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China Search Marketing Tour
Posted 17 January 2006 - 03:34 PM
We've finally finished putting together the China Search Marketing Tour to coincide with SES Nanjing which should be very exciting - the first SES ever in China, and it's been so popular they have already needed to change the venue!
The search marketing tour is NOT an official SES event - instead, it's intended to give people planning on going to SES Nanjing a good grounding in Chinese culture, government and business practices before the event. There will, of course, be some sightseeing opportunities, too.
We will be providing translators for the tour, and there will be 2 banquets, one in Beijing with a fair number of government officials (including, we hope, embassy staff for the US, Canada and other countries), and then another in Shanghai with some business leaders.
During this time you'd have the opportunity to network, find out about business customs and generally get yourself ready for entering the Chinese market. The tour is very business oriented, and intended for those serious about marketing to and from China.
Although one package has airfare included, it's not required, since many people can travel on points, and in some cases (ie those in Europe) have more direct routes to China than from the US. The tour is 9 days, from March 9 to 19 (lose a day due to the International date line).
Cost: $2500 if you provide your own airfare, and the airfare can be included in a single package if you phone the tour company that's handling this (the same one that's helping set up SES).
Discounts: if you are a member of SMA (any branch) or SEMPO, you get a $250, if you are a sponsor, you get a $250 discount, and if you are a speaker at the conference you can get a $250 discount, so you could get up to a $750 if you were all three!
To sign up, contact Helen Yue at China Custom Tours 1-800-865-6221. Space is currently limited to 35 people.
I hope to see you there!
Posted 02 February 2006 - 03:23 PM
I just got off the phone with the travel agency organizing the details of the tour, and I have some answers for some frequently asked questions about the tour.
Helen Yue at China Custom Tours (based in New York) Phone: 800.865.6221 | Fax: 732-981-0236 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen is REALLY nice, and can arrange for your flights and trip from anywhere in the US. Just let her know where you are flying from and she'll take care of it.
She can also answer pretty much any questions you may have.
Helen can arrange your flights from anywhere in the US, but if you are not in the US or are flying on points or just plain like to do it yourself, that's fine too.
If you want to meeting one of the flights leaving the US just arrange travel so you can meet either of these:
Flight UA 851 Chicago at 12 Noon
Flight UA 889 San Francisco at 2 PM
And let her know so she can book your seat.
If you want to arrange your own flights all the way, basically all you need to do is arrive in Beijing anytime on the 10 of March. We will pick you up at the airport and take you to the hotel. The tour has it's own bus and driver.
What is the last minute signup date?
The absolute, last minute signup for the flight/tour package is Feb 10. The absolute last minute for just the land tour is Feb 25.
Can I only go on part of the tour?
Yes. If you want to meet us in Beijing, Shanghai or Nanjing and continue at that point, you can do so. Just phone Helen to arrange pickup and times, as well as the adjusted costs.
Visa and Passport Requirements
Your passport needs to be good for 6 months past the end of the trip (so good until at least Sept 20, 2006).
For the Visa - You need a visa to visit China. You can either contact Helen and have her get one for you (you'll need to send her your passport via courier), or you can go to your local Chinese consulate and get one if there is one near by. The normal processing time is 4 business days, though they can be rushed to 24 hours for an extra cost.
Get a tourist visa.
As long as you show up at the airport with a passport valid to at least Sept 20 and a valid tourist Visa from the 10-19 of March in it, you will be fine.
Safety and Customs
China is actually a very safe place to travel - there are no significant threats
Women are accepted as equals in the business world, unlike other areas of Asia
The water is not safe - bottled or boiled only. Personally, I just drink beer
Business cards are very important - bring LOTS.
China is BIG - bring comfortable shoes with good grips
Credit and debit cards are rare - I suggest a money belt and cash.
Business Attire is generally business casual. Whatever you normally wear to SES is fine.
If you want to bring business gifts: Marlboro cigarettes, whiskey, honey.
You will be there in March, it will be cold. 30-50F (1-10C) Bring appropriate clothes.
Kids are welcome! As are spouses and friends.
The language in the area is Mandarin, the writing is Simplified Chinese.
Who is Going?
Hopefully you! But so far we have signups from people in China, US, UK, Russia, Philippines, India and Canada, so there will be ample opportunities to network. There is a limit of 35 people.
Preparation and Reading
This Friday (Feb 3) myself and David will be on the eMarketing Talk show answering questions: http://www.emarketingtalkshow.com/
There will be an archive of the talk so you can listen to it at your leisure.
One Billion Customers - James McGregor (Strongly Recommended)
Billions - Tom Doctoroff
Posted 02 February 2006 - 05:24 PM
I just want to say that if anybody is looking to get an early foothold into what is going to be a massive Chinese market, the search marketing tour is the best possible choice you could ever make.
In a prior career I know how important it's going to be to develop those relationships early on. And you'll be with folks who have a good understanding of the cultural differences.
In other words, don't miss out if you're planning on doing business in China. There's a drastic downside if you do.
Posted 02 February 2006 - 06:06 PM
Posted 02 February 2006 - 06:11 PM
The Chinese word "Guanxi" means something similar to "relationships" and it's the foundation of business in China. The closest English analogy would be "it's not what you know, it's WHO you know".
In a country where the unexpected can happen at almost any time, the Chinese have learned that your relationships with business partners are far more important than the contracts themselves.
Guanxi is absolutely critical to doing business in China, and the Search Marketing Tour is intended to help members meet the people that they will eventually need to be relying on. As a matter of fact, I'm in the process of setting up meetings with officials and trade commissioners right now.
The right time is now. Once the Olympics in 2008 happen, it will be too late to develop those relationships in most cases.
There are more than 100 million internet users in China right now (with only 8% penetration!). Due to the fact that internet is expensive and slow in many places, users rely on search engines to find things quickly, rather than surfing.
Take a look at this chart: http://www.internetw...s.com/top20.htm
Look at the number of internet users VS penetration - it's amazing. Combine this with a strong desire for western goods and you are basically looking at a modern day goldrush.
You know who REALLY made money historically in goldrushes? Not the miners. The people who sold them the mining supplies, that's who. During the dotcom gold rush, it was the software companies enabling the dotcoms.
Today, with the problem being the distance to market, it's enablers like shipping companies and internet marketers that are the key, IMO.
Besides, it'll be lots of fun
Posted 02 February 2006 - 06:22 PM
Posted 03 February 2006 - 11:37 AM
The topic is (you guessed it) The State of Search Marketing In China. It's available live between 4-5 PST today (Fri Feb 3) and available as an archive afterward at the following URL:
If you have questions, feel free to phone in during the show, or to listen to the archive afterward. Hopefully I won't embarrass myself too much...
Posted 03 February 2006 - 12:40 PM
Posted 03 February 2006 - 12:52 PM
Posted 03 February 2006 - 01:01 PM
Okay, maybe not AT the martial arts thing (at least not if you don't want a bunch of irritated martial arts practitioners stompin' on your cell phone), but maybe you could sneak out for a minute? Heckling Ian certainly sounds like a justifiably worthwhile pursuit...
And it is less messy than throwing tomatoes.
Posted 09 February 2006 - 02:41 PM
For those of you who put everything off until the last minute (ya, I mean *you*) - this is officially the LAST MINUTE.
For those organizing flights themselves, Feb 25 is the last minute for them.
BTW, I just got off the phone with the Trade Commissioners Office for Canada in China, so there my be some interesting and important people available for you to meet (they will be contacting useful people to know, regardless of whether you are Canadian or not).
Naturally, if you are a speaker at SES Nanjing (or want to be - Chris has asked me to forward a list of those who are going who may be interested in speaking, and are OK with me forwarding the info) this is probably a good tour to be on.
I'd like to also remind everyone the the Beijing Olympics are coming up in 2008, and the time to start building relationships and branding for the event and subsequent business frenzy is NOW.
Posted 05 April 2006 - 09:26 PM
I finally managed to post the daily blog posts for the China Search Marketing Tour, as well as the photos with extensive comments.
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