Shanghai, 20th May 2014
Not one meeting is the same I dare say; often even meetings are totally unpredictable. I am not talking about your regular progress meetings often held in clients’ or contractors site office; no I am talking more about the early international design meetings where the project consultants converge from various parts of the world to meet. I have seen the strangest things happening and met in the strangest places. Today I was supposed to meet my client for a briefing on the exterior lighting design and we drove all the way up to Hangzhou to meet him, just to find out he had had an accident and cut his arm the night before and was in the hospital to get it fixed. However knowing I had come all the way from Singapore he made an effort to meet in the afternoon his arm all bandaged and stitched up. I did get to present and got his approval to go ahead. We all know that progressive approvals on design stages are imperative to progress payments !
At least he showed respect for the consultants, something I value a lot. I once travelled to Mumbai, India for a consultants meeting which saw consultants fly in all the way from Singapore, the US and London for a two day meeting. As requested we all showed up at the clients head office at 9am to start the meeting only to be told at around 11am that the boss had left for urgent business to Delhi, no explanation, basically rendering the whole meeting meaningless and wasted as the whole purpose was to present to the boss and get the approval for go-ahead. While we did try make the best of it by doing some face to face coordination it really felt like a huge waste of time and money! Needless to say we all felt pissed off as you kind of work towards this kind of meetings!
Besides meeting in the regular clients or contractor site offices, I have had meetings in boss’s homes, airports, airplanes, hotel lobbies, lounges and bedrooms, sheds, temporary offices and of course your list of bars and restaurants, some quite exclusive. Meetings have often continued in spa’s, golf clubs, karaoke bars and the like. It’s amazing what a bite and a drink in a more “relaxed” environment can do to working relationships!
Light Watch 5-84: Continuing last night’s street views, here are some façade close ups from just around the corner from my hotel…