impact and GainingEdge.

Datuk Sebastian Ting, Deputy Minister for Tourism Sarawak (centre left) with Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA (centre right) kickstarting the first ICCA Association Impact Masterclass today in Kuching at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.
Datuk Sebastian Ting, Deputy Minister for Tourism Sarawak (centre left) with Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA (centre right) kickstarting the first ICCA Association Impact Masterclass today in Kuching at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.

The two-day specialised training course, held at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching on 26 and 27 April, covers important topics related to legacy building and impact creation. The course offers insights, practical tools, and hands-on learning to effectively communicate their impact mission, scale up partnerships, and create an effective approach to impact planning, management, and measurement. The course is led by association meeting experts Genevieve Leclerc, co-founder and CEO of Meet4Impact, and Gary Grimmer, Executive Chairman of GainingEdge, who are also co-creators of this unique education programme.

The Association Impact Masterclass highlights Sarawak’s proactive steps to establish itself as the Legacy Capital of Business Events in Malaysia and Borneo, in tandem with the Legacy Impact Master Action Plan 2023–2025 to prepare Sarawak’s business events industry towards impact-driven meetings. The Masterclass will count towards the ICCASkills association certification and is considered a beneficial preparatory step for other courses under the ICCASkills umbrella.

"We are now at a phase where associations must translate ideas into actions for real impact. Sponsoring and hosting the first Association Impact Masterclass reflects our commitment to enabling associations locally and worldwide to be proficient and powerful at creating change through their events," expressed Amelia Roziman, CEO of Business Events Sarawak. "We hope participants feel empowered and confident to apply the Masterclass lessons when hosting a business event in Sarawak, Malaysia, or beyond. We want associations to become more powerful and appreciate and respect the support from our international partners for putting this course together and developing a legacy for everyone."

Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, said, "The importance of legacy can’t be understated, and the Association Impact Masterclass is an incredible opportunity for association professionals to hone their skills in legacy building, measuring impacts, and cultivating the activities of their organisations in order to achieve sustained growth and development. I anticipate the transformative impact that two hugely interactive days in Kuching, Sarawak will bring to our thriving global community."

Genevieve Leclerc said "For several years, we have been actively involved in discussions with associations regarding legacy and impact, with a primary emphasis on assisting them in optimising the influence of their events. An area of concern that we have identified is that associations worldwide could truly benefit from a deeper understanding of how to supplement their strategic plans through the development of impact strategies that encompass their entire operations. Such strategies aim to improve the delivery of their missions and establish a structure for facilitating social and economic advancement in society. We are delighted to introduce this new educational initiative that will be beneficial to the growth of Sarawak-based associations, whose contributions are already recognised and strategically leveraged by the government here."

Speaking on the impact of the Masterclass, Gary Grimmer stated "Sarawak has taken a real leadership role in developing an innovative new programme that will benefit associations globally. Associations already provide so many transformative impacts to communities, nations and sometimes the entire world. This Masterclass will help strengthen their societal contributions even further."

BESarawak is the exclusive Seed Grant Contributor for the Association Impact Masterclass, with the intent of growing the human capital with qualified association members who specialise in legacy impact, thus positioning Sarawak as the Legacy Capital of Business Events in Malaysia and Borneo. 

The Association Impact Masterclass is co-created by the International Congress and Convention Association, GainingEdge (Australia), and Meet4Impact (Canada). Destinations worldwide are welcome to host the next Association Impact Masterclass.

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BESarawak was established in 2006 by the Sarawak Government as a non-profit destination marketing organisation to promote Sarawak for national and international business events. Support and services include, but are not limited to, bidding services, developing business events of interest, delegate marketing, financial support and developing incentive itineraries. BESarawak is a member of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Union of International Associations (UIA), and Union des Foires Internationales (UFI) – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Visit for more information. Business events refer to meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. BESarawak is also known as ‘Biro Konvensyen Sarawak’ (Bahasa Malaysia) or 砂拉越会议局 (Mandarin).


Legacy impact refers to the long-term, positive benefits that business events bring to sectors, communities, trade and investment, the environment, and governance. Sarawak is the first in Malaysia and one of the few in the world to focus on legacy impact as a sustainable method of measuring the value of business events. The sector is one of six in the Sarawak Government’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy to achieve economic prosperity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability by 2030.


The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is a global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. Founded in 1963, ICCA specialises in the international association and governmental meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, education, and communication channels, as well as business development and networking opportunities. Today, ICCA is one of the most prominent organisations in — and advocates for — the world of international meetings. Initiatives such as the ICCA Association Community offers associations across the world education, connections, tools, and resources to help them organise more effective and successful meetings with the global network of ICCA member suppliers. 

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