Food Festival with Digital and Sanitising Touches

Youths ran the food festival with some unique challenges


MaQan, a Johor online food and beverage marketing platform, had organised their first food festival recently opposite Angsana Johor Bahru Mall. The three-day event supported by Tourism Johor attracted almost 350,000 visitors locally and from Melaka and Selangor as well.

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Entrepreneurs from Wany’s Snacks posing with their sample products, selling delicious, flavoured nuts

Almost all of the 120 vendors were already clients of the platform hence, the festival was an online-brought-to-life; where previously the audience only watched posts about the foods on social media, but this time it was all out to the field, leaving everyone spoilt for choices.

Promoting local economy, 90% of the vendors were from Johor.

Chezzo, Korean-inspired corndog business with their freshly fried golden brown and cheesy corndogs prepared for hungry customers

Touch N Go e-Wallet also set up their booth and more than 50 vendors offered payments via online. This convenience was definitely welcomed as we move towards going cashless as a nation. E-wallet users could also redeem a stainless steel straw pack from their booth.

The MaQan organising team consisted of seven youths aged 23-28, and it was their first time managing an event. It was also not an easy feat convincing sponsors to believe in the abilities of the first-timers. Learning from other organisers, they made sure to obtain all local municipality permits and other clearances in order for the event to run smoothly.

Floating noodles anyone?

A unique challenge that loomed over that could have potentially risked complete event postponement indefinitely was the COVID-19 (Coronavirus outbreak). However, upon consulting advice from the State Health Office, they provided face masks and hand sanitisers at the entrance, and equipped their hand washing stations with more soaps for patrons. This was indeed a relief given the situation where hygiene is at the top most priority. Besides the food fare, the event also had live performances from local artists.

MaQan is looking to expand their food festival to other cities as well.