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After our busy Barcelona adventure last month we hardly had any time to breathe in the office in Shanghai - instead we had to stay in the event-execution-mode and prepare the next "work adventures". This month we had 2 major events (plus several smaller) scheduled: The Official Opening of the new W Hotel in Beijing (starring Dita von Teese, Marilyn Manson's burlesque star wifey) and the Launch of Huawei's new P8 phone in London (starring the new P8 - the Grace Phone).
I've been working on both our events and were finally put on the London Mobile Launch execution team which meant another overseas trip and another big Huawei event. A 700+ media event with live streaming and huge huge expectations. A bit terrifying and very exciting!
The new Huawei Grace Phone has hundreds of amazing features (refer to the mobile geek blogs), the experts say it's ready to compete with the world's top phones (refer to the mobile experts blogs) and it's about 30-50% cheaper than an iphone! For our event, the most important feature is the fact that Huawei's new phone takes amazing photos in very low light and can be used for light panting. Important because our whole event theme was built up around this feature: with a low light environment and a tag line saying: Awaken your Grace (keyword: seek in the dark, find your inner creativity, with a graceful touch).
When we pitched for the event (yes as they pitch for advertisements in Mad Men) our designers used me for our Key Visual which resulted in the top photo and the one below (taken on a random Tuesday in the office). I'm very impressed by my creative colleagues as well as our graphic designers!
The event was held at The Old Billingsgate at the London Thames waterfront. The famous venue which was once a big fish market and now used for all kinds of happenings and events. Amazing location and amazing view of London Bridge, blue sky and fresh air!
For a big event like this we used 3 days to set up in the venue, where we literally find ourselves inside the building from 8am to midnight or even later. It's crazy days with over 150 people working on setting up, planning, preparing and creating. You just get into this event-mode/survival-mode and when I look back I can't really separate the days from each other.. Just busy working: model casting, furniture selection, F&B ordering, decorations, MC rehearsal with our celebrity Zoe Salmon, lanyards sorting, lots of liaising with all agencies involved such a PR agency, broad casting agency and hundreds of small details related to the venue which was my responsibility. Oh and busy drinking lots of coffees.. Jesus, UK is the "coffee around the corner" country of them all (sorry dear envrionment, when I'm done with events I'll make up for it hopefully at Greenpeace's headquarter, they are amazing!).
The final event was a big success - the actual conference was live streamed on youtube (watch here buuut beware: it's super boring unless you are a mobile gee*** sorry: I mean mobile interested...). The over 700 global media who participated have published hundreds of articles, posts and tweets directly from the event day - it's a live digital age! Amazing to be part of something like this, especially when lots of hard work and long days & nights ends up with a success!
Off to London for a new big event. This time a global phone launch for our big client. Super super exciting and I promise more to come... Oh and not to forget super super stressful and super super terrifying!! Part of me are wondering if anyone would notice I if I sneak off to Denmark instead and hide on Arø, the tiny little island my grandmother lives on... The bright side is that AFTER the event this is where I'll go. And I'll meet with my lovely family and I won't even have to hide (:
But first a successful event execution. A global launch with over 1000 participants, mostly important media from all over the world and a live broadcast of everything. Huge responsibility on our shoulders and hundreds of details.
It's a super exciting and super stressful environment I find myself in. I both love it and hate it. Mostly I try to work with myself and try to be better at coping with all the feelings - the insecurity: what if I'm not capable of delivering? The stress: too much to do, too little time. The frustrations: client, us, suppliers, partners, VIP, Media! So many parts to work with and so many parts to satisfy.
In the end I know that it's an event - it's people coming together and as our company slogan says: When people come together, magic happens. So I'll do my best, do a little bit more, stay focused and let the magic happen!
Finding Inner Peace & Sunshine
When I travel one of the absolute most important things for me to bring is my Nike Free shoes. They are so comfy and give me so much freedom to explore a new place on foot as well as find peace of mind in new surroundings through Walking Meditation.
I've always liked walking and I once read that there's no better medicine than taking a walk. For me that's especially true when I'm dealing with smaller "mental issues" like moodiness, anxiousness or restless-ness. I've only recently become aware of that this is because I've naturally become addicted to Walking Meditation. It's not just walking. It's walking alone, putting my mobile on silence, not wearing any heavy bags, wearing comfortable shoes and most importantly: watching my own breath while walking.
I don't force it, I just breathe and observe my own breath. According to the experts this should be done in sessions of minimum 5 minutes. If any thoughts intrude, gently push them away and focus your attention to your breath again. After 5 minutes take a break, look at the world around you and just enjoy the moment wherever you are and feel whatever you feel. Then do another round of 5-minutes breath watching. Normally we breathe around 16 times in a minute so in 5 minutes you will breathe and observe nearly 80 breaths which is more calming than you can imagine.
Don't give up if it's challenging or almost "frustrating" in the beginning. Our brains and minds can be like monkeys on coke these days so it takes time to "quiet down".
I'm still trying to get into real meditation but I find it very difficult to sit still, even for 5 minutes (unless it's in my yoga class). I have the feeling that I'm too busy, too much to do or that I want to have done. But walking meditation I find is super easy, super calming and super super healthy!
Perfect way to explore new as well as well-known part of this city which was once my home for a year! Spring has arrived in London this week and despite my worries I'm super happy to be here, I absolutely love this place!
Getting the change to fly from busy everyday life in Shanghai to beautiful Europe for work is incredible. Getting to work with something creative & inspiring at the largest gathering of the mobile industry at the same time is even more incredible. So though the last 2 months have been absolutely crazy with a 90% work / 10% life balance (should I say unbalance) being in Barcelona the last 2 weeks to execute all the things we've been planning from Shanghai have been absolutely amazing.
We have been blessed with the most beautiful spring weather - clear blue skies & bright sunshine every day. And my responsibilities in these weeks turned out to be more successful and even more magical than I had ever imagined.
This was mainly because of one thing: DUNDU. So while I'm not going to go into details about all our activities at the World Mobile Congress 2015 in Barcelona I'm going to introduce you to a new friend of mine.
DUNDU the Gentle Giant
Since I learned about DUNDU's existence, I've also learned that DUNDU is described in many ways: giant, puppet, light man, mechanical mannequin.. Which is the correct description I am not sure, I think DUNDU can be exactly what you want it to be.
DUNDU is over 5 meters tall, made by a professional puppet maker and said to be one of a kind. He is a giant with a unique transparent structure and due to his design he is super flexible, super playful & super charming. His movements are super graceful and his gestures super kind. This is due to his design and not least due to the 6 puppeteers who controls him and who all just radiates happiness & balance. Just like DUNDU. And they use yoga among other things to warm up for the show, lots of points in my book (: I wonder if DUNDU could do a yoga-related performance when I open my own studio one day hihi.
Dundu is used for different kind of performances at events and social gatherings. Both of commercial and social character. At Mobile World Congress 2015 Dundu was hired by me on behalf of our client to attract attention to their activities and events in Barcelona and to welcome our client's guests.
Dundu was soooo popular - the client loved him, the guests loved him, visitors loved him, I absolutely love him. He is so beautiful, so gentle and he moves so gracefully to the pleasant tones of Stefan Charisius' live kora music (which I now use for my morning yoga sessions or as relaxation music on my long international flights).
For our client's finale night - their big official dinner hosted at the famous MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) in Barcelona, DUNDU got to show his true amazing colors as the Gentle Giant of Light.
I definitely got a little piece of my heart stolen by DUNDU the Gentle Giant and the philosophy behind him this week. Think I have to be a puppeteer in my next life <3
From my home in the modern metropol of China to the exotic pearl of Spain: 2 weeks work in Barcelona have begun! It does sounds extremely appealing buuuut to be honest, event-work in the world of events sometimes makes you wanna run away screaming...or just wish you could stay at your desk in the office in Shanghai while your colleagues do the execution part.... No of course not - just get out their and attack the Mobile World Congress anno 2015 where we are managing several big and smaller events for our big Chinese client. We are almost 20 people traveling from our office, staying in 3 big apartments in the heart of Barcelona so it's quite a family trip!
Busy days & beautiful sights
The first 2 days have gone by and I have been running all over Barcelona for small errands, big errands and especially to fix another change or 10 from the client... But it has not been "running around" like in the exhausting way, it's been absolutely amazing.
Is it just me or has Barcelona gotten 10x more beautiful, more magical and more exotic the last years? Maybe it is the timing with the perfect spring weather after a long grey winter? Or the effect of living in Shanghai - that everything including clean air, blue sky, green areas & old historical buildings just seem absolutely breathtaking? The city has always been amazing in my eyes but I certainly don't recall myself being this obsessed with the beauty of Barcelona last time I was here (and this time I haven't even been to Park Güell yet....).
So in between searching for our new BLUE hostesses outfit with our local hostess agent (as our black already-purchased-dresses have been canceled by the client), meeting with the AV suppliers, searching for our VIP speakers' gifts, doing another site-check aaaand helping my Chinese colleague to the emergency dentist when her front-tooth broke in 2, I am just absolutely mesmerized by the beauty of spring in Barcelona... Some of the wonders of this world. And I really felt like sharing it (: