Singapore, Wednesday 28th March 2012
Flying overnight is less and less my thing, even if it is business class. I used to fly overnight all the time as to not loose valuable time, but right now what is valuable is health so if I can avoid it no overnight flights for me. My flight back from Doha landed me midday back in Singapore so not much of a day left…a quick shower and around the table with my team to catch up on project or other issues. All is well…looks like they are very fine without the boss 🙂
Looking back on Qatar, how valuable was it to me as a lighting designer to sacrifice two nights of good sleep? What was in it for me? We were “lured” to the event with exposure and networking being the main benefits to us. However once arrived in Qatar it appeared little local promotion had been done and though well attended, I found most of the key players from the market missing from the participants. So without the media promotion and little key players (read potential clients) present I have to conclude that the exposure was minimal. Networking then? Yes I came back with a box full of business cards exchanged during the coffee and lunch breaks, but whether these will turn out valuable…probably the most valuable part was meeting and mingling with my peers in the business, my fellow speakers. Speaking in front of and to the appreciation of your peers is valuable.
Overall I have returned very satisfied but for many different reasons. I took control of my own destiny by not relying on the organisers, coming in a day earlier and leaving a day later as to allow me to explore the city/ country and create room to seek out potential clients on the side lines of the event. With more than 260 Billion Dollars of projects in the pipeline over the next 5 years (so I was told) you cannot ignore the potential of this country. Roughly 1/5th of my box full of business cards are actually unrelated to the event, but from (key) people I managed to meet outside the event, very much the 80-20 rule. These 20% of contacts are probably representing 80% of my opportunities in Qatar. Time will tell…to be continued 🙂
Light Watch 3-43: Qatar’s rise to fame has certainly been its winning bid for the world cup soccer in 2022. I managed to find the concepts that are being proposed for the stadiums yet to be build in Doha. Not sure if these are the final ones but certainly worth a look. Qatar is obviously too small a country to have all these stadium so as part of their bid they pledged to take most stadiums down after the event and donate them to poor coountries in need of such facilities!