“To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Anderson
Lee Ali, Director of Expo Stars, recently returned from a successful Southeast Asia tour.
From Singapore, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Vietnam and Jakarta – it was a journey that reinvigorated his love for exhibitions. In this blog, we’ll share with you some key points from his trip and a key takeaway from his tour.
Please fasten your seatbelts and prepare for take-off.
The IFES World Summit, Singapore
The first leg of Lee’s Southeast Asia Tour was a trip to the IFES World Summit in Singapore. This 3-day conference focused on the theme ‘Expanding Horizons’ as speakers conducted a deep-dive across a range of topics including the state of the Asian Exhibition Industry after COVID, and Singapore – the green gateway to capturing growth opportunities in Southeast Asia.
As part of the summit, Lee was inducted as a member of the IFES and was able to give his insights into the challenges he faces working abroad, the values most important to him, as a member, and ideas he would like to see implemented within the organisation.
What stood out for Lee about the Summit was the “Family” type culture amongst the IFES members when it came to networking, collaborating and celebrating the exhibition industry and we look forward to visiting IFES events again very soon.
A little trip to Phuket
Post-summit, Lee took a little trip to Phuket, Thailand for a well-deserved short break to recharge his batteries. Even though the rain from Manchester followed him, it was a great couple of days of relaxation.
One of the main highlights was a tour to Phi Phi Island (see photo below), as featured in the movie, The Beach.
TEO comes to Kuala Lumpur
His next stop was a trip to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to deliver a Tradeshow Engagement Optimisation (TEO) Masterclass to some of Malaysia’s leading organisers and trade associations.
Lee said, “It was great to see the exhibition industry bouncing back in Malaysia and the desire from the organisers to create more value and engagement opportunities for exhibitors.”
It’s refreshing to see the industry in Kuala Lumpur bounce back from the pandemic and every time we return to Malaysia, it always feels like home.
Good morning, Vietnam
Lee arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as part of the Northern Powerhouse Trade Mission. A highlight of the mission was a trip to the FPT Software campus with the rest of the mission delegates.
FPT Software is Vietnam’s leading technology firm and boasts six campuses across Vietnam. His visit to the campus left Lee feeling inspired by their growth, staff retention and ESG strategies as well as learning about all the fantastic work they do with global brands that we never get to hear about it.
He also paid a visit to the British High Consulate and attended a detailed briefing about the business opportunities open to UK businesses in Vietnam. He also attended a reception at the British High Consulate amongst some newfound friends and potential collaborators.
The final furlong in Jakarta
Lee’s last stop was to the capital of Indonesia as a part of the Northern Powerhouse Trade Mission.
He met the Indonesia Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers Association, along with the nation’s leading Exhibition organisers, suppliers and educators.
Lee is already looking forward to returning and establishing key partnerships with the exhibition industry.
Until next time, Southeast Asia.
Around the world in 21 days
To be able to travel as a part of your work is truly magical. Through sharing wisdom and knowledge to experience new cultures and lifestyles, is a humbling experience.
“When I set up the business almost 16 years ago, I had no idea that the business would allow me to travel around the world, and here we are having just visited my 57th (Singapore) and 58th (Vietnam) countries. Meeting people, and learning about the local business cultures allows you to broaden your horizons and gives you the first-hand experience (and stories) to relate to your customers.
What was great about this trip was that it had a mixture of experiences from attending an association conference, to delivering a masterclass and being part of a trade mission, all of them allowing you to make new connections and forge long-lasting business relationships.
I would recommend exporters to really take advantage of trade missions as they open up doors that can be challenging to open by yourself by using the local Chambers of Commerce and Consulates who have the local connections, and they want to help you to succeed in the local market. This is a valuable resource that is always underused”.
If anything within this blog has sparked an interest in exhibiting and you’re in need of advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch.