We went a week early and spent the time meeting people, orienting around the national expo and yes doing set ups that were not going as they should.
By the time of the actual trade show set up day we discovered through the interpreter that nothing I had paid for was there, there was no internet as had been indicated, to show them my receipts and, to top it off, my iphone got stolen in those first few minutes of chaos!
Well, it was a learning curve, just as I had been warned and they kept saying Shanghai was the New York of China... meaning the rest was far more difficult.
The biggest thing that struck us was how perfectly content the chinese were to never travel? Even in a 5 star hotel where you might think you would talk to staff with the wanderlust they all unanimously said they had no desire to travel aboard and loved China. That was interesting and a first for an Australian who love to travel!
The trade show was a huge hit.
Richard was tricked up in a Tarzan outfit I had made in Shanghai in the days leading up to the show. We had explored the national expo and could see no way they would let us promote to the 300,000+ people standing in lines for hours without being arrested. We had come early on the hope we could use the time to do this as there already was a big misunderstanding that the event was not in the expo but many miles away. Actually even getting in through security would have been impossible as everything was scanned and detected like at an airport.
Still we made the best of it. We had bought a boom box and Richard had lots of dance music to attract attention as our booth was out of the way. I had drawn leaves and vines all over him and had the interpreter wrote in Chinese all over his back and tummy to indicate what we were doing.
Take a look at the shots on our facebook page to see what it looked like.