Amidst the air of caution and uncertainties, how can Malaysia’s social security organization create a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to support the recovery of the country’s labor market and connect Malaysians to the 20,000 jobs opportunities it has to offer?
This was possibly the biggest conundrum for PERKESO, an entity under the Ministry of Human Resources as it planned for the International Public Employment Symposium 2021 (IPES2021). The two-day September event was an anchor program for its inaugural International Public Employment Service Forum, aimed at reviving, realigning and rebuilding Malaysia’s labor market following the pandemic.
Paul Kang, Head of Transformation Division at PERKESO, said:
“There were original plans to host this event live at a major conference venue as it’s a very important event for PERKESO. But when the country announced its National Recovery Plan with a possible lockdown extension until Q4 2021, we knew we had no choice but to go fully virtual.”
It was undoubtedly the right move. The event effectively accommodated over 40 times larger than expected turnout and positive engagements which PERKESO attributes part of the success to technology. Indeed, Webex Webinars (formerly Webex Events) was an integral enabler to its event strategy and quality execution.
IPES2021 held a critical role, especially at a time of rising concern about job security, unemployment and displaced workers in Malaysia. On the other hand, employers have been grappling with talent shortages in many industries.
The symposium brought over 30 influential speakers, including corporate leaders, policymakers, startup founders and trending personalities on a platform to exchange insights and experience. Their perspectives were valuable in empowering Malaysian graduates and jobseekers to be more employable, versatile and resilient amidst the disrupted talent landscape.
Recognizing the greater good IPES2021 could potentially bring to the nation, Cisco provided PERKESO with a complimentary Webex Webinars license for the event. This expanded the event capacity to 50,000 participants. To ensure the program reached out beyond registered Webex users, it was also broadcasted to the wider public via Facebook Live, thanks to the easy-to-use streaming feature on Webex Webinars.
The event achieved over 140,000 views across platforms on both days. This was way beyond the initial capacity limit of 3,000 pax if it was held in-person. Close to 12,000 unique participants consistently tuned in via Webex Webinars on each day – a clear indication of sustained audience interest and engagement.
“Organizing a virtual event is not rocket science – the technology should be designed for users not to feel exactly that in the first place. However, managing various components of the event can be daunting,” explained Paul.
PERKESO appreciates the flexibility and interoperability, which helped tremendously in removing many technical barriers. Webex Webinars worked seamlessly with the external tools used by the event management agency. From switching between pre-recorded content and live sessions, IPES2021 went on smoothly without any glitch.
IPES2021 also saw a clever use of Slido, an integrated audience interaction feature available on Webex Webinar. PERKESO conducted six live quizzes on Slido, offering 50 fresh graduate internship opportunities and five digital grants up for grabs.
Paul also added that the Slido quizzes were strategically staggered to ensure participants stay engaged throughout the event. Each session saw the participation of between 500 to 700 guests, which contributed to a lasting impression and meaningful engagement for the participants.”
By simplifying platform and technical complexities, enabling smart integrations and intuitive features, the secretariat could prioritize their resources on other critical functions – from overall programming to content quality, connectivity, marketing and promotion.
“Through this experience, Webex Webinars truly stands out as a scalable, reliable and functional solution. Webex Webinars not only alleviated the stress of bringing a symposium of such scale to live, but also carved a path for PERKESO to properly execute our strategy and create many possibilities for IPES2021,” acknowledged Paul.
Choosing Webex Webinars was a conscious decision. Since the pandemic, PERKESO employees are well acquainted to connect and collaborate on Webex. PERKESO attributes the familiarity to the support and service excellence of the Cisco Malaysia team.
“We value the relentless guidance and training provided by Cisco to help us learn more about Webex capabilities, particularly when everyone started working remotely at the height of the pandemic. For Webex Webinars, the team truly went the extra mile to understand our needs, while maintaining the same level of attentiveness and support. They were even on standby, all ready to assist our event operations team.”
What PERKESO finds most valuable throughout the process are the accumulated learnings and best practices that can be applied on future events. In addition to enabling greater outreach, virtual and hybrid events have become an important part of their ongoing journey towards digital transformation and revolutionizing employment services.
“The pandemic has intensified PERKESO’s responsibility in helping affected workers, while ensuring a sustainable workforce for the nation. At PERKESO, technology will continue to play an important role for us to create meaningful opportunities and enrich more Malaysians as we weather the challenging times and beyond,” concluded Paul.