Borneo International Beads Conference 2019 (BIBCo 2019)

Borneo International Beads Conference 2019

Borneo International Beads Conference 2019

The Borneo International Beads Conference 2019 or BIBCo 2019 will take place from the 4th to 6th October 2019 in Kuching, Sarawak. This is a bi-annual event, which is also the sixth time it is taking place here in Sarawak.

For those who are interested to learn and understand more about the bead world, this is one event you should not miss. There are talks, workshops, demonstrations, displays, fashion show and even a beads bazaar during the expo.

Borneo International Beads Conference 2019

BIBCO 2019
Some of the ethnic bead displays at the Beads Abuzz Bazaar.

With heavy focus on tribal and ethnic beads from around the world, this traditional and yet modern beading expo will showcase some of the most beautiful beads from around Sarawak, Borneo and other countries.

This event tends to attract those who are familiar with the beading world, or have some sort of interest to learn more about beads or beading.

Objectives of the Borneo International Beads Conference:

As every conference, there are always objectives in having the event and among the main ones are;

• To facilitate creative interaction between Sarawak’s artisans/designers and their international counterparts
• To share knowledge and expertise with international bead scholars and researchers
• To preserve the Sarawak bead tradition in a commercially viable way
• To encourage the production of top quality beads and beadwork in Sarawak
• To promote competent modern design in beads and beadwork
• To showcase the bead culture of Sarawak to a regional/ international audience
• To promote ‘culture tourism’ in Sarawak
• To improve the earning power of home-based cottage workers in Sarawak

Activities at the Borneo International Beads Conference

Bibco Talks
One of the talks taking place at the last BibCo 2017.

During this three day bead event in Kuching, there are a number of activities, talks and demonstrations going on, and below is a list of what you can expect at the Borneo International Beads Conference 2019.

  • Talks
  • Workshops
  • Beads Bazaar
Borneo Beads Conference
The people involved with the Borneo Beads Conference in 2017.

Program for BIBCo 2019

Below is the tentative program for the conference, and it is most likely confirmed. Just that the official launching date and location needs to be confirmed. Once it is, we will update it here.

Thursday 3rd October

  • Official launch (time to be advised)
  • Commencement of Beads Abuzz Bazaar
  • From 1:30 p.m. – Hands-on workshops

Friday 4th October

  • 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Presentation of papers
  • 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Hands-on workshops
  • Beads Abuzz Bazaar continues all day

Saturday 5th October

  • 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Presentation of papers
  • 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Hands-on workshops
  • Beads Abuzz Bazaar continues all day
  • 8 p.m. Gala Dinner

Sunday 6th October

  • 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm – Presentation of papers.
  • Followed by plenary session of Q & A between speakers and participants.
  • 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Hands-on workshops
  • Beads Abuzz Bazaar continues all day
BibCo Baza
A vendor selling ethnic beads at BibCo’s craft bazaar called Beads Abuzz. 

Speakers for the Borneo International Beads Conference 2019

As usual, every BIBco event will have a panel of local and international speakers invited to talk about beads to the participants of the conference.

To see the full list, please visit the website of BIBCo 2019 (, and below panel consist of;

Speakers at BibCo 2019
The list of speakers at BibCo 2019.

Where is the Borneo International Beads Conference 2019?

This unique beads event will take place in the city of Kuching, Sarawak Borneo. It is held every two years, and is one of the most unique events or conferences to take place here.

The previous Borneo International Beads Conference in 2017 was held at the Waterfront Hotel in Kuching. And the hotel is just next to the Merdeka Plaza Shopping Mall, where the Beads Abuzz Bazaar was also held.

For BIBCo 2019, the venue is in Kuching City, but we are still awaiting confirmation on the final location for the conference and bazaar.

Sarawak BibCo 2019
One of the vendors with her beautiful ethnic beaded necklaces for sale.

How to Get to the Borneo International Beads Conference 2019?

To get to the conference, you may be from out of Kuching, and I will share some of the information on how to go to BIBCo 2019. They include from various destinations in the region.

  • From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – You can take a flight using AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines or Malindo Air to fly into Kuching. From the Kuching Airport, it is only a 20 minute drive into the city, where the event will take place.
  • From Singapore – You can take Scoot Airlines or AirAsia from Changi Airport to Kuching, and it is a 90 minute flight one way.
  • From Bangkok – There are no direct flights, but you can connect from Kuala Lumpur with one stop. Various airlines like Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Malindo and Scoot offer this.
  • From Brunei – Royal Brunei offers direct flights from Bandar Seri Begawan into Kuching, which is a 75 minute flight.
  • From Sabah – Malaysia Airlines, Malindo and AirAsia have Kota Kinabalu to Kuching flights multiple times a day which is about 80 minutes one way.
  • From Indonesia – Multiple airlines fly from Jakarta and various other parts of Indonesia into Kuching. Direct flights are mainly from Jakarta, while other Indonesian cities will have to connect through Jakarta.
  • Other Countries – All other countries around the world, you can connect via Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to get into Kuching, Sarawak.
Raben Pungu from Sarawak
Raben and Pungu, two leading Sarawakian bead jewelry makers.

Borneo International Beads Conference
Date: 4,5 & 6 October 2019
Organizer: Crafthub Sdn. Bhd.
Phone: +60 82 421 346

Heidi Munan Bibco
Heidi Munan and Datuk Karim inspects some of the bead vendors during BibCo 2017.

If you would love to know more about the beading world, seed beads, tribal beads and all things beads, this is one conference that you should not miss.

The Borneo International Beads Conference is truly a one-of-a-kind event and held in this part of the world in Sarawak every two years.

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