Westfield (a client) organise a world retail study tour for Australian businesses to visit peers, examplars and trend-setters in the US and Europe.
On the London leg of the tour – following a period in the US – the delegates had visited key retail stores, niche retailers, characterful areas of London and for a day heard presentations from major retailing figures.
I was pleased to be able to open proceedings this morning with a presentation on ‘the UK online consumer’ and trends and issues in multichannel retail.
As it was a private presentation there are no slides available.
I’m slowly catching up with posts after my MT install imploded – welcome WordPress and at last a chance to post about a great experience: visiting Hong Kong to run a masterclass on ‘publishing 2.0’ for the British Council in January. I’ve been fortunate to work with the BC on a number of occasions but this was the first opportunity to see the work of the BC outside of the administrative offices in the UK. It was extraordinary to see the throngs of schoolchildren rushing through the offices in HK for their English lessons, as well as the numbers of people using the research/resource centre. Seeing too the ‘on the ground’ advertising of the BC’s services is a reminder of the impact that the Council has in promoting English learning and culture.
I had a great welcome from the BC team and the day’s session on their Online Transformation Programme was challenging and forward-looking.
Outside of the Masterclass it was great to catch up with Antony, who can now add “Tourist Guide” to his extensive list of achievements! A trip to the Chinese Opera over in the New Territories (a unique mix of music-hall, stylised morality tale, costume drama and comedy, all to a distinctive musical style) was the first treat. The surprise was how the audience behaved: chatting, walking in and out, generally not bothering to clap – indeed, running for the doors while the final chords still reverberated… Antony and I were the sole, but stoic, applauders at the end of the 3 hour marathon!
The highlights for the rest of the stay included:
The Graham Street ‘wet market’ (ie alive, wriggling about to be introduced to a cleaver):
The view from the Peak – in the mist and rain:
And of course the wanderings through the streets of Central and Midlevel, temples and street furniture:
For those interested the rest of the photos (a restrained and highly-edited 46) can be seen in the Hong Kong 2008 photoset on Flickr.