We’re back! Who wants to go to China?

ChinaTalk is restarting its study tours to China …

After developing and guiding a series of study tours in 2018 and 2019, I decided this was my new calling. Not only did it allow me to spend more time in China, but it was also the perfect way to combine my regular keynotes with actually being able to let the audience experience digital innovation in China. In the morning I would give lectures in the hotel while we would visit companies and retail stores on ‘city safaris’ in the afternoon. And as icing on the cake, I got to give participants a taste of the culture, cuisine, and life in China.

The responses exceeded my wildest expectations, with one tour being rated a 9+ by the participants. Taking into account that Dutch people rarely give 10/10 ratings (they always have suggestions for improvements), that made me incredibly proud … while in my mind I was already working on those suggested improvements.

Having found this new passion, I decided to give up my old job as a marketing consultant and do this full-time. Doing 4 – 8 tours per year would enable me to continue studying China digital tech in between those tours and keep the tour program up-to-date. It would also allow me to spend time in China doing field research. I’m convinced that only if you really try out and experience certain innovations can you interpret their meaning and importance. And cut through a lot of the ‘bs’ …

But not long after making this decision, everything came crashing down. The coronavirus hit Wuhan, and before long, we had to cancel three study tours we had planned in the spring of 2020. What followed were three years of hoping things would get better. Eventually, we and our clients gave up rescheduling the planned tours and agreed first to wait until China opened.

That took three years …

Three years in which I constantly had to reconsider my choice of giving up my old job.

Three years in which again and again I came to the conclusion that I had to follow my heart and had made the right choice.

Three years that have been financially challenging since we couldn’t compensate for the lost business with lectures and keynotes when everything went into lockdown.

But also three years that gave me lots of time to read, write and get even deeper into the world of China’a digital tech. Getting up every morning to dive into a new trend, I kept sharing my findings in articles and videos.

That eventually started paying off, if maybe not financially. More and more often, I was asked to share my insights in interviews on radio and television and in many different podcasts. I was asked to frequently advise a wealth management company on Chinese trends. And one of our clients for the study tours kept coming back to me with requests to provide keynotes and presentations for their seminars. By the time the lockdowns were lifted and events returned, I got to speak on some amazing stages at some amazing events and was recently asked to join the Tech Buzz China team as a main writer.

When the travel restrictions in China were finally lifted a few months ago, and I carefully asked one of our clients if they were still interested, they told me that they had already penciled in a potential tour with us in the fall of 2023. That was some of the best news I had heard in 3,5 years.

So that brings us to today.

We are picking up the pieces and dusting off all our tour programs, memberships to branch organizations, tour operator insurances, and preparing to go to China to do new field research so we can implement the latest trends in our offerings. China might have spent a long time in lockdowns over the past 3 years, digital development have not stopped and in some cases even accelerated.

We have a few tours in the pipeline that we’ll soon tell you more about. And, of course we are open to discussing options for other tours with clients. If you are as anxious as we are to visit China, feel free to get in touch if …

… you are a traveler that might want to join one of the study tours we are working on. We can give you more details, suggest the best tour matching your personal interest and refer you to the corresponding client.

… you are an organization (company, event management, magazine, etc) that wants us to put together an amazing study tour to China for your customers, employees, members, etc.

We’ve been waiting for 3,5 years for this moment and we are more than ready!

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