Alibaba & Event Solutions partnered for the Trade Summit of the year!
On October 13, 2017 over 300 entrepreneurs and business investors converged on the beautiful Pacific Palms Hotel in the City of Industry, CA. Their goal? To network with and, hopefully, break into the ever growing Chinese market. With so much on the line, this summit had to be planned and produced perfectly.
About Alibaba Group & The Access Asia Event
Alibaba Group is the bigger (and more profitable) version of the USA’s Amazon. Surpassing revenue from well-known giants like Ebay and Walmart, they take the firm position as one of the top 10 ecommerce platforms in the world. They were the first Asian company to break the $400 Billion value mark and “its online sales and profits surpassed all US retailers (including Walmart, Amazon and eBay) combined since 2015”[Citation: Wikipedia 10].
Alibaba and partners RepDM and Exhivisit have excelled in recent years. So when they wanted to add made-in-the-USA products to their market what better way than a trade summit with up-and-coming American entrepreneurs. Our destination management team was brought on board to assist in planning and managing the 300 guest, 2-day conference with sponsors like UPS, TMALL and ACI Group.
The Challenge with Corporate Events
We always say corporate events are different from typical social parties, never was this more apparent than at this event. Outside the typical work that goes into an event like this (i.e., finding/securing the venue, coordinating staff, design, etc.), the real challenge to overcome was the essential communication that would be vital to this event’s success. We needed to seamlessly cross cultures and language barriers in real time. No robotic translator app was going to cut it when a misinterpretation could be the difference between a deal and no deal.
The Solution Comes with Experience
Our event managers specialize in planning and coordinating corporate events like this. When approached with this challenge, we knew exactly who we would turn to- the best. We had the pleasure of providing interpretation services for company events like AltaMed’s All Hands employee conference, where Spanish, Chinese and Sign Language interpreters were brought in to ensure all employees were able to participate.
For the Access Asia 2017 trade summit, we were able to call on those same Chinese/English translators to provide a solution. Our state-of-the-art headsets were distributed and guests were able to communicate in their native language in real time. During the mingling portion of the summit, translators with clearly (and professional) printed T-shirts were available to encourage networking, education and business discussions.
Setup at Venue: Pacific Palms Hotel
Before the event, Pacific Palms Hotel did a fantastic job preparing the rooms with a fresh cleaning and setup of dining room tables, podium and sound system. Our event managers arrived the day before with rentals and staff in hand for setup and a dry run. Translators familiarize themselves with the venue and tested equipment to ensure everything ran perfectly.
Photo-op of the Year
Event staff moved rentals, setup electronics, cocktail tables, red carpet area and decorated the venue with banners, tablecloths, centerpieces and decor. Most importantly, they had to prepare the venue for the big arrival of event sponsor UPS’s ole time truck that would be the photo-op of the year!
Special care had to be taken for the safety of the guests and the protection of the venue in order to bring in this classic work truck. With the red carpet entrance, Deco chairs and lounge furniture and Chinese and American flag centerpieces the old work truck was the piece that tied it all together.
Day 1: Access Asia Trade Summit & Networking Conference
It was a star-studded day with some of the most powerful names in the business world rolling up the red carpet. Top representatives from Alibaba Group, RepDM, Exhivisit and Taobao World Media Co., Ltd were in attendance.
A VIP Studded Guest List
Some of the top business executives from China included:
- Masayoshi SON. Director
- Chee Hwa TUNG, Independent Director
- Jerry YANG, Independent Director
- Wan Ling MARTELLO, Independent Director
- Joseph C. TSAI, Executive Vice Chairman
- J. Michael EVANS, Director and President
- Eric Xiandong JING, Director
- Sophie Wu, Chief Customer Officer
- Trudy Dai, President of Wholesale Marketplaces
- Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer
- Judy Tong. Chief People Officer
- Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer
- Zhenfei Liu, Chief Risk Officer
- & So Many More
As well as representatives from companies like:
- Johnsonville Sausage
- Lucky 7
- Baron Cooper Wines
- Nanoceutical Solutions
- ACI Group USA
- Billy’s Bud CBD Oil
- Spirit Hoods
- Armco Imports Inc
- & So Many More
And The Media Followed
With the promise of economic growth and the chance to interview so many top executives from business super-giants, the press came in droves:
- Los Angeles Times
- San Gabriel Valley Tribune
- ABC 7 NEws
- KTLA 5 News
- Fox 11 News
- CBS News
- CNN News
- NBC Los Angeles News
- Whittier Daily News
- Pasadena Star News
- The Sacramento Bee
- The Orange County Register
- The San Diego Union Tribune
- San Francisco Chronicle
- Santa Barbara News Press
- Long Beach Telegram
- BBC world Service
- China News
- China Daily
- & So Many More
Most Important Meal of the Day
Thanks to the early birds at Event Solutions, the final rental furniture, centerpieces, banners and other last minute decor were in order well before guests started to arrive. Breakfast was setup near the red carpet entrance so that guest could feel like the VIPs they were, without missing the most important meal of the day.
That’s when the real work began…
Much like a private ‘Shark Tank’, each company had just 20 minutes to pitch their idea to investors, wholesalers and e-commerce giants for their chance to break into the Chinese market. The day continued from 9am till 5pm with a break for lunch. After, some lucky companies came to the appreciation reception dinner glowing from their newfound success. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres complemented the buzzing atmosphere as the announcement that the Golden Wheat Awards (aka “the ecom Oscars”) would be coming to the USA next year.
Day 2: Pitches a Plenty at Access Asia 2017
The next day began very much the same as the first, with speakers eagerly awaiting their 20 minutes. Lunch was served and the final pitches heard. Thoughtful faces and smiles were aplenty by the time Alibaba and TaoBao opened the floor for their questions and answers session.
As guests left Pacific Palms Hotel and the City of Industry to their homes in different countries, states and cities, they left with a sense of connection and a lucky few with a new outlook on the future.
Corporate events like these really change the world by creating new opportunities for growth and development both here in the USA as well as internationally. We pride ourselves in working with different cultures and clients from around the world. Each and every one of us at Event Solutions is dedicated to making your event the absolute best it can be. Don’t just take our word for it, read a 5-star review from this client:
Are you ready to plan your company’s next big product launch, grand opening or appreciation party? No matter how unique your corporate event’s needs are, we are your one-stop solution.