On 19 January 2019, I was invited to be one of the panelists at a Focus Group Discussion conference in Batam, Indonesia, organised by Matahati Foundation. The objective of the event was to gather insights from various professionals and thought leaders on how to turn Batam, Indonesia, into a key venue in creative and education tourism
10 panel sessions consisted of professionals, thought leaders, international networks, academicians, entrepreneurs, among others.
I sat in Panel 2, together with fellow Singaporeans, Andrew Chow (Social Media Strategist), Daryl Chung (Project Director of E27, a tech media platform) and Tiziana Tan, Founder of Brain Juice Collective. The panel was moderated by Elmi Ong, the co-founder of Matahati Foundation herself.
During the session, among the questions we received include “How to change the negative perception of Batam?”
It was indeed an interesting question, for a fact that there were pre-conceived perceptions of Batam. In the panelist discussion, we recommended for Batam to acknowledge such situation but to focus more on building the brand that Batam is promoting. It is like a cup filled with coffee. To change its content to plain water, we need to focus in pouring plain water in it; and slowly, but surely, the coffee will be replaced by plain water.
From the creativity perspective, I recommended Batam to look into the word ‘Creative” itself (from the phrase ‘Creative Tourism”), because Creative does not necessarily means ‘the arts”. Go beyond that thinking to identify what’s unique for tourists to come, experience and learn. Focus on the "experiential learning" aspect.
I cited an example where in Singapore, the country tapped on already-popular Formula One, and ‘rebrand’ its day races (conducted in other countries) into a night race (that’s a creativity technique) in Singapore; and attracted more visitors to experience the event.
I hope the focus group discussion provided new insights and ideas to make batam achieved its plans of becoming a key venue in creative and educational tourism.
Applied Creativity/Creative Leadership & Public Speaking Strategist
Author of 7 books, including "The Stage Fright Antidote"
Hazriq Idrus is a professional speaker on Applied Creativity/ Creative Leadership and a Public Speaking Strategist. Using techniques from the theatre he learnt as a stage actor, Hazriq delivers keynote talks and training programmes that are interactive and experiential in nature. He founded The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd with a mission to help people and teams innovate and communicate with impact by tapping on their inner creative genius. Hazriq is contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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