The title of this event was Past, Present, Future; Connectivity and we wanted each member to go away thinking about how together we make IR more than just a network and the number one alternative for businesses or individuals with international requirements. From what we saw and heard in Shanghai we have made great progress. A core philosophy of IR has always been let’s first see how we can help and support before an attitude of what’s in it for us. With so many members taking this on board, I think it bodes extremely well for the future.
Wednesday, May 28th
Evening: Informal Drinks for Early Arrivals (19:30 onwards)
Thursday, May 29th
All Day: Break Out Sessions & Meeting Spaces (09:00-17:00). Five boardrooms were available between 9:00am and 5:00pm on Thursday. There were a variety of sessions, including: break out sessions for IR practice area groups, ‘meet the sponsor’ rooms, Itzik training session, IR management, private meetings.
Evening: Roof Top Drinks Reception (19:00-21:00). This exclusive networking event was hosted on the roof terrace of the Peace Hotel overlooking the Shanghai skyline. Guests were invited to arrive at 7:00pm when there would be canapés and an open bar until 9:00pm. After this time a cash bar became open until midnight.
Friday, May 30th
All Day: Presentations (08:30-17:00). The main day of the conference was from 8.30am until 5:00pm. There was a selection of fantastic speakers on a wide range of different subject matters from approaching the Chinese marketplace, making the most of your membership and business strategy to motivational content.
Evening: Meal at Lost Heaven (19:00 – late). We met at 7pm in the hotel lobby and took a short walk together through the old town to the Lost Heaven Restaurant. The meal was followed by post-dinner drinks at the Waldorf Long Bar situated on the route back to the hotel.
Saturday, May 31st
All day: Suzhou Excursion (08:45-19:30). Met in the hotel lobby at 8.45am, we travelled together to the ancient city of Suzhou, steeped in over 2,500 years of history and located in the Yangtze River Delta region. We headed from Shanghai to the canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens that are now UNESCO world heritage sites. The area is also famed for its exquisite silk production. We arrived back at the hotel at 7.30pm.
Evening: Post Event Drinks. Many indicated that they were keen to experience a Saturday night in Shanghai. We chose a Cantonese and dim sum restaurant/bar called La Societe, situated approximately a seven-minute walk from the Peace Hotel to start the evening.