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Kunming business conference connects local entrepreneurs

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On December 14, GoKunming and Green Lake Hotel jointly held the inaugural Kunming International Business Conference. The afternoon event included two speeches by local businessmen and a keynote presentation by enterprise management expert Max Peng.

The conference was attended by more than 80 people, whose business interests cover everything from hospitality to eco-tourism to heavy industry. Attendees listened first as Kris Ariel, Colin Flahive and Dan Siekman described the rigors and rewards of doing business in Yunnan for a combined 30 years. They were followed by Ross Duggleby, who focused on the importance of branding and visual identity when planning or expanding an establishment of any type.

In the day's keynote speech, Peng explained the legal necessities of setting up a foreign-owned company in the Spring City. Thanks to his eight years of experience in this field, Peng is one of Kunming's premier specialists in assisting expatriates create and maintain successful businesses of all kinds.

Speeches and question-and-answer sessions were followed by an enthusiastic and productive networking period, where conference attendees mingled and made contacts they otherwise may never have found.

In addition to the organization and coordination provided by GoKunming and Green Lake Hotel, the afternoon would not have been possible without its generous local sponsors. Special thanks to Kunming Yu-Cong Enterprise Management for legal support and Sapore Italia and Cantina for the delicious hors d'oeuvres and Prosecco.

We also would like to thank Salvador's Coffee House and Dali Bar for sharing their philosophy on business; Kunming Anthura for the beautiful flowers adorning each table, and DIVA Lounge and Music for design support.

The Kunming International Business Conference was successful, but of course could use some fine tuning for next time. We at GoKunming plan to use the experience and attendee feedback to create similar networking events in the near future.

It was not simply the sponsors who made the event a success. The local community definitely stepped up in providing opportunities for greater exchange and cooperation. If you attended the conference or have ideas for subsequent seminars or meet-ups, please get in touch with GoKunming.

Below are some of the sights and people who made the conference a success.

The conference was a good chance for people form different business backgrounds to network and share their ideas.

The afternoon's speeches ran for about 45 minutes and then the floor was opened up for people to discuss what they had just heard.

Hopefully new and productive opportunities can grow out of the conference, leading to innovative collaborations and partnerships.

Kris Ariel spoke of the challenges that have led him and his business partners to focus on the aspirations and input of their employees.

Attendance to the the conference was a bit larger than expected, which is certainly a good sign for the future of business in Kunming.

Topics of discussion ran the gamut, from education and travel to hospitality services and innovative green initiatives.

Food safety, technology and import/export possibilities were also a common theme at the conference.

Refreshments were available as well, with people taking advantage of a sampling of locally created snacks as well as imported sparkling wine.

Thanks again to everyone who participated and made the business conference so enjoyable. We hope to see you at future events.

Images: Giorgio Giacomelli

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Great meeting for a launch. Thanks to the Dali Bar people for providing samples of your energy/breakfast bars. I'm using them for breakfasts - bought a case/box from taboo - thank you very much.

Very interesting and diverse collection of people. It would be nice to have at least an annual gala affair - kunming style - but more geared (as this meeting was) to professional activities/speakers.

For future events - short voluntary bios of attendees and mandatory bios of presenters would be nice (although most of the inaugural presenters are rather well-known). The bios should also include the "positioning" of the various parties - using color coded lapel pins (just a suggestion) as opposed to those cheesy name tags - hate those things - although they're great for lifting lint, crumbs, and other incriminating evidence off my sweater. Of course, that would mean this meeting (if it's propagated) would need a logo design and a pin supplier - along with some way to affix single or multiple colors (I was thinking military style ribbons - which we'd attach at the door to identify our various interests).

As a suggestion - attendee interests can be grouped into something like:
. BUYERS. People or companies in the market to BUY stuff.
. SELLERS/VENDORS. People or companies in the market to sell goods and/or services.
. GOVERNMENT. Government reps with multi-various agendas.
. FINANCE. People or companies interested either in investing or seeking investment.
. OTHER. For those who refused to be pigeon-holed - a catch-all pigeon hole for you.

I didn't really like the table grouping by industry thing - it's logical mashing market segments together, but rather boring. As a social mixer, I'd prefer a more diverse table setting - to meet a more diverse group, since it's hit/miss/random making a network connection anyway - why fight it?

Post-meeting should be followed up with hyperlinked downloadable presentations and any follow-on action items that may have resulted.

The poll was good - I'd suggest adding a topical event - asking attendees what topic they'd like to focus on at the next event - sort of an executive round-table type hosted event perhaps?

When the crowds become larger than capacity (a good thing) - you can then experiment with fee-based attendance, to supplement the sponsor-based attendance...and nuts - I missed the sparkling wine (I initially thought it was champagne) and the hors d'oeuvres...that's what happens when you're late...

Thanks for a well executed event - and love the Green Lake Hotel venue...central, easy to get to, easy to get OUT from, parking & taxis abound (except during rush hour), and a short, scenic, comfortable (or romantic, depending on the company) walk up to Salvador's et al...

um...I meant TAOBAO, not taboo - stupid auto-correcting spelling checker...

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