As a blogger in the China expat niche you tend to make a lot of fast friends, as we’re all sort of in this together. The downside is most of those friends are better known for their avatars than their actualities.
Fortunately there are events like the one this Saturday (February 28) at M1NT in Shanghai where all us digital laowai can congregate and inebriate together – IRL. SXSW @ M1NT is “an official pre-SXSW cocktail…to highlight China’s tech sector presence at SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, TX in March.”
- A great RSVP list is forming with confirmed guests from Microsoft, Ogilvy, CIC, Softbank, Spil Games Asia, IBM, China Economic Review, CNET Asia [that's me!], Asian Venture Capital Journal, Qifang.cn and The China Business Network to name a few. You can subscribe to the RSS feed for latest update on attendees: http://www.eventbrite.com/rss/event_list_attendees/284254212
- Jacob Hsu, CEO of The Symbio Group is an influential international speaker in the areas of China market entry strategy and outsourcing and will be in attendance at this cocktail.
- SXSW will be giving away two Gold Badges so make sure to bring an extra business card for the giveaway.
- Boingo will be giving complimentary 2 month laptop and mobile Wi-Fi accounts to all attendees of this event. Valued at $133 USD. Boingo recently announced over 1,000+ Wi-Fi hotspots in China.
- There will be free flow Moet & Chandon champagne from 9pm – 10pm. Please ensure you arrive early!
- House Films production company will have a film crew on site conducting interviews which will be shown by Christine Lu during the China panel at SXSW in March. Interviews will also be syndicated on The China Business Network’s soon to be launched Tech channel as well as The China Business Show.
- M1NT will provide open Wi-Fi at the event for live tweeting, blogging & streaming. The Twitter hashtag for the event is #sxswshanghai
- Andrew Lih, author of the upcoming book Wikipedia Revolution will be in attendance from Beijing. Andrew is also a featured speaker on the China panel at SXSW in March.
- Kaiser Kuo, China tech influencer and lead guitarist for Chinese heavy metal band Chunqiu. Kaiser is also the founding member of China’s first heavy metal band in the 80s called Tang Dynasty and will be flying down from Beijing to join us.
Now, it doesn’t take the super astute to see that this has shake-smile-sip-card-moveon written on it, a chain of activities that I long ago swore off. However, having attended two similar events in Shanghai over the course of the last year, also organized by The China Business Network/Christine Lu, I feel confident in saying it’s going to rock.
For me, more than anything else, it offers a chance to catch up with many people I consider friends, whether I see them more than a couple times a year or not. People, who through their blogs, e-mails or Twitter accounts have entered my sphere and made my day just that much more enjoyable, informed or entertaining.
So, if you’ve got a couple hundred kuai kickin’ around, check out the sign-up page and be sure to RSVP as soon as possible. Attendance is limited to 150, presumably not including the sharks M1NT’s entrance features.
I may be live tweeting from the event (it’s rare that I go to the bar and have it socially acceptable to bring along my laptop), so if you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow me (good time to start following @lostlaowai as well). And if you can make it out, I look forward to seeing you there.