Autumn Conference 2016 – Shanghai/China

Autumn Conference 2016 - Shanghai/China. Thursday, 20 October, 2016-Sunday, 23 October, 2016

CONSULEGIS Int. Business Meeting

The first highlight of the CONSULEGIS Autumn Conference 2016 was on Thursday afternoon. It was the CONSULEGIS International Business Meeting officially held for the first time at a CONSULEGIS conference. The meeting was attended by members as well as external guests, and its aim was to present the network to the Asian market and to take the topic of networking to a new level. More than 40 external guests – law firms, in-house lawyers and companies – took part in the two-hour meeting. To get the most out of the networking idea and to have the chance to talk about it in more depth, the external guests were also invited to attend the subsequent Welcome Reception. The topic of the first international business meeting was: "China direct overseas investments – risk analysis and prevention". The topic was presented by CONSULEGIS members from Europe, the US, Australia and Asia; the presentations provided the audience with an informative and interesting overview of the above topic from the point of view of the different countries.

The guests then had the opportunity to exchange ideas with the representatives from the different countries, make initial contacts and lay the foundation for a future cooperation. The Welcome Reception was attended by more than 100 external guests and CONSULEGIS members. It provided an opportunity for a lively exchange and was a great start to a successful conference in China!

CONSULEGIS Autumn Conference

Many CONSULEGIS members once again accepted the invitation to this year's autumn conference in Shanghai – or rather, the "Paris of the East"! This was the first time CONSULEGIS organised the conference as a host, and they were all the more delighted about the many participants. This was also the first time the participants spontaneously assigned a motto to the conference: "Don't wait for the typhoon to pass, learn to dance in the storm and rain instead". The typhoon that struck Hong Kong meant that many items of the supporting programme and the evening event had to be changed due to the bad weather – and all participants accepted the challenges posed by the weather with a smile.

The number of participants at this year's autumn conference was not was not exactly overwhelming, but this did not diminish the success of the conference in any way. On the contrary, the fact that 71 people attended made it more manageable and gave people the opportunity to exchange ideas and to network more than this would otherwise have been possible.

The unofficial part of the conference started on Wednesday evening with the Early Arrivals Dinner, which was a resounding success, with more than 30 conference participants taking part in the traditional Chinese dinner. The food was a feast for the palate as well as for the eyes, and with some dishes you had to study the menu to know what you were being served.

As usual, the CONSULEGIS Advisory Board Meeting took place on Thursday, and those participants who had arrived early had the opportunity to take a tour of the town first.

The first highlight was on Thursday afternoon. It was the CONSULEGIS International Business Meeting officially held for the first time at a CONSULEGIS conference. The meeting was attended by members as well as external guests, and its aim was to present the network to the Asian market and to take the topic of networking to a new level. More than 40 external guests – law firms, in-house lawyers and companies – took part in the two-hour meeting. To get the most out of the networking idea and to have the chance to talk about it in more depth, the external guests were also invited to attend the subsequent Welcome Reception. The topic of the first international business meeting was: "China direct overseas investments – risk analysis and prevention". The topic was presented by CONSULEGIS members from Europe, the US, Australia and Asia; the presentations provided the audience with an informative and interesting overview of the above topic from the point of view of the different countries.

Another highlight followed on Friday with the official start of the autumn conference 2016! First the chair, Irmtraud Wendland, welcomed all member and guests and provided a brief overview of the work of the advisory board in the past few months; this was followed by reports about future meetings and conferences.  The attending members also had the chance to welcome a familiar face: Kazuhiko Nishihara, who had rejoined the CONSULEGIS family the day before with his new law firm, Honmachi from Osaka/Japan. Kazuhiko Nishihara and his colleague thanked those present and talked about holding a conference in Japan, as promised in 2012. Afterwards, Nathan Kaiser from Eiger Law gave a brief but no less impressive overview of the official conference topic: "Doing business in Asia", which was a recurring theme throughout the conference in Shanghai. This was followed by an interesting presentation by Betty Liu on the topic's cultural component: differences, commonalities and misunderstandings.

The meeting of the Specialist Group followed in the afternoon. In the early evening, people gathered at a traditional Chinese restaurant at the Bund – The Lost in Heaven. Unfortunately, because of the heavy rain, it was not possible to take in the breathtaking skyline from the roof terrace, but the stunning culinary delights from all over China were enjoyed nonetheless.

Early the next morning, the participants gathered for the business development meeting – the topic was “China Collaborative Group”. The lively meeting saw the exchange of many ideas on how the law firms can make better use of the network, how to address new target groups and what the opportunities for the future are.

Afterwards, the participants went on a bus tour of the city, visited a Tibetan monastery and attended a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. In the evening, despite the rain, some people took the opportunity to take in the breathtaking skyline of Shanghai from a boat on the Huangpu Jiang River. Afterwards, with wet feet but nice memories, they met up with the other participants for a joint farewell dinner. Those participants who decided they'd rather be dry met at the top floor of the Indigo Hotel at eye level with the skyscrapers, where they took in the amazing atmosphere of the city over a glass of wine. The final evening was a great success, and it's fair to say that, despite the capricious weather, this year's conference was a resounding success!

We hope to see you all again during the forthcoming conference in Amsterdam, May 11th – 14th 2017.