The makings of a business event: what next

Yesterday I listened to a speech on failure, and how failing is necessary to progress and make successful.

Today I feel I’m right in the middle of the message in that speech: we are postponing the event on CSR in China that I have been working on for the last few months. Failure?

I’m disappointed that we didn’t succeed in realizing this event in the way that we hoped. I can already identify several reasons for this, and it will mean that the next attempt to organize an event on CSR in Asia will have some different components, different communication, different partners possibly.

And yet, I guess this is all part of it. ‘It’ being the work that I need to do right now to gain success in this venture that is establishing my own business presence. Occasionally that will come quite easily, but often it takes a few times to get something right.

The main message in yesterday’s speech was to always do the things you want to do – even if they are hard, are scary, go way beyond your comfort zone: yes, of course you might fail. But if you don’t, you will have no opportunity to succeed either. This event is a case in point. Even if I’ve had an idea of what I wanted to achieve from the start, I didn’t know in what way this is best achieved. Clearly, the ideas we’ve put together this time didn’t work out well enough.

So, onwards and upwards. We’re looking at possibly changing the scope of next week’s afternoon to tailor it more to the group of people who have registered. And next year should see another event on the theme of Asia & CSR. Because I still believe this is a topic worth working on and talking about.


cotton shanghai

The makings of a business event: CSR in China

Yesterday I wrote about the Crossing Continents event that I attended earlier this week. Not only was this interesting to attend because of the topics discussed – but also because it served as inspiration: next week will see the start of promoting an event on CSR in China – to be held on December 11th – so getting a look at how others format these types of events is very useful (even if I’ve seen many throughout my career so far).

The first ideas and talks about this event probably started in July, so if I’ve learnt anything from pulling this event together: you need a lot of time!

Much of that time since then has been spent talking to different people and organisations to find partners for this event. Because of course different elements are needed to make this afternoon successful such as location, access to speakers and – importantly – a network amongst the target group of this event.

I’ve taken the initiative to organize this afternoon on CSR in China as I think that this is a topic that is not that much on the agenda of Dutch businesses (especially, SME’s) active in China. Of course, plenty of companies do think about the themes connected with responsible business in China which can be as various as factory safety, overtime issues, environmental waste or corruption. Yet, whenever I talk to companies about doing business in China – dilemma’s around responsible business practices don’t really seem to be part of this.

With increasing attention on CSR (the textile industry is a good example) I thought it was time to pull together the issues that are part of CSR in China. And importantly: what this means in practice for Dutch SME’s who do want to start thinking about – and acting on this.

So I’m happy that now we are nearly there: I’m waiting for confirmation from the last speakers and we’re planning to start promoting this event after the weekend. Which is when it will finally become real which I’m very excited about. With ‘we’ I of course include the partner organisations that have now committed to this event and I’m looking forward to sharing the details of who is involved and what the afternoon will be like.

If you want to be kept informed of the programme and other details, send me a message so that an invite will be on your way when it becomes available!