VIP Clients from China Visit Lawrence Group in St. Louis

December 24, 2008

Mei Sheng and Wei Zhang, ATA Beijing principals

Mei Sheng and Wei Zhang, ATA Beijing principals

 This was a wonderful experience. It was the first visit of clients from China to our company in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. I worked for two months to organize a very tight four-day schedule of site visits to our projects, and many other things, and it seems like the actual visit went by <snap!> just like that!

I wasn’t the only one working on the logistics for the visit, to be sure, but I was the project manager, and I did a lot of hands-on work, myself. It was a huge undertaking, and from the comments I’ve heard from the principals in our Beijing office, Mei Sheng and Wei Zhang, the clients were pleased and impressed. They commented on the fact that it is a lot of work to get a schedule to run so smoothly, and they felt we were able to pull it off perfectly.

Our excecutive administrator, Melinda, handled travel, hotels and organized meals, and one of our architects in the St. Louis office, Jack Cheng, took time from his own design project work to drive a van we rented to get everyone around to project sites. I’m sure Jack worked later at the office to keep his projects on schedule. Our principals from the Beijing office, Mei Sheng and Wei Zhang, handled the volumes of heavy, technical translating, but I helped with the routine translations (introductions, welcomes, etc.) Mei is especially good at interpreting, which is a higher level skill than translating, and I love listening to her do it.

Well, there was a lot to do, and nobody wants to hear all the details, I’m sure, but I was busy, busy, busy that whole week. We were all exhausted from the great effort, and I know we wore out the visitors, as well. I hope they left with good impressions of “Mei guo,” and “Mei guo ren” as well as of our company and staff. Our team put a lot of thought into the food offerings, trying to avoid things like cheese, and other things we eat here often, but are completely outside the liking of most Chinese tastes. I know that for some of the first-time travelers, the food was the biggest cultural change: salads, especially, followed by desserts, but most everyone gave most everything a good try.

The first few pictures are from the initial greeting of our six clients at our offices. The photos were taken in a public space (an atrium of several stories). After the exchanging of business cards and hellos, we went through a buffet line and had an “idea exchange” for an afternoon that we hoped would be fairly gentle for our guests. They had just flown 16 hours to get here; we understand the jet lag thing, having flown to China a few times or more, ourselves.

Here is a photo from the reception dinner later that evening at Triumph Grill, a new hot-spot in mid-town St. Louis. http://www.triumphgrill.com/

Everyone seated at the banquet table enjoying food, drink and conversation.

Everyone seated at the banquet table enjoying food, drink and conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last photo is a special one, taken with St. Louis’s Mayor Francis Slay, who has visited China, himself, and was kind enough to receive us in his offices on the last day of the clients’ visit. Lawrence Group designer Jack Cheng and public relations director (me) are also in the photo. (Jack is the tall guy; I am the red-head.)

VIP Clients from China Visit St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay

VIP Clients from China Visit St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay

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