Monday 15 June the delayed 2020 Canton Trade Fair took off, under the pressure of the global coronavirus crisis fully online. The question is: will it work to take this traditional and very prestigious gathering for China’s import and export industries take off. Will old friends join online and will the conference be able to generate new business?

The event mirrors the dilemma for many event organizers. Yes, at this stage of the coronavirus crisis events like this are impossible to hold in another way than online. But can any online event even partially replace the major gathering we have seen over the past decades?Read More →

The Planner Confidence Index has been surveying event organizers since March to measure the impact of the corona crisis on the industry. Key finding: confidence in a fast resumption of face to face (F2F) events has dropped dramatically. In March 8 percent of the participants in the survey expected meetings would only be possible in 2021, in June the percentage has risen to 50%.Read More →

Two months ago we still hoped the event industry would recover from the Covid-19 crisis in a similar way as SARS in 2002/3. But history seldom repeats itself and also in this case it looks we have been too optimistic. While much of Europe is slowly opening up, and other parts of the world remain in crisis mode, the traditional events as we knew them might not return any time soon. Whether we will go through a second wave of the corona crisis is still an open question: major disruption is here to stay.

That is bad news for those event companies who relied on physical conferences including massive flights, hotel bookings, and entertainment for their business model. Much of our business disappeared initially, leaving our speakers often empty-handed. Now a miraculous revival of the event industry might not come fast, at the CSB we can focus on our core business: connecting established China experts to companies and organizations eager to pick their brains, now in online seminars.Read More →

The coronavirus or Covid-19 has kept the world in its grip since the beginning of 2020, first as a China problem, but then fast expanding to the rest of the world.

At the China Speakers Bureau, we organize China experts for a global audience, and our speakers have started to speak out on the impacts of that crisis, countries dealt with the crisis, and how China will deal with the major economic fallout of this global disruption.
Are you interested in discussing more options of speakers to deal with the corona crisis? Do get in touch.Read More →

At the China Speakers Bureau, we keep a close eye on event organizers and how they prepare for the coming year, in the post-coronavirus period. We see two broad movements: definitely, a part of the gatherings is turning to virtual events, like for example the Felixstowe Book Festival.

More troublesome is the black swan scenario taken this week by Stage Entertainment, organizers in Europe of larger musicals like Tina, Anastasia, and Lazarus to delay their productions till March 2021. For most annual events, like the Olympic Games, a one-year delay might sound obvious, but stalling ongoing shows and events sounds more troublesome.Read More →

The coronavirus has not only stalled most global events, international flights, and the hospitality business. Now, also insurance firms start to increase premiums or outright refuse to insure the consequences of eventualities caused by the coronavirus.

“The market has been “traumatised” by the prospect of unintended coverage for business interruption related to coronavirus,” says an insurance expert.Read More →

Education, museums, tourist destinations, company meetings, Friday afternoon drinks, TV shows: all seem busy finding online variations now the coronavirus is disrupting their traditional business models. The picture shows a Dutch quiz program where hundreds of candidates call in on a live connection and get pulled into the program by a smart way of moderation.

The question is whether events with larger audiences and speakers can get the same done. Technically, there would not be a problem: remote interaction is possible, maybe not with a 1000+ audience, but certainly with hundreds of participants.Read More →

The situation in both Europe and the US is still very unreal. The fallout of the coronavirus is stabilizing in Europe at best, while the US is still preparing or the worst. But meanwhile, we are getting already a few requests for speakers from Asia for events after the summer. 

Of course, the rest of the world is also slowly thinking about how the world will look like post-corona, we are pleasantly surprised Asia is already a step ahead. We still have to see how realistic those plans are for meetings with 1000+ people, who have to fly in from the rest of the world while renowned airlines have grounded their fleets and struggling to survive. Read More →

As the coronavirus hits big parts of the world outside China, at the China Speakers Bureau we are looking at alternatives in video conferencing. In the past we worked with Google Hangouts, but our mostly conservative event organizers preferred to stick to real life meetings, and we abolished this tool.

But times are changing, and the internal debate at the CSB on exploring video conferences as an alternative for real-life meetings has popped up again. Currently we are looking at two tools: Zoom and Tencent Meetings. Zoom has become fast the preferred choice for many outside China, and we have already good experiences with them. But Tencent Meetings (VooV) is also emerging, and even helping the United Nations in setting up public conferences.Read More →

Last week we saw a resumption of economic activities in China, and hoped our speakers’ business would be up to steam before the summer, including a few months for event organizers to get their act together. But recent developments show that the coronavirus crisis might only be starting in the rest of the world, as European countries and the US have started to lockdown their economic activities to stop the spread of the virus. Together with gloomy assessments of the lackluster way those countries deal with the crisis, our first analysis might have been too optimistic.Read More →

China and South Korea might be starting to resume their economies, the rest of the world is getting further into lock-down mode. After Italy, the rest of Europe and the United States are only at the beginning of the corona virus pandemic. And for sure nobody in those countries is in de mood to prepare for a life after the current crisis.

At the China Speakers Bureau, we do start to look ahead, also as more events are cancelled and international flights still seem in a unstoppable free fall. But one thing is sure: even when timing is unclear, this crisis will be disappearing in the months to come, even when experts already predict a second wave of patients after the summer. In our line of business the average lead time between inquiries for speaker’ assignments and execution is on average three months, and we do not want to start for resumption of our business until the pandemic has officially stopped.Read More →

The medical magazine The Lancet was one of the first Western media to point out the rest of the world could learn from the way China had dealt with the corona crisis. The severe lock-down of Wuhan and Hubei province, and the extended deployment of medics from the rest of China, was then still seen as too draconian to be used on other parts of the world.

Now Italy is in a lock-down and medical care in Northern parts are in crisis, while the rest of Europe looks surprised. “They are in a crisis,” said a shaken Dutch doctor on Dutch TV last night, after he made a phone call to a colleague in Milan. Displaying confidence in your own capabilities sometimes becomes a handicap.Read More →