Monday, May 31, 2010

First Day at the World Expo

Whew! Done with my first day at the World Expo. I will do another day tomorrow. Today we visited the Africa Pavilion, Caribbean Pavilion (no Bermuda—sigh), DevNet Pavilion and China Pavilion. Our “contact” got us into a two-hour que at the China Pavilion—otherwise it would have been four hours!

The China building is amazing but I was disappointed in the content. Thanks to my client, Nancy Goshow of Goshow Architects in NYC, I have learned tons about sustainable design and practices. So on one hand I’m pleased to report that I really knew everything being presented and on the other hand—it was very disappointing that there was nothing “new” or truly “innovative” there. It seems like the other countries’ Pavilions are more for tourism outreach than following the theme of “Better City, Better Life.”

Tomorrow we will go to the USA Pavilion and I hope it is better than the disappointing reviews I’ve heard from other Americans who have attended. I also hope to go to Iceland and I will go back to DevNet again.

The DevNet Pavilion is in the United Nations area and it is where my two clients are exhibiting: JiuQiunJiu Wine, the Official Rice Wine, and HanSen Winery from Mongolia, the Official Red Wine of the Expo. Both are EXCELLENT wines. I meet with the President of DevNet tomorrow and hope I can make some significant changes (additions) to our displays.

The other impression of World Expo? Lines, lines everywhere. You may have noticed, or heard, before that Chinese do not really take well to lines. They have no problems “cutting” in line, pushing past, etc. I decided to be a bugger about this and they did not push past me! Although it is somewhat amusing because by pushing, they might move up 2-5 people and in a two-hour line—that means nothing time-wise. I was told that last week at the German Pavilion, when German workers were trying to stop the pushing and cutting, an all-out war-of-words broke out, with a lot of name-calling, and the Chinese suggesting a boycott of the German Pavilion. LOL German and Chinese cultures in that situation certainly would be clashing!

More to report after my visit again tomorrow!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Greetings from China

Greetings from China! I came to China for several reasons. First was the Global Summit of Women in Beijing. More than 1,000 women attended from about 85 different countries. The best part of these conferences is to meet the other women. I was moderator of a panel on “Handling the Difficult Conversation.” It was a GREAT panel and I hope to keep in touch with my panelists—two women from the US and the President of China Mobile in China (yes, a woman!). Actually Pam Teagarden, one of the “US” women, has homes in Russia, London and Berlin. We hope to work together in the future on crisis communications. She handles the behavioral psychology side of it and I would handle the planning and implementation. Sounds good to me!

I also hosted a booth for Sunflower, who provides the pearls for my Up from the Dust products. They had sales beyond belief in the 2 ½ days. Our booth was constantly packed and some women said they didn’t buy from there because it was always too crowded. A good problem to have. Before we started, Sunflower said she could not pay the booth fees as they were too expensive and what if they only had $1,000 in sales? They had four women there working. Well there sales were more than 10 times that and at the end they were saying—why didn’t you get two booths?

I have also introduced products from Susan Shi. Susan is from Beijing but lives in London. This is in my efforts to also help women business owners in the “missing middle.” Susan designs for the European woman so her designs will be a nice addition.

I am bringing back incredibly unique designs and necklaces from both Sunflower and Susan and look forward to hearing my customers’ responses.