UPDATE and FAQ
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.
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