FED 2018, Shenzhen – For the Women, By the Women
It was unlike any event you would have ever been to.
Instead of carpets, one walked on the soft grass. Artificial chandelier lights were replaced by sunshine. Not the paintings and the sculptures but the clear blue skies and the lush green trees decorated the ambiance. It was not the AC air you breathed but the crisp autumn air and instead of round tables and chairs you acquainted with the fellow guests on picnic mats littered with cushions.
Other than being hosted at the Hilton, Nanhai, there was nothing conventional about the Female Entrepreneur day aka FED 2018.
Upon arrival, the guests registered at the little white table where they were accessorized with a wristband and a sizeable goody bag and sent off to explore their surroundings.
One thing, in particular, that was appreciated by most of the guest was the ‘experiential corner’ which had everything a woman needed on a Saturday. A yoga and fitness zone, open-air salon with make-up artist and hair stylist from ELLE and FEW, and even a small shopping area because no woman’s weekend is complete without a little retail therapy.
There was even a photo shoot area where one could take as many Instagram, Facebook and WeChat photos as their heart desired.
By 11 am most of the guest had arrived and made themselves comfortable, on the irregularly placed picnic mats which in itself said something about the event as many guests were arriving from Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and even Shanghai.
The event MC’s Natasha O’Brien and Julian Gaertner got the show started with the first Guest Speaker, Alice Chiu, chairperson of Operation Smile in China who shared with everybody her life’s journey that led her to operation Smile and ended with the message ‘a kind and willing heart is all you need to do some good.’
Given that most of the attendees were either entrepreneurs or aspiring to be one, the organizers had chosen the speakers appropriately.
Before lunch, there will a talk and Q&A session with KOLs Jessie Li – Instagram Influencer, Susan Su and CK, both WeChat influencers. Each sharing their own philosophy about how to be successful in this world dominated by social media.
Though I and many of my fellow anonymous attendees thought their answers to certain questions were hesitant and held back at best, later, I was told that it was their first time speaking in front of such a big crowd and were most probably nervous. I decided to chalk it up to that.
And Chelsea Perino, Global Marketing Director of The Executive Centre will give an inspiring and educational lecture on how to build a better workplace culture.
By the time we returned from lunch, the day had become too hot for the best of sunbathing lovers to enjoy or even be comfortable in the outdoor setting and I thought ‘here comes the barrage of complaints’ instead it only made the ladies come closer together under the big sun umbrellas, starting another round of introductions and talks. I guess that was the plan all along. Anna wong confirmed with a wink in my direction.
Round two started with the interview of Hong Kong celebrity and actress Grace Wong, progressing on to the Storytelling session of Female CEO’s and Founders, Joanna Lui, founder of Cha Bei, Ruth Chao, Founder of Ruth Chao studious, Angie Lau, former Tv host of Bloomberg and founder of a communications start-up Narramur and Kelly Ang, senior marketing and PR director of Forbes, China which really seemed to have grabbed everybody’s attention.
And a panel discussion with the VCs Bonnie Cheung, venture partner of 500 startups and Carman Chang, founder and managing partner of Click Ventures who gave many useful tips and literally sent an open offer to help anyone and everyone.
I guess the best part about the event was that these successful, seasoned professionals really took the time to have one on one talks, answer questions and offer their help to as many people as possible.
As the sun got low in the sky, it was time to wrap up and get the after party started but not before we learned how to build a successful fashion brand from the horses mouth itself; the fashion design Grace Chen who gave many great advises including ‘ Don’t be afraid to be sexy’ and ‘ Women don’t need to dress like men to be taken seriously’ which earned a huge round of applause.
The mouth-watering fashion show by Grace Chen got many a wallet opened.
The satisfactory smiles on the face of the organizers and the guests alike were the testimony of the success of the event.
This was the 3rd event organized by FEW which is now a 10,000+ strong community. The previous two events were held in Hong Kong and Shanghai and the next one is planned to held in Singapore.