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Archive for the ‘MSc in E-commerce’ Category

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – some links to free social media metric tools

In Business Education, DCU Business School, Digital Marketing, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Uncategorized on April 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

“In physical science the first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be.”[PLA, vol. 1, “Electrical Units of Measurement”, 1883-05-03]

As the semester at DCU Business School comes to an end, I find myself with marginally more time and have decided to refocus again on sharing some nuggets in the long form. This particular article will be a work in progress and so I apologise in advance for the “list” nature of this and that it will be expanded and polished over time. NOTE: I have excluded the big three search engines as a tool because you should be using these anyhow.

As Lord Kelvin said, to measure is to know. There is an ongoing debate on whether you can calculate the ROI on social media – I don’t particularly understand the perspective that you can’t – if there is an action, it can be measured. Once you accept it can be measured, then the next question might be whether it is feasible (economically, technically, ethically etc) to do so. Then once you have some measurements, how do you interpret this data. This blog discusses some free tools that you may be able to derive some value from.

A good starting point is David Berkowitz’ (@dberkowitz) list on “100 Ways to Measure Social Media”. David has also made his presentation to the PMA available. I like this presentation (the list is embedded) as he contextualises his thinking.

My interest and focus is increasingly around understanding how business re-orient from the demo-graph to the social graph and understanding network theories is essential. I like Dan Halgin and Stephen Bogatti’s paper on Network Theorizing.If you accept this re-orientation, you need to rethink your marketing and customer engagement strategy dramatically – in many respects it requires getting to know your customers on a much more deeper level and finding a point on the social graph that you can intersect or levers for influence. This is not really something new. Historically, this is how we always did business – people would ask friends, families, neighbours, authority figures for recommendations on people based on their centrality within a community, their social activity and their connectivity or network. Today, we have many different types of network – in the real world and the virtual and what it means to be connected to someone means different things in each network or does it? Is your Twitter network the same as your Facebook one or your LinkedIn one or your FourSquare Friends or your Contacts list on your phone or even your Christmas Card list ? How much influence do you have on these networks? What does it mean when your “friends” don’t “like” you? Being a “friend” used to be hard but now it is just complicated.

Visualizing your social network or the social network of your target customer is a good first step. There used to be some neat free tools around like Agna and now LinkedIn is looking at this, in a relatively basic way, using InMaps. Wikipedia have a good page on Social Network Analysis software. Understanding the network topography is only a start. Who are these people?  Who has influence? Well, there emerging popular players in the social media universe are Klout (Klout have an app – sociofluence but some influence interpretation reports seem inconsistent) and Peer Index. I like both for different reasons. Klout is easy to use and can be used to craft and refine your personal and institutional brand. They have made a pretty good stab at categorising social media users (and in this context Facebook and Twitter users initially) and provide a lot of data points that can be used for marketing purposes. I like Peer Index because it allows you to create peer groups and compare them against activity, authority and audience and therefore allows quick visualization of influence. When looking at these profiles, I look at the score and see what’s driving them. If it is very facebook driven, you might ask whether the person’s user’s influence is driven by personal social activity. Another piece of data to help establish they type of influence the target has, is their topic analysis – does it reflect personal casual interests or personal professional interests. Both can be useful for marketing purposes but may be interpreted differently for employment purposes. There are a couple of other similar tools like Grader (Grader offer tools to rank you on blogs, twitter, facebook, foursquare etc etc) and Twitalyzer. While there seems to be some correlation between Klout and Peer IndexGrader  is often a mystery to me and I don’t really understand the utility of the foursquare grader. Another snapshot tool is Twitter Search and OpenBook – the former allows you search all twitter feeds and the latter all facebook accounts with public settings -you may get an insight in to what people are really saying about you. This is best used with keyword analysis via Google.

Sentiment Analysis seems to the be one of buzzword bingo winners of recent times. I’m a big fan of the sector and have tried Radian6, Scout Labs and others but these are expensive for a small to medium sized business. I believe people feel have a more positive sentiment to positive people and indeed the people you want to be associated and are more likely to help you are generally those of a positive outlook. However, people who are unhappy or negative often have a problem that you may be able to solve and they also represent opportunities. Twitrratr is a quick snapshot of the twitter sentiment surrounding a brand, product, person or topic based on analysis of positive and negative words (links to words sourced from Jim Sterne).

Some other twitter tools which may be useful to look at are Tweetreach and Twunfollow. The free Tweetreach  tools give you a snapshot of the last 50 tweets of  user and provides you with analysis of reach (by users and impressions), tweet type and the contributors to reach. While many people focus on the size of their audience, few monitor who is unfollowing them. Unfollows may be interpreted as failed attempts to engage – these people have decided to follow you because of a message and then decided to unfollow you, why? Understanding the unfollow motivation may provide an insight in to your messaging style and how you might refine communication. For free, Twunfollow provides you with a 7-day analysis and trending graph for both follower and follower growth and then lists unfollows, follows and deleted followers (eg they may have been deleted by themselves or for spamming). Each unfollow entry includes how long they had been following you from. My students have recently been messing around with Twalue and Twength (although I may have first (re)tweeted this. Twalue puts a monetary value on your twitter account and twength measures your average twitter length. The former isn’t really useful without comparative data and then I think the way the valuation is done could be perceived negatively. The latter may have value in that long tweets may not be retweeted or when retweeted are truncated and therefore the message is impaired. So Twength may be useful for refining a factor that impacts on amplification.

A note on blogs – blogging platforms come with a variety of good analytical tools.  These are largely covered in David Berkowitz’ list but it is worthwhile looking at Jason Stamper’s  Blog Value Index and Avinash Kaushik’s Blog Metrics: Six Recommendations For Measuring Your Success.

One observation which may be useful is that success on one social network does not necessarily translate to other social networks – a blogger may not transition to microblogs and have the same impact. Similarly, the number of followers does not equate to influence.

Other reading? I liked Jim Sterne‘s book, Social Media Metrics and his blog. Why? It had lots of stuff I had seen elsewhere but bundled them together nicely in to a customer lifecycle structure. It was also a fast and easy read! I also really like Gary Arndt’s blog post on Klout vs PeerIndex, mostly because he has engaged the executives from Klout and Peer Index via comments and there are some great insights in these comments.

Please feel free to leave comments and suggest some sites I may have forgotten or need to check out.

Leaving the ‘Paris of the East’ – Goodbye Shanghai! – Day Nine of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai

In Business Education, DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Travel, World Expo 2010 on August 11, 2010 at 9:18 am
The DCU Business School Group pose one last time outside the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai.

The DCU Business School Group pose one last time outside the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai.

And so our Shanghai adventures come to an end.

We decided to spare ourselves the hassle of  negotiating the Shanghai transport system at 7am and rented a coach to the Airport – it took significantly longer than the MagLev! Unsurprisingly (1) we had more luggage leaving and (2) few people were awake to witness our departure through the outskirts of Shanghai. Checking in at Pudong International Airport was straightforward and only one person had to pay extra baggage charges!

Laurynas Binderis modelling a fetching pair of sunglasses at Duty Free in Pudong International Airport, Shanghai.

Laurynas Binderis modelling a fetching pair of sunglasses at Duty Free in Pudong International Airport, Shanghai.

Pudong International Airport is extremely modern and the range of shops and duty free goods is excellent. I think I did a good job avoiding the propensity to buy unusually large amounts of tacky souvenirs and bought what I thought my wife and kids would genuinely like (and for the record they did!) – a Shanghai Tang scarf for Niamh, a “genuine” Chinese ethnic doll for Aoife, a panda bear pillow for Jamie and last but not least, a Panda hat for Chloe. The Panda hat may be a bit big!

Ciara Dolan models Chloe's Panda Bear hat as Micheal O'Leary looks on enviously in Pudong International Airport, Shanghai. Stylish.

Ciara Dolan models Chloe's Panda Bear hat as Micheal O'Leary looks on enviously in Pudong International Airport, Shanghai. Stylish.

The flight home was a mixed affair. I got upgraded to Business Class so I was as happy as the proverbial pig however the group got randomly spread across the rest of economy rather than together and I think the BA crew could have been more understanding in relation to some specific cultural requirements some of our students had. Equally everyone was tired. The minor stopover at Heathrow, lunch at Giraffe and short hop to Dublin was not worth mentioning – everyone home safe and sound!

6,141 miles, 9 days, 24 postgrads, 3 support staff, one monkey, very little sleep – was it worth it? Absolutely.

The roll of honour:

Andrew Bonello (Research Assistant, DCU Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge (LINK) Research Centre, DCU Business School)

Andrew Bonello (Research Assistant, DCU Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge (LINK) Research Centre, DCU Business School)

Sarah McPartlin (Teaching Assistant, DCU Business School)

Sarah McPartlin (Teaching Assistant, DCU Business School)

Micheal O'Leary (Teaching Assistant, DCU Business School)

Micheal O'Leary (Teaching Assistant, DCU Business School)

Wafa AlMuhamma (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Wafa AlMuhamma (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Laurynas Binderis (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Laurynas Binderis (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Siobhan Buckley soaks up Shanghai on the Big Bus Tour

Siobhan Buckley (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Rosemary Clancy (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Rosemary Clancy (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Brian Connolly (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Brian Connolly (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Joe Cullinan (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Joe Cullinan (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Sean Cullivan (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Sean Cullivan (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Ciara Dolan (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Ciara Dolan (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Sean Donnelly (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Sean Donnelly (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Niamh Downey (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Niamh Downey (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Rob Elliffe (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business Sc

Rob Elliffe (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Martin Hennig (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Martin Hennig (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Dan Higgins (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business Sch

Dan Higgins (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School

Keith Lawless (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Keith Lawless (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Tanya McNamara (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Tanya McNamara (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Beatrice Metzler (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Beatrice Metzler (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Laureen Morrissette (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Laureen Morrissette (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Niamh NicClamha (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Niamh NicClamha (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Lorna NiMhuiri (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Lorna NiMhuiri (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Nicolae (Nick) Opris (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Nicolae (Nick) Opris (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Carolann O'Sullivan (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Carolann O'Sullivan (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Barry Sweeney (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Barry Sweeney (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Zara Walsh (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Zara Walsh (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Ekaterina (Katia) Zavershinskaya (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Ekaterina (Katia) Zavershinskaya (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

The Monkey

The Monkey

r. Theo Lynn (Director, DCU Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge (LINK) Research Centre, DCU Business School)

Dr. Theo Lynn (Director, DCU Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge (LINK) Research Centre, DCU Business School)

More photos on flickr.
Irish Blogs

Last day in Shanghai – Day Eight of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In An Bord Bia, Business Education, CEIBS, Chinese Food, DCU Business School, Di Shui Dong, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Elearning, Ireland, Irish Pavilion, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai Restaurants, The Blarney Stone, Travel, Uncategorized, World Expo 2010 on August 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Our last day kicked off with a frenetic visit by Andrew and I to CEIBS to hear about their e-learning publishing business. CEIBS seems to be the equivalent of the Harvard Business School of China and the CEIBS MBA is ranked 8th in the world. The campus is great with a lot of space for contemplation – there seemed to be an abundance of meditation pools (or it could just be good landscaping!) One of our alumni heads up business development for the e-learning business and I was interested in sharing experiences with her. CEIBS has developed a fairly comprehensive suite of e-learning courses for their general business with a judicious mix of interactivity. I could see a suite of elearning modules by CEIBS on doing business in China being a real hit and it was interesting to hear their thoughts and plans although we had very little time – all my fault; I totally misread the traffic an distance to CEIBS.

CEIBS

CEIBS

We had planned to get back to the hotel and get the coach to Paypal Shanghai but it turned out it was faster to meet the rest of the group at Paypal‘s office. Their offices could have been in California – the office block was a modern high rise in a landscaped business park in the Shanghai suburbs and the interior was the same level of modern professionalism. Martin Hennig (one of our MSc in E-commerce (Business) students) works for Paypal in Ireland and organised a tour of their Shanghai office. Martin kicked off with a great presentation to the group on Paypal and its operations and answered any questions we had. We then had a really good tour around each department in Paypal – unfortunately, I can’t share the details as we agreed to confidentiality. I can tell you that everyone we met spoke excellent English and seemed on top of their game.

Paypal China

Paypal China

As it was our last day, we got the coach back to the market under the Science and Technology Museum for people to pick up additional presents and custom clothes ordered. At this stage, we had a regular meeting place at the market, Daisy’s, where we could pick up edible food and big mugs of Espresso. After a couple of hours, I had had enough haggling, stringing the shop-owners along and espresso and decided to go back to the hotel for our penultimate meeting of the trip with Breffini Kennedy (Asia Manager, An Bord Bia).

Sean Cullivan, the happy buyer of a tailor-made linen jacket from Shanghai. Don Johnson watch out.

Sean Cullivan, the happy buyer of a tailor-made linen jacket from Shanghai. Don Johnson watch out.

I have to say Breiffini’s talk with us was great. He gave us great insights in to his career and how his various roles in different organisations resulted in his current placement in China and how various skills and knowledge he acquired in previous roles contributes to his current role. Breiffini is a one-man office representing the Irish food industry in Asia with responsibility for both promoting and generating deals for Irish food companies but also making sure we can sell in the market at all. For example, An Bord Bia were actively involved in getting the Chinese ban on Irish pork products lifted recently following the 2008 dioxin scare.

Irish pork products allowed back in to China. Good for Irish farmers, not so sure about the pigs!

Irish pork products allowed back in to China. Good for Irish farmers, not so sure about the pigs!

Everyone liked Breiffini’s hands-on approach – he attends trade fairs, chases down leads, does market research and is often the first point of contact for some large deals. He explains that this often means visiting places that he has never heard of, often off the well beaten path to Beijing and Shanghai. He believes and made a very strong case for greater investment in Asia from the Irish food and beverage industry. There are so many direct and complementary opportunities that Ireland can exploit – for example, China is turning in to a major market for non-traditional meat products e.g. offal, trotters etc. These products simply wouldn’t sell in Ireland and while not hugely financially profitable do offset costs and develop trade relationships. Once again, Breiffini stressed the importance of guanxi and raising the profile of Ireland in the minds of the Chinese public. Breiffini did a great job contextualising the Irish World Expo pavilion design by explaining that emphasising the greenness of Ireland helps with agricultural perception etc.

Breffini Kennedy from An Bord Bia answers questions from the DCU Business School group in Shanghai.

Breffini Kennedy from An Bord Bia answers questions from the DCU Business School group in Shanghai.

The meeting ended with some thoughts on living in China and he was very open about both his and his wife’s experience. He praised the International hospitals in Shanghai and also noted that they didn’t realise how well they had adapted to life in China until they had visitors over from Ireland and others told them. Breiffini the fielded questions for over 45 minutes on various aspects of working in China and An Bord Bia – we could have gone for a lot longer!

Eoin Murphy, President of the Le Cheile, the Irish Community in Shanghai.

Eoin Murphy, President of the Le Cheile, the Irish Community in Shanghai.

Our final engagement was dinner with Eoin Murphy from Le Cheile, the Irish Community in Shanghai, in the Di Shui Dong Restaurant. Di Shui Dong is a Huananese restaurant which was recommended by Deirdre Green (ChinaGreen) – it means “Water Dropping Hole” but literal translations don’t work well in China. Basically, everything is spicy! While the decor was modest, the food was excellent, reasonably priced and nearly everything was both recognisable and edible, although in some cases, extremely spicy!

Dan Higgins, Sean Cullivan and Brian Connolly consider what Huananese spicy food really means at the Di Shui Dong restaurant, Shanghai.

Dan Higgins, Sean Cullivan and Brian Connolly consider what Huananese spicy food really means at the Di Shui Dong restaurant, Shanghai.

For approx. 25 euros each we had over 20 dishes and drinks for the night. Eoin was great fun but unfortunately couldn’t be split in three across our tables – hopefully, we will have more time to spend with him the next time. If you are looking at moving to Shanghai, doing business in China or visiting, trust me it is worthwhile contacting Eoin or looking at the Le Cheile website – the Irish welcome is alive and well in Shanghai!

Joe Cullinan outside The Blarney Stone, Shanghai.

Joe Cullinan outside The Blarney Stone, Shanghai.

The Blarney Stone, one of Shanghai’s Irish pubs, is located next door to Di Shui Dong and we invaded en masse. The Blarney Stone is what one would expect – Irish Pub decor and their own balladeer, Big Paul. There were only 5-6 people there so we, effectively, had the bar to ourselves (although I noted our new friends from An Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and An Bord Failte were also there and came over to say hello) and after a couple of rounds we took over the entertainment too.

Sean Donnelly, Carolann O'Sullivan and Barry Sweeney get in to the swing of things at The Blarney Stone, Shanghai.

Sean Donnelly, Carolann O'Sullivan and Barry Sweeney get in to the swing of things at The Blarney Stone, Shanghai.

It is trips like these that hidden talents come out and Sean Cullivan’s rendition of Galway Girl and Seven Drunken Nights will be one we will all remember – maybe Big Paul too! Experience it here on youtube.

Sean Cullivan takes over from Big Paul and knocks out 'Galway Girl' at The Blarney Stone, Shanghai

Sean Cullivan takes over from Big Paul and knocks out 'Galway Girl' at The Blarney Stone, Shanghai. Experience it on youtube.

Before I left for the hotel, the group presented me with a variety of mementos of the trip for which I am grateful and display proudly in my office. “The Man Club” was closed when we got back to the hotel and to some extent, I was glad our last night ended on an Irish note, no matter how out of tune that might have been.

More photos on flickr. Day Nine to follow….
Irish Blogs

Father’s Day in Shanghai, a day of rest? – Day Seven of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai

In DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Enterprise Ireland, Father's Day, Huaihai Road, Ireland, Jade on 36, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, Shangri la Pudong, Shopping, The Westin, Travel, Yongkang Lu on July 29, 2010 at 11:56 am
Dr. Theo Lynn (DCU Business School) with monkey at Father's Day brunch in the Westin on the Bund, Shanghai.

Dr. Theo Lynn (DCU Business School) with monkey at Father's Day brunch in the Westin on the Bund, Shanghai.

It’s Father’s Day and I am nearly 6,000 miles from the kids….not a good start to my first Sunday in Shanghai. Unlike Ireland, today is not a day of rest for our group. We kicked off with an informal briefing from Enterprise Ireland‘s Alan Buckley (Director), Kevin Sherry (Director, International Sales and Partnering) and Renee Wu (Manager – East China). Alan and Renee are based in China, in Beijing and Shanghai respectively and Alan is over for World Expo but also the Enterprise Ireland regional meeting. It was a relaxed start to the day and we held the session over coffee in the lobby of the hotel. Alan gave us an overview of Enterprise Ireland‘s activities in the region and the challenges. We all agreed educating the Chinese about Ireland was a crucial first step. Again, the sheer scale of the opportunity was hit home but also that EI‘s activities, while successful, were severely constrained by funding. Alan also stressed the importance of relationships and guanxi but also having a presence in China. Enterprise Ireland are not immune from this either and their presence in the Irish Consulate greatly assists their efforts. I was quite impressed by Kevin as he was very interested in the group’s thoughts and listening to their first impressions.

Jade on 36, Shangri La Pudong, Shanghai

Jade on 36, Shangri La Pudong, Shanghai

We had booked brunch at the Shangri La Hotel in Pudong. Initially this was going to be my personal treat however soon 16 of us had booked in….or so we thought. On arrival, we found that although we had made a reservation through their website, this had not been communicated to the Jade on 36 restaurant…. While we were offered the option of a Japanese brunch, unfortunately this didn’t really suit our palate. In fairness to Clement Jacquel, the Service Manager, and his the staff at the Shangri La, they immediately rang the Westin on the Bund, paid for transport and booked us in to a private room there for brunch.

The Westin on the Bund, Shanghai

The Westin on the Bund, Shanghai

Serendipity struck again! The Westin was great. Brunch was served over two floors from 7-10 serving stations, something for everyone – Italian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, English, even a caviar bar, candy floss and pick-n-mix sweet trolley! We were on the second floor and we could look down and see the different entertainment the Westin had laid on – a 16-piece orchestra, child acrobats/gymnasts, magicians, clowns and singers – it was like a circus-themed restaurant.

A view of the lobby dining area for brunch in the Westin on the Bund with orchestra on steps in background.

A view of the lobby dining area for brunch in the Westin on the Bund with orchestra on steps in background.

After some champagne, the group attacked the food and two hours later after several desserts, we lazed around in our guilt. I rang my kids which only exacerbated this feeling but its amazing what a good chocolate brownie will cure!

DCU Business School group in our private room for brunch at the Westin on the Bund, Shanghai

DCU Business School group in our private room for brunch at the Westin on the Bund, Shanghai

Just before we were leaving, we ran in to some of the Irish diaspora from Cork working for EMC Research in Shanghai. It says a lot about the Irish that within 15 minutes of meeting us, the offer to visit EMC Research was made. Unfortunately there was no more time in our schedule but the offer was much appreciated. Maybe the “Ireland of a thousand welcomes” may be lost in Ireland but the diaspora certainly make up for it! We all agreed the Westin Brunch is a must for any visit to Shanghai, especially one with kids, even the older ones!

Dr. Theo Lynn, Ciara Dolan and Rosemary Clancy at brunch at The Westin on the Bund, Shanghai. Sean Donnelly auditions as a server.

Dr. Theo Lynn, Ciara Dolan and Rosemary Clancy at brunch at The Westin on the Bund, Shanghai. Sean Donnelly auditions as a server.

While some of the group decided to hit the markets again, Andrew, Martin, Laureen and I decided on some culture. Alan Bradley had recommended the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum and so we jumped in a taxi and made our way back to People’s Square. It says a lot about the Chinese and their sense of scale that they have a museum just about urban planning in Shanghai, Dublin urban planning seems an oxymoron! The museum is huge and has exhibits over several floors which explores different aspects of the evolution of Shanghai through pictures, film and other exhibits. It is not everyone’s cup of tea however the giant model of Shanghai is worth the reasonable admission fee. It takes up an entire floor and you can walk around and view it from an attached gantry. The detail is impressive – Andrew even found the Maltese pavilion in World Expo in the model!

A view from above. The model of Shanghai at the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum.

A view from above. The model of Shanghai at the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum.

Our plan was to get a quick coffee and visit the Shanghai Museum located behind the Urban Planning museum. We popped in to Starbucks for a quick coffee (and to buy a Shanghai city mug) and sat in the drizzle of the People’s Park. It was quite amusing. Clearly Sunday is Date Day for young Shanghai couples and we felt slightly guilty that we were disturbing them. After a few minutes, we couldn’t take it any longer and left Chinese couples to what couples all over the world get up to… And off we went heading towards what we thought was the Shanghai Museum. As we walked through the Park, we couldn’t help but notice the large number of older Chinese people congregated under canopies over the paths with pieces of A4 paper attached like notices to fences and trees. What could they be? We eventually discovered that these were marriage notifications – now we really felt for those couples we had disturbed earlier, little did they know what their parents were up to!

My attempt to negotiate marriage contracts for Andrew Bonello, Laureen Morrissette and Martin Hennig at the People's Park in Shanghai were unsuccessful.

My attempt to negotiate marriage contracts for Andrew Bonello, Laureen Morrissette and Martin Hennig at the People's Park in Shanghai were unsuccessful.

Eventually we got to the Shanghai Museum. I say eventually because we inadvertently walked the entire circumference of Renmin Square. And what did we find? It had closed 5 minutes earlier. So readers, no we didn’t get to see the 120,000+ collection of Chinese artifacts. So much for culture.

Martin Hennig, Laureen Morrissette, Dr. Theo Lynn (with Monkey) and Andrew Bonello outside a closed Shanghai Museum.

Martin Hennig, Laureen Morrissette, Dr. Theo Lynn (with Monkey) and Andrew Bonello outside a closed Shanghai Museum.

We then decided to visit some of the shopping streets – unfortunately I have no idea where we were but it seemed to be more Chinese than western! Before you suggest, no, it wasn’t Monganshan Lu – the famous modern art district – I think Yongkang Lu. Anyhow it was full of little alleys with all sorts of bits and pieces to buy and lots of photo galleries and art shops.

Laureen Morrissette looks for gifts in Yongkang Lu...maybe.

Laureen Morrissette looks for gifts in Yongkang Lu...maybe.

For those interested in modern art or pop culture with an Asian bent, this area is manna from heaven. Imagine an Asian Urban Outfitter-themed diagonal alley (from Harry Potter) and that’s the general impression – a bit like the Laines in Brighton.

One of lanes in Yongkang Lu, Shanghai - I think.

One of lanes in Yongkang Lu, Shanghai - I think.

It also had a couple of fresh food markets which were quite interesting to visit in a voyeuristic way. They looked initially like Irish farmer’s markets but in some ways were like some alternate reality – totally different vegetables, many of which were unknown to us and meats that in Ireland would not be offered for sale – offal, chicken feet etc. I felt for one hapless employee whose job seemed to be cutting the nails of the chicken feet….

Martin Hennig tries to find out where we are from other equally lost tourists!

Martin Hennig tries to find out where we are from other equally lost tourists!

After attempting to and giving up on working out where we were, we hailed a cab to the Huaihai Road, Shanghai’s main medium-to-high end shopping street. As usual, the Chinese cabby wouldn’t let us put on our seatbelts and off we went literally on the Chinese version of a rollercoaster ride. The Huaihai Road is six-kilometre street blending modern department stores with branded stores from most of the Western fashionable and luxury marques. If you are looking for bargains, I am not sure they are here. We popped in to the Apple store which is like its contemporaries in London and elsewhere including the price which was the same as London, if not higher. Authentic luxury and fashionable products are still valued and cost no matter where.

Welcome to Shanghai! The famous sign on the Huaihai Road, a six kilometre Shanghai shopping extravaganza!

Welcome to Shanghai! The famous sign on the Huaihai Road, a six kilometre Shanghai shopping extravaganza!

To some extent, you could be in any major city worldwide but the differences are there in the shops, the culture and the people. Maybe only in China are there signs indicating management is honest (and presumably if you don’t have the sign, you are dishonest?) or food quality is good (and presumably if you don’t have the sign, you will be tethered to the toilet?). It is worthwhile visiting those stores that the Chinese authorities consider good – we went to some impressive specialist tea and jade shops where the difference in quality between their tea sets and the ones in the market were perceptible both to the eye and wallet!

Honest management but food not so great!

Honest management but food not so great!

Middle Huaihai Road seemed to have best selection of designer and luxury shops, a good and varied selection of eateries, and some good views from the walkbridges. The dedicated shopper could spend days here however Andrew and I gave up and let Martin and Laureen continue their explorations.

Dr. Theo Lynn shares a joke with Laureen Morrissette and Andrew Bonello on the walkbridge over Huailai Road, Shanghai.

Dr. Theo Lynn shares a joke with Laureen Morrissette and Andrew Bonello on the walkbridge over Huailai Road, Shanghai.

Day Seven ended with another late night in the “Man Club” chewing the fat with the rest of the group and having a bucket of ice split all over me – it’s a long story and not for this blog!

More photos on flickr. Day Eight to follow….
Irish Blogs

Return to World Expo 2010: What happened next? – Day Six, Part 2 of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In Angerer & Obermayr Messegastronomie, Ansgar Halbfas, Balancity, Business Education, DCU Business School, Dublin City University, German Pavilion, German-Sino House, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Pavilion of the Future, Rhone-Alpes Lighting Pavilion, Rhone-Alpes Urban Case, Shanghai, Travel, World Expo 2010 on July 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

We had left our story with the intrepid group of DCU Business School students outside German Pavilion at 5pm in the afternoon in the summer heat of Shanghai. The German Pavilion was closed to the public but our new found friend Ansgar had agreed to meet us later in the evening to bring us on a tour….if it opened again.

Balancity.

Balancity.

With time to kill, the group went their various ways. Myself, Lorna NiMhuiri and Keith Lawless travelled back to the Puxi site to visit some of the urban best practice case pavilions in the urban square. Lorna and Keith are working on a group practicum as part of their MSc in Business Management in the LED sector and there were some possible leads for their client in the Rhone-Alpes Lighting Pavilion and in the Pavilion of the Future. After a pretty long walk and a small water fight, where there were no winners except the amused (and confused) Chinese onlookers, we eventually reached our destination. I am not sure there was much to take from the Rhone-Alpes pavilion or their light show but I really enjoyed the various exhibits in the Pavilion of the Future housed in the former Nanshi Power Plant.

Astronaut Haibao outside the Pavilion of the Future at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The Pavilion of the Future is housed in the former Nanshi Power Plant.

Astronaut Haibao outside the Pavilion of the Future at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The Pavilion of the Future is housed in the former Nanshi Power Plant.

As you walked through the Pavilion of the Future, the exhibits introduced different facets that will need to be considered in future urban design including environmental factors. Using giant books, sculptures and other media from history the exhibits go on to contextualise much of the thinking from history. The main display, Dream of Yesterday, however was the best. It was a huge hall with gigantic 36 meter high screen showing an animated film against the backdrop of themed sculptures and other settings. As you leave, you enter the Dream Is Approaching section which focuses on bringing many of the concepts that we saw in to the real world including the Intelligent Home, Healthy Community, Low-Carbon City and Harmonious Environment. There were some really good examples of cutting edge technologies from intelligent refrigerators to home biodiagnostics amongst others. Lo and behold, even Lorna and Keith found some material for their practicum – intelligent lighting is part of the future!

Multiple Possibilities in the Pavilion of the Future features a 36-metre-high screen and animated film.

Multiple Possibilities in the Pavilion of the Future features a 36-metre-high screen and animated film.

The group assembled again at the bar to have a stein of beer at the German restaurant where Ansgar was waiting with our beloved Sennheiser wireless earphones.  Angerer & Obermayr Messegastronomie of Munich run the restaurant and it is worth a visit if only for the beer…..apparently. Despite the quality of the beer, the excitement of the German pavilion was too much of a draw….even for the Irish. It was open again. Steins down, off we go!

Laureen Morrissette, Barry Sweeney, Rob Elliffe and Niamh NicClamha toast Ansgar and the German Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Laureen Morrissette, Barry Sweeney, Rob Elliffe and Niamh NicClamha toast Ansgar and the German Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The German Pavilion occupies a plot measuring around 6,000 m² – the largest area a national pavilion can be given – and they have packed in a lot – so much so, I won’t and can’t do it justice in this blog so check out the German’s really excellent virtual tour – the interactive round trip. As we had already toured the exterior, we went through the tunnel which is lit in blue (and features different media representing transport routes to enter Germany) and then in to the urban planning area, The Urban Office, where you could explore some of the German ideas around urban planning.

DCU Business School Students in the tunnel entering the German Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

DCU Business School Students in the tunnel entering the German Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The German architects put a lot of effort in to interactive elements that use all the senses so you could see and touch different types of materials as well as explore mini-cases on different ideas like multigenerational housing, the evolution of transportation from individual mobility to public transportation. From the urban space, you transition into The Garden. Ansgar explained that they wanted a contrast in the design and this was achieved by using different material, such as fabrics hung from the ceiling and interactive elements hung from the same that you literally put your head in to. The Garden sequed in to The Depot, a exhibit based on a German Warehouse with towers of crates illustrating the manufacturing and design legacy of Germany – Bosch, Sennheiser, Villeroy and Boche, Hansgrohe and Adidas are just some of the famous brands I recognised. I was particularly taken with the Otto Bock Blizzard wheelchair which I didn’t no much about but is transforming the lives of many physically disabled people. Ansgar really hit home the policy of “Designed in Germany, Made in China” – a true algorithmic economy vision that Irish policymakers should not only be aspiring to but emulating.

e Germans! Beatrice Metzler and Martin Hennig (our token Germans - only kidding!) pose at The Depot in the German Pavilion at the World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

e Germans! Beatrice Metzler and Martin Hennig (our token Germans - only kidding!) pose at The Depot in the German Pavilion at the World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

As you exit the Depot, you enter the Factory exhibit which has a full production system and some sustainable product ideas. It wasn’t working while were there but Ansgar explained that usually you could control the system using some augmented reality applications they have – some of which can be controlled by your iPhone Touch. We continued quickly through The Park exhibit to the Studio.

Siobhan Buckley and Beatrice Metzler (one of our token Germans!) attempt to read their heights at the German Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Siobhan Buckley and Beatrice Metzler (one of our token Germans!) attempt to read their heights at the German Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The Studio was a really enjoyable space with lots of interactive exhibits that gave a different more light-hearted perspective on German culture and a bounty of ‘silly photo’ opps ranging from Carnival masks to German karaoke. Oh yes, we had an attempt. Who else but Laurynas, our dependable Lithuanian. He literally will try anything!

Niamh NicClamha as a little girl at Carnival (she really is the one in the middle!)

Niamh NicClamha as a little girl at Carnival (she really is the one in the middle!)

The City Square was the next exhibit. It was good to take a break and rest on some stone blocks and watch a multimedia piece on urban life in Germany but this was just an apertif for the highlight of the German pavilion, The Energy Source. The Energy Source is an interactive experience hosted by two students, a German boy and a Chinese girl. They guide, encourage and cajole the audience in to collaborating to change the color of and move the Energy Source, a large ball hanging from the centre of the ceiling in a spherical room. The Energy Source reflects the sound of the audience and follows the two hosts using concealed packs that they carry. The hosts bring you in to their show until becomes the audience’s. You really have to be there but trust me it’s good. Check out some of our German Pavilion pictures on flickr.

The Energy Source at the German Pavilion at the World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The Energy Source at the German Pavilion at the World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

We must have made an impression on Ansgar. He recalled my interest in interactive education and organised for a private tour of the German-Sino House with the Facility Manager, Soeren Puerschel. Germany is in an unusual situation in that it effectively has two sites at the World Expo, the main pavilion and a second exhibit, which while not officially a pavilion, is nearly more impressive than many of the pavilions at World Expo, i.e. the German-Sino house.

The German Chinese House at the World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The German Chinese House at the World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The German Chinese House epitomises the “Designed in Germany, Made in China” philosophy and is the result of a three year study tour of the next four cities after Shanghai and Beijing. Although officially closed by the time we finished in the German pavilion, Soeren welcomed us and gave a great tour. The house structure is made of bamboo and metal – sort of representing Chinese natural resources and German engineering. Soeren explained that bamboo is a material that is cheap, underused, abundant in the Far East, sustainable, very strong but flexible. Unfortunately it has fallen out of favour. The idea of the German Chinese House is to showcase how bamboo can not only support a modern structure but looks good. And it really does!

Soeren Puerschel and Ansgar Halbfas explain the design of the German Chinese House to the DCU Business School group at the World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Soeren Puerschel and Ansgar Halbfas explain the design of the German Chinese House to the DCU Business School group at the World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

So what about interactive education? Well, when we came Soeren had a photo taken of our group on the stairs of the House. He then brought us in to a room to face a wall with a computer application projected 16 times on it – our group numbered 16 on the visit! Serendipity was calling. Soeren and his assistants then guided us through a game whereby we built sustainable buildings through computer software which interpreted our shadows on the wall. For example, the first step required us to create a shadow in the shape of our building – the software interpreted this shape using digital cameras above and behind us and then projected our shadows as buildings.

Sean Donnelly, Niamh NicClamha and the DCU Business School group create virtual buildings at the German Chinese House at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Sean Donnelly, Niamh NicClamha and the DCU Business School group create virtual buildings at the German Chinese House at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

We also had to simulate trees and by holding hands connect our power. When we finished all the steps all our buildings were connected and displayed as a city block in a sim city type environment accessible online at http://www.deutschland-und-china.com/media_de_detal_127.shtml. Our Game ID is 9693 – that is the address of the DCU Business School block designed at the German-Sino House. Come and visit!

Block 9693 (Designed by Irish, Made in China, Developed by Germans)

Block 9693 (Designed by Irish, Made in China, Developed by Germans)

As Soeren explained, whilst our group was the large and we knew each other, most people coming to the House come in twos and threes and have never met. The game, designed with Aachen University, not only teaches some sustainable building principles, it acts as a means of connecting people who had previously never met. Soeren brought us upstairs to show us some of the other products that have been generated from their study tour. This included modular bamboo furniture including some units themed around each of the four cities visited. Soeren urged us not just to consider Beijing and Shanghai but also the next 4-10 cities, all of which are huge by European standards – this may be a good lesson for Irish companies and indeed Irish universities.

Modular bamboo furniture design in Germany, made in China displayed at the German Chinese House at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Modular bamboo furniture design in Germany, made in China displayed at the German Chinese House at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

After thanking Soeren and Ansgar, we had to return our VIP passes to Indrė Kumpikevičiūtė at the Lithuanian pavilion. We were all fading and in need of some nourishment so we headed to the Argentinian pavilion for some beef – it was good, really good! And so, at 10pm we left the World Expo 2010 and caught a taxi back to the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel for a drink…or two.

Time to go home. DCU Business School students leave World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Time to go home. DCU Business School students leave World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

More photos on flickr. Day Seven to follow….
Irish Blogs

Return to World Expo 2010 – Day Six, Part 1 of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In Ansgar Halbfas, Balancity, Business Education, Chinese Food, Chinese Private Enterprise Pavilion, Chinese State Shipbuilding Pavilion, DCU Business School, Dining, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, German Pavilion, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Russian Pavilion, Saudi Arabian Pavilion, Shanghai, USA Pavilion, World Expo 2010 on July 27, 2010 at 11:30 am

Given the previous late night, the group were given the option of travelling over toWorld Expo in the morning or meeting in the afternoon. Surprisingly a group of 15 managed to get out of bed and we set out for the Expo site, this time without Xiaoxia to guide us. There was a great atmosphere on the train; probably due to the relief from the 36 degree heat outside – apparently the hottest day at Expo so far! We decided to check out Zone D and E this morning. These sites are on the Puxi site on the opposite side of the river to where the country pavilions are located.

Barry Sweeney and Nick Opris follow Wafa AlMuhamm and the others up to the walkbridge at the Puxi Site of World Expo 2010, Shanghai. It is 36 degrees.

Barry Sweeney and Nick Opris follow Wafa AlMuhamm and the others up to the walkbridge at the Puxi Site of World Expo 2010, Shanghai. It is 36 degrees.

There were less queues on the Puxi site and again mostly Chinese visitors. Our first stop was the China State Shipbuilding Pavilion, mostly because it was big, there and not outside! It was surprisingly good and had an abundance of augmented reality interactive exhibits that allowed you control a wall-based mouse to control software on ships etc. You can check me out on Youtube literally missing the virtual boat! Obviously the main focus was celebrating the Chinese shipping industry – China need not worry about the Irish!

Laurynis Binderis demonstrates the augmented reality application at the Chinese State Shipbuilding Pavilion, World Expo 2010.

Laurynis Binderis demonstrates the augmented reality application at the Chinese State Shipbuilding Pavilion, World Expo 2010.

Our next stop was the Private Enterprises Joint Pavilion, where we got full VIP treatment including a tour from Meng Fu, the VIP Reception Manager to the Pavilion. The Pavilion is sponsored by eight Chinese companies from a variety of sectors including the Internet, filming, e-commerce, gaming, anime, mobile phones, household stuff, garments, amusement parks and attractions. Again much use was made of augmented reality and interactive elements throughout. At the end of the tour, we were given prime seats to 10-minute piece that combined music, computer-controlled synchronised balls and dance – it’s hard to explain in words but was amazing to experience. Nick Opris got some of it on video though and you can see it on youtube.  We had very little time before to get back to meet the rest of the group on the main site but decided the Information and Communication Pavilion was worth trying to get into. The queues were huge so we tried to blag our way in with VIP passes and nearly succeeded but got caught at the last line of defence – apparently we weren’t the scheduled group of Irish visitors – the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurs! Our failed attempt was fun in itself and kept us amused on the bus over to get some lunch before meeting the others at the Saudi Arabian pavilion.

DCU Business School Students and Dr. Theo Lynn pose outside the Chinese Private Enterprises Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

DCU Business School Students and Dr. Theo Lynn pose outside the Chinese Private Enterprises Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

We decided to eat in one of the public Chinese restaurants, it was amazingly good value – €2-€3 for a meal, somewhat like a Chinese takeout in Ireland, and a soft drink. The downside was there was very little room to sit so everyone was dispersed around the very busy shared seating space. We ate up and left quickly.

DCU Business School Students wait in the 36 degree heat at the VIP entrance to the Saudi Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

DCU Business School Students wait in the 36 degree heat at the VIP entrance to the Saudi Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Wafa AlMuhamma, one of our Saudi e-commerce postgrads, organised for us to have VIP access to the Saudi Arabian pavilion. This was a real treat as it is ranked as one of the top pavilions at World Expo.As we waited for the rest of our team, we watched as thousands of people joined the 6-hour queue to get in to the pavilion – remember, that’s 8 hours in 36 degree heat and very high humidity!

The Saudi Pavilion at World Expo 2010 has a bedouin tent with real palm trees on its roof and a 1600m2 inverted screen inside.

The Saudi Pavilion at World Expo 2010 has a bedouin tent with real palm trees on its roof and a 1600m2 inverted screen inside.

So what’s all the fuss? The so-called ‘Moon Boat’ is obviously boat-like and points to Mecca. As well as a rooftop bedouin tent and palm trees, a double helix stairs and other exhibits, the x factor which makes this pavilion stand out is a 1600 square meter inverted screen that visitors pass through on a conveyor belt immersed in a film that visits various regions of Saudi Arabia. Nick tried to get it on video (see it on youtube) but to be honest it doesn’t do the experience justice. It is hard to describe – the room is pitchblack and the audio and film totally surrounds you giving a truly immersive experience, which at times is quite overwhelming. Bono needs check it out for the next tour!


In the Saudi Pavilion, you are surrounded by and travel by conveyor belt throughy a 1600 sq. metre inverted screen showing a film on Saudi Arabia. You are literally immersed in (and sometimes overwhelmed by) the film.

In the Saudi Pavilion, you are surrounded by and travel by conveyor belt throughy a 1600 sq. metre inverted screen showing a film on Saudi Arabia. You are literally immersed in (and sometimes overwhelmed by) the film.

If you knew nothing about Saudi after being in their pavilion, you would leave thinking three things – (1) they have a very old and established culture, (2) they are wealthy, and (3) they are extremely technologically advanced. Whether (3) is a specific goal or not, it has placed them very high on the hierarchy within World Expo and in the minds of visitors. If you can’t visit World Expo, the Saudi Expo website is worth checking out –http://www.saudiexpo2010.com/.

The USA Pavilion Rep was very excited to meet Irish people apparently and was even more excited when we gave her an Irish pin for her collection. Laurynis Binderis, Laureen Morrissette and Beatrice Metzler look on....

The USA Pavilion Rep was very excited to meet Irish people apparently and was even more excited when we gave her an Irish pin for her collection. Laurynis Binderis, Laureen Morrissette and Beatrice Metzler look on....

Having had our breath taken away, we re-entered the sunlight with our additional gifts from the Saudi pavilion – bags, cds and books and headed towards the USA pavilion, which Laureen Morrissette, one of our MBS in Marketing postgrads, organised VIP access for. The USA pavilion is very different than the others we have visited as it seemed to be primarily funded by industry. As well as some exhibits on the US, the pavilion comprised of three video auditoriums where we were presented with “three acts” showing different aspects of USA-China relations and in particulat ABCs – ‘American Born Chinese’. The final video was quite a nice and inspiring film about community greening – all the mommies and daddies out there will empathise! After this, you can walk around various sponsor exhibits. I quite liked this aspect. While many others skirted away from industry, the US didn’t and you left being exposed to some of the world’s greatest brands – Intel, Microsoft, Dell, GE and others. What is annoying is that the Irish pavilion could easily have left the same impression – after all, Intel, Microsoft, and Dell (well, they haven’t gone away you know!) all have significant operations in Ireland. The other thing I like about the USA pavilion is that their online site is pretty good and if you want to get some of the USA pavilion experience, they have a pretty good virtual tour and you can see each of the videos – http://pavilion.expo.cn/c5001/ssize/en/index.html – which is pretty engaging for all ages. Be warned – the music is very catchy! (You can see more of our USA Pavilion photos on this flickr set)

Beatrice Metzler, Joe Cullinan, Brian Connolly, Micheal O'Leary, Niamh NicClamha and Andrew Bonello enter Act I of the USA Pavilion to be greeted by the US good and great on screen while the US corporate sponsors are shown on background.

Beatrice Metzler, Joe Cullinan, Brian Connolly, Micheal O'Leary, Niamh NicClamha and Andrew Bonello enter Act I of the USA Pavilion to be greeted by the US good and great on screen while the US corporate sponsors are shown on background.

Ekaterina Zavershinskaya, one of our Russian MBS in Marketing postgrads, organised VIP access for us in the Russian pavilion. This was quite a jarring experience after the corporate tight controlled feel of the US pavilion. While the outside of the Russian pavilion is very, well, Russian, the interior  is ideal for kids because it was designed by them.

DCU Business School students walk through the fairytale world of the Russian Pavilion at World Expo, 2010.

DCU Business School students walk through the fairytale world of the Russian Pavilion at World Expo, 2010.

Featuring dayglo plants, spaceships and buildings the Russian designers have recreated a city from the perspective of a child’s imagination. Great for kids, not so sure about the rest of us, for me it was…immersive.

Dr. Theo Lynn being devoured by Russian dayglo flowers at Russian Pavilion, World Expo 2010.

Dr. Theo Lynn being devoured by Russian dayglo flowers at Russian Pavilion, World Expo 2010.

The big event for us was the German pavilion. Despite the valiant efforts of our two German marketing and e-commerce postgrads, Beatrice Metzler and Martin Hennig, getting VIP access to the German pavilion proved difficult. Like the Saudi pavilion, the German pavilion had huge queues of several hours however the Lithuanian’s came to the rescue and through various contacts got us a special tour with one of the interior designers/architects, Ansgar Halbfas.

The DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 Group outside the German Pavilion, Balancity, at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 Group outside the German Pavilion, Balancity, at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

And so at 4pm, we headed over to the German pavilion where calamity struck! The air conditioning had failed and the pavilion was temporarily closed – cue dejected Chinese and Irish! It says a lot about Ansgar’s passion that he didn’t give up – equipping us with Sennheiser wireless headsets (designed in Germany, Made in China!) – Ansgar brought us on an exclusive tour of the exterior of the pavilion. This was really excellent – rarely do you get the architect’s view of design and it was very special to hear how they put together the pavilion and the changes they made as the pavilion evolved.

Ansgar Halbfas (Chiarc Sights) on the exterior balcony of the German Pavilion at World Expo, Balancity, giving the DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 group a tour and talk on the design of the German Pavilion using Sennheiser wireless earphones and mic.

Ansgar Halbfas on the exterior balcony of the German Pavilion at World Expo, Balancity, giving the DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 group a tour and talk on the design of the German Pavilion using Sennheiser wireless earphones and mic.

I note that the Germans also had their fair share of grass covering different parts of the pavilion and I note that wasn’t the only thing borrowed from the Irish pavilion. As the Irish pavilion was located opposite the German one, the German sign was lit by a large spotlight placed on the top of the Irish pavilion. Unfortunately after our exterior tour, the air conditioning hadn’t been fixed. Ansgar didn’t give up though and asked us back at 7pm – fingers crossed! (You can see more of our German Pavilion photos on this flickr set)

More photos on flickr. Day Six Part II to follow….
Irish Blogs


University Day at Shanghai – Day Five of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In Chinese Restaurants in Shanghai, DCU Business School, Dublin City University, Ireland, M on the Bund, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Tongji University, Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Andrew and I had an early start attending an Executive Breakfast briefing, to be attended by President Mary McAleese, organised by Enterprise Ireland at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Pudong district of Shanghai.  We represented Dublin City University with Xiaoxia Wang, DCU’s China Rep. We also invited and were delighted to host two guests, Ms. Grace Shou, Vice Director of the International Office at the School of Economics and Management at Tongji University, and Professor Xu Xiaowei, Vice President of Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade. After arriving at 0715 and admiring the view of The Bund from the 7th floor, the breakfast kicked off with introductions and gift giving to our guests. We also briefly met with Deirdre Walsh (ChinaGreen), Breiffini Kennedy (Asia Manager, An Bord Bia). Everything about the Shangri-La was five star – the food, the service and the company! While we had a pleasant discussion with Ms. Shou and Professor Xu, unfortunately President McAleese didn’t arrive until 0830 and Andrew and I had to leave to travel to Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade where we had prior arrangements.

Pudong Shangri-La

Pudong Shangri-La

Like all good plans, this didn’t go smoothly either. We hit rush hour in Shanghai and then our taxi drive drove right past our hotel, nearly in to an oncoming bus and then in his attempt to correct things tried to do a u-turn on a one-way highway in to a flash-mob of Chinese workers on mopeds! In the meanwhile, Micheal met our translator and got everyone on our coach for the day as we arrived 45 minutes late. Founded in 1960,the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT) has approx. 10,000 students and focusses nearly exclusively on international business. This focus has allowed faculty to specialise and the much of the teaching is bilingual. We were heading to their new  Songjiang campus, part of a university city-type development on the outskirts of Shanghai – similar to our trip last year to Dubai, this development had 6-7 colleges and the entire town was designed around student needs with each institution sharing some central services – possibly a good idea for all that NAMA-land. The trip to Songjiang took about an hour and we got to see the sheer size of Shanghai from a different view. Needless to say, we got lost but eventually 45 minutes late, we arrived at our destination to be greeted by Xu Rui (Cherry), our student organizer, faculty and some 20 postgrads. It was one of the most memorable and colorful welcomes to any university I have visited.

DCU Business School and Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade Faculty and Students, Shanghai, 2010

DCU Business School and Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade Faculty and Students, Shanghai, 2010

After posing for a group photo with faculty and students, we proceeded to a formal welcome from the students and some members of faculty. Again we were overwhelmed by our welcome and after an able introduction in English by one of the SIFT students, we were welcomed formally by Professor Shu Hong,  Deputy Zhang Yan and other colleagues. I said a few words and we exchanged gifts. I felt bad as SIFT went to immense trouble and gave everyone in our group a tiger gift and I only had gifts for the faculty and some smaller gifts for some of the students – note for next time.

Niamh NicClamha, Tanya McNamara and Ciara Dolan pose with SIFT students at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade College Museum

Niamh NicClamha, Tanya McNamara and Ciara Dolan pose with SIFT students at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade College Museum

Next stop was a tour of the SIFT College Museum. This was extremely impressive. Again one of the students explained the history of SIFT through the various. The pride in their institutions accomplishments was impressive and it is something that we need to try and imbue a sense of within our students and universities in Ireland. After a brief walk through the campus, we joined the students and faculty for lunch in the student restaurant which again was an educational experience. It was great for us to get to sit with and share food with the Chinese faculty and students. Both sides were very inquisitive and engaged and the students’ English language level was excellent. See more photos of our SIFT visit on flickr here.

Dr. Theo Lynn and Xu Rui (Cherry). Cherry is a postgraduate at SIFT and helped organise our itinerary at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade.

Dr. Theo Lynn and Xu Rui (Cherry). Cherry is a postgraduate at SIFT and helped organise our itinerary at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade.

And so after posing for some more pictures, we said farewell to our new friends in SIFT and headed in to our next stop – the School of Economics and Management in Tongji University (SEM-Tongji). SEM-Tongji is located in the centre of Shanghai and is partnered with over 50 business schools worldwide and is one of the leading management schools in China. We were greeted by Grace Shou, who we met at the Breakfast Briefing, and were lead to one of their lecture theatres where I was due to present.

DCU Business School Students visit the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University

DCU Business School Students visit the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University

I gave a brief introduction to DCU, the Business School and then discussed some observations on the Irish competitiveness and LINK research relating to the role of ICT usage in education. This visit was very different than SIFT but no less satisfying.  The Chinese attendees were very attentive and asked for insightful and direct questions.

Dr. Theo Lynn presents at the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai

Dr. Theo Lynn presents at the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai

In particular, as well as our research, I think they were both impressed with and curious about our research and teaching approaches for digital marketing and e-commerce, Next Generation Management and industry engagement. One of the last questions was particularly interesting in that they asked how many of our students would like to work for the government/civil service – the answer was probably a bit surprising for the Chinese. None.

Micheal O'Leary and Andrew Bonello Professor Wu questions Dr. Theo Lynn at the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai

Micheal O'Leary and Andrew Bonello watch on Professor Wu questions Dr. Theo Lynn at the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai

While the students toured the SEM-Tongji campus, I held meetings with Grace, Professor Wu and Susan Zhou. These were very informative and I hope to collaborate withSEM-Tongji on some e-commerce projects and visit again later in the year to deliver some workshops. Hopefully next year some of their students will join our classes on an exchange and vice-versa. As it was getting late in the day, we exchanged gifts and said our goodbyes to Tongji University and left for the hotel.

Niamh NicClamha, Laurynas Binderis, Sean Donnelly, Carolann O'Sullivan and Sarah McPartlin ready for dinner at "M on the Bund", Shanghai

Niamh NicClamha, Laurynas Binderis, Sean Donnelly, Carolann O'Sullivan and Sarah McPartlin ready for dinner at "M on the Bund", Shanghai

It’s Friday night in Shanghai! Some of the group decided to hit the town and check out the German bar for the World Cup match however a group of us put on our glad rags and went for dinner in ‘M on the Bund‘. M on the Bund is one of the best restaurants in Shanghai and one of the most reasonable fine-dining experiences I have had. It has a great location overlooking the Bund but the size of our group meant (i) our menu was restricted and (ii) we couldn’t sit on the terrace.

Siobhan Buckley, Ekaterina Zavershinskaya, Zara Walsh and Ciara Dolan on the terrace at 'M on the Bund', Shanghai

Siobhan Buckley, Ekaterina Zavershinskaya, Zara Walsh and Ciara Dolan on the terrace at 'M on the Bund', Shanghai

Despite this, everything on the group menu was great, our seating superb and the service excellent. I had the politically incorrect foie gras and beef and gorged myself to the limit on the “truly grand dessert platter to share”  – it was truly grand and more than enough to share.

The Grand Dessert Platter at 'M on the Bund' was worth attacking!

The Grand Dessert Platter at 'M on the Bund' was worth attacking!

I have to admit I bailed at 11pm whilst the youngsters hit the incredibly stylish Glamour Bar on the floor below the M. I quickly got a taxi and for the first time in five days, got to bed before midnight!

Rosemary Clancy, Siobhan Buckley, Sean Donnelly and Rob Elliffe glam it up at the "Glamour Bar" at "M on the Bund", Shanghai

Rosemary Clancy, Siobhan Buckley, Sean Donnelly and Rob Elliffe glam it up at the "Glamour Bar" at "M on the Bund", Shanghai

More photos on flickr. Day Six to follow….

Irish Blogs

Ireland National Day at World Expo 2010, Shanghai – Day Four of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Uncategorized, World Expo 2010 on July 18, 2010 at 9:00 am
The Irish Flag flies high at the entrance to the World Expo 2010, Shanghai on the Irish Pavilion Day, 17 June 2010.

The Irish Flag flies high at the entrance to the World Expo 2010, Shanghai on the Irish Pavilion Day, 17 June 2010.

World Expo 2010 is a huge event; more than 190 countries and more than 50 international organisations have registered to participate in the Shanghai World Expo, the largest ever. Over 70m people are expected to attend World Expo and while we were there over 500,000 people attended in one day. Each country has a pavilion day – Ireland’s National Day at World Expo 2010 took place on 17 June 2010 and I believe that DCU Business School was the only group of Irish students present.  Not that Ireland wasn’t represented, the good and great of the Irish diaspora in Ireland were joined by President Mary McAleese and her husband, Martin (both DCU honorary graduates), the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurs of the Year and many others. While our paths crossed, our day was made special by the efforts of our International students and their home country pavilions – an experience that the Irish delegation would have done well to experience.

We organised our World Expo tickets through ChinaGreen, which were promptly waiting at the hotel on our arrival. We kicked off at 7.30am in the lobby of the hotel to go native and take the metro to the World Expo.  Today was the first day we experienced a working day in Shanghai and we were not let down – the trains were packed!

Sean Donnelly and Brian Connolly struggle to stay upright in the throngs on the Shanghai metro

Sean Donnelly and Brian Connolly struggle to stay upright in the throngs on the Shanghai metro

Our group included students from 8 countries including Ireland and our goal was to visit each country’s pavilion. As part of our advance preparation, we contacted many of the pavilions and the response was overwhelmingly positive. As well as visiting the Irish pavilion, we  were being hosted by the Lithuanian, Maltese and Romanian pavilions. On Saturday, we would visit the German, Russian, USA and Saudi Arabian pavilions.

Tanya McNamara and Niamh NicClamha show off their coveted World Expo 2010 VIP passes.

Tanya McNamara and Niamh NicClamha show off their coveted World Expo 2010 VIP passes.

As we got off at Gate 8 at World Expo, Indrė Kumpikevičiūtė from the Lithuanian Pavilion greeted us and provided us with VIP passes for our stays – this was not insignificant, it meant we could skip the huge queues to the actual Expo and use VIP accesses to many pavilions.

Brian Connolly and Andrew Bonello discuss the queues to get in to World Expo as we proceeded to skip them via the VIP entrance.

Brian Connolly and Andrew Bonello discuss the queues to get in to World Expo as we proceeded to skip them via the VIP entrance. Note the Irish flag aloft for our National Pavilion Day.

As the week unfolded, we only had praise for Laurynas Binderis (one of DCU Business School’s Lithuanian students on the MSc in E-commerce (Business)) and assistance provided by the Lithuanian pavilion organisers. They not only provided us with passes but valuable guidance on the Expo and introductions to the German Pavilion, in particular.

DCU Business School Students pose with the Lithuanian Pavilion Representatives outside of the Lithuanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

DCU Business School Students pose with Indrė Kumpikevičiūtė outside of the Lithuanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Fresh with our new-found knowledge of the Balts, Andrew and I did a quick dash to the Irish Pavilion to pick up our tickets for the Irish Chamber Orchestra to the President later in the day. We were delighted to find that they expected us and we were let through the VIP entrance to collect our tickets and Irish fans (fans, not people) and rush back to meet the rest of the group at the Maltese Pavilion.

Our Lithuanian friends played an important part in the success of our World Expo 2010 visit.

Our Lithuanian friends played an important part in the success of our World Expo 2010 visit. Indrė Kumpikevičiūtė (Lithuanian Pavilion) and Laurynas Binderis (DCU Business School MSc in E-commerce (Business))

The Maltese Pavilion was an important stop for our group. Andrew Bonello, my Research Assistant, a DCU MSc in E-commerce (Business) graduate, and someone I have spent a lot of time with, has spoken to me many times about Malta, their culture and I guess I have benefitted, through Andrew, from their education system.

Just in case you didn't know. Andrew loves Malta. Andrew Bonello at the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Just in case you didn't know. Andrew loves Malta. Andrew Bonello at the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Once again, the Maltese welcome was excellent and Alexia Stafrace and Oliver Xuereb (Asst. Maltese Commissioner) organised a special presentation on Malta for us. Our visit started with a video on Malta followed by a special personal presentation by Alexia in front of each exhibit giving us a taste of Malta’s history, culture and industrial heritage. Malta is also a small island nation in the EU and we have more in common than different; indeed in a particular piece of Irishness, Alexia knew Andrew where she was his cub scout leader!

It really is a small world. Andrew Bonello meets his childhood Maltese cub scout leader at the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

It really is a small world. Andrew Bonello meets Alexia Stafrace, his childhood Maltese cub scout leader at the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Like Lithuania, the Maltese included a traditional Maltese bar, Cafe Jubilee, in their Pavilion offering rest and respite to Expo visitors but also showcasing the Maltese drinks industry. It was surprisingly like an Irish bar and Andrew, Micheal and I had a very entertaining conversation with Alexia over a couple of pints of Cisk and Kinnie (Alexia and I, at least, were on duty), the former a Maltese beer brand and the latter a Maltese soft drink made of bitter lemons and herbs (an acquired taste which I duly acquired!).

Laureen Morrissette and Dan Higgins enjoy a Cisk beer in the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai

Laureen Morrissette and Dan Higgins enjoy a Cisk beer in the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai

After a quick bite to eat in the Canadian Pavilion (Burgers and Poutine, of course!), we assembled outside the Expo Auditorium for the Presidential performance by the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Irish and proud. The DCU Business School group outside the Expo Auditorium, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Irish and proud. The DCU Business School group outside the Expo Auditorium, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The Expo Auditorium is a fabulous performance space and we were grateful to Jim Blighe and Niall McCrory from the Irish Pavilion for organising our invites.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra with President Mary McAleese

The Irish Chamber Orchestra with President Mary McAleese

After the performance, we headed for a visit to the Irish Pavilion where we met Neven Maguire on his way in to visit the Pavilion too. After bribing the two Chinese security guards with DCU pins, we progressed through the Irish Pavilion. The Irish Pavilion is located well, near to the very popular German Pavilion, and has a strong exterior presence with a grass covering. Of course being the Irish Pavilion Day, as soon as we got to the Irish Pavilion, it bucketed rain!
Irish Pavilion Entrance, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Irish Pavilion Entrance, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

After establishing the location of Ireland relative to China on the map, the Exhibit brings visitors through Irish history, geography, and culture (with a somewhat odd exhibit of Irish kitchens throughout the ages) and a video of Irish dancing. It is difficult to be objective about the Irish Pavilion as it is aimed at educating the native Chinese on Ireland and clearly we weren’t this. Notwithstanding this, it lacked some piece of groundbreaking technology or multimedia pieces to attract the throngs of Chinese queuing up for the Japanese, German and Saudi Arabian pavilions and for my taste, lacked insights in to the Ireland has a hub for high technology. After our discussions with the Chinese Agents and Xiaoxia, I think the latter is incredibly important if we are to establish Ireland in the minds of prospective students and their parents. Surprisingly, no Irish pub?
The DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 Group pose outside the Irish Pavilion on Irish Pavilion Day, 17 June 2010, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 Group pose outside the Irish Pavilion on Irish Pavilion Day, 17 June 2010, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

After a quick stop to sample the Austrian Pavilion (who also facilitated VIP access – Thank you Lynn Wang!) and their many augmented reality applications, we proceeded over to the Romanian Pavilion where Nick Opris (one of DCU Business School‘s Romanian students on the MSc in E-commerce (Business) programme) organised for VIP access and a tour of the Pavilion.
Nick Opris and one of the Romanian Pavilion Team at World Expo 2010 who looked after us so well. The view from the top of the Romanian Pavilion looks over Happy Street, the Dutch Pavilion.

Nick Opris (DCU Business School MSc in E-Commerce (Business)) and Gheorghe Dinu from the Romanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010 who looked after us so well. The view from the top of the Romanian Pavilion looks over Happy Street, the Dutch Pavilion.

The Romanian Pavilion was great, much bigger than the Irish one, and we were lucky to reach it just in time for a 20-minute concert full of drums and brass. Following the concert, the Romanian Pavilion team invited us to view the World Expo site from their VIP lounge and balcony. This was a great honour and much appreciated and it is a pleasure to thank and include Gheorghe Dinu and Nicolae Mitu as our new friends from the trip. Again we learnt much of Romania, not least the quality of their exceptional wine!
The Concert at the Romanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010 rested our feet and lifted us for the rest of the evening.
The Concert at the Romanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010 rested our feet and lifted us for the rest of the evening.
Our final official stop at World Expo 2010 for the day was dinner at The Porterhouse. The Porterhouse Brewing Company have set up a traditional Irish pub and restaurant on site at World Expo and played an important role in our trip. Frank Ennis, one of the Directors, told us of his plans for World Expo in November 2009 and this partly inspired us for our trip. Unfortunately, The Porterhouse isn’t based in the Irish Pavilion, probably due to spatial reasons – I think this was a missed opportunity for both sides. We had a “traditional” carvery dinner which to be honest was a bit expensive but we didn’t really care – after a long day around the Expo everyone was both tired and famished and some familiar food hit the spot!
Niamh NicClamha, Ciara Dolan, Laurynas Binderis, Sean Cullivan, Joe Cullinan, Tanya McNamara and Rob Elliffe toasting the Irish Pavilion Day at The Porterhouse, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Niamh NicClamha, Ciara Dolan, Laurynas Binderis, Sean Cullivan, Joe Cullinan, Tanya McNamara and Rob Elliffe toasting the Irish Pavilion Day at The Porterhouse, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

We weren’t the only group booked in for dinner – the Ireland-China Association was also present (with DCUBS‘s good friend, Deirdre Walsh of ChinaGreen) and we shared business cards and helped develop some guanxi with Irish and Chinese businesspeople alike. Afterward I believe a fight broke out between two pints, yes two pints not people but I know nothing about that!
Duelling pints outside The Porterhouse, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Duelling pints outside The Porterhouse, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

World Expo 2010 doesn’t close up until late and to be honest it is quite nice to wander around when the crowds have left. Our various new friends at pavilions gave us some great behind-the-scenes insights. Every night there were 3 or 4 parties at different pavilions and when we were leaving, the Argentinians were getting going as their World Cup match played out. While some of the group checked out the Expo, many headed back to the hotel by cab or train (both were easy to catch) to get some sleep or a few drinks in the “Man Club”.
No Irish night should end without taking a ride on a sheep. World Expo 2010 was no different. Laurynas Binderis, NIamh NIcClamha, Ciara Dolan and some plastic sheep at World Expo 2010, Shanghai

No Irish night should end without taking a ride on a sheep. World Expo 2010 was no different. Laurynas Binderis, NIamh NIcClamha, Ciara Dolan and some plastic sheep at World Expo 2010, Shanghai

More photos on flickr. Day Five to follow….

Irish Blogs

From Shanghai markets to Shanghai banquets – Day Three of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In Business Education, Chinese Restaurants in Shanghai, DCU Alumni in China, DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Uncategorized on July 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm
Dr. Theo Lynn poses with some purchases - traditional Chinese umbrella (no respecting Irish tour guide can go without one) and "Swiss Army" luggage...

Dr. Theo Lynn poses outside the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum with some purchases from the "market"- traditional Chinese umbrella (no respecting Irish tour guide can go without one) and "Swiss Army" luggage...

Day Three of our trip to Shanghai started with a visit to the market underneath the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. Literally underneath this very official tourist attraction is located a very unofficial one….a huge shopping centre of hundreds of microshops selling every kind of Chinese merchandise imaginable….if you can accept the somewhat questionable provenance! Shoes, polo shirts, dresses, luggage, jewellery (including sunglasses, watches and pearls), sports equipment, toys, tourist mementos and all kinds of electronics.

As Siobhan Buckley fans herself next to Rosemary Clancy, Micheal O'Leary sums up the day of shopping at Shanghai's markets - Deal Well Done!

As Siobhan Buckley fans herself next to Rosemary Clancy, Micheal O'Leary sums up the day of shopping at Shanghai's markets - Deal Well Done!

The discerning eye will notice the small mistakes e.g.

  • Hollister polo shirts in Abercrombie bags
  • iPads with Android OS
  • Todd’s shoes with one ‘d’
  • 500GB usb sticks with 500MB stickers on back of packaging

Despite these small ethical questions, value was to be had provided you were willing to negotiate. ‘Ugg’ boots, ‘Gant’ and ‘Paul Smith’ polo shirts, ‘Breitling’ watches and “Ray ban’ sunglasses seem to have been the popular selections. The adage that ‘all good things come to he who waits’ really is true – some overeager members of the group delighted with a 20% discount found later that they were literally ripped off while the more patient and tenacious got whopping 90%+ discounts on the original offer.

DCU Business School students trade market information at the markets under the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

DCU Business School students trade market information at the markets under the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

Despite this, the key consideration was whether you felt happy with your purchase and whether you could live with the deal you made (although I note history was revised on a number of occasions and deals just seemed to get better and better as time passed).

Laureen Morrissette, Keith Lawless, Rosemary Clancy, Lorna NiMhuiri and Niamh Downey get ready to do some shopping in the market below the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

Laureen Morrissette, Keith Lawless, Rosemary Clancy, Lorna NiMhuiri and Niamh Downey get ready to do some shopping in the market below the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

If shopping didn’t float your boat, the haggling was entertaining. I took a more pragmatic approach which I called “negotiating by walking away” – literally after 1-2 offers, I would walk away. This seemed to work but I was also the focus of some  serious verbal abuse by some indignant hawkers who regularly questioned my manhood! My other strategy was based on my experience in Russia in the eighties which was to identify things everyone in the group would eventually want to buy and negotiate bulk deals; ebony chopstick sets, fans and polo shirts all provided popular with the rest of the group while garnering me both discounts and some free gifts. Unlike Russia, don’t flash hard currency – lamb and slaughter come to mind! Other advice – watch the sizes of clothing – remember large in China is pretty small in Ireland –  and be prepared to live with the knowledge that what you buy will probably fall apart or not work the way you expect. Bag straps break, kinetic watches lose 15 minutes in the hour and iPhones that just make phone calls are just phones. Any regrets? The handmade fitted suits and shirts were good value and some of the guys bought them however even these were not without problems – in one instance, the professional grey suit turned in to a Bono-a-la-zoo-tv shiny silver one but in fairness, they made another suit within 24 hours. I should note that we didn’t see any pirated dvds or music (apparently as a result of recent World Expo-related crackdown).

While the tailor-made suits were good value, the storenames were sometimes lost in translation

While the tailor-made suits were good value, the storenames were sometimes lost in translation

After 3 hours we eventually emerged from our shopping tunnels (can I coin a new word – ‘shunnel’?) to blinding sun, scorching heat and unbelievable humidity….time to do some work. Our first official meeting today was with Xiaoxia Wang, the DCU China Representative. Xiaoxia is based in Beijing and is a graduate of the MBS in Marketing programme in DCU Business School. Some members of our team, Rob Elliffe, Niamh NicClamha and Zara Walsh are doing group practicums on international student recruitment for DCU and DCU Language Services and so wanted to interview Xiaoxia to understand her perspective in the market. With Andrew and I, the six of us met at our hotel and walked to a traditional Chinese hot pot restaurant for lunch before meetings that Xiaoxia organised with some of the DCU recruitment agents in Shanghai.

Niamh NicClamha, Xiaoxia Wang, Rob Elliffe, Dr. Theo Lynn, Andrew Bonello and Zara Walsh enjoy a traditional Chinese hot pot lunch

Chinese hot pot is not as straightforward as it looks nor is it as complicated as it could be. What initially was beginning to look like a series of cultural faux pas ended up being an incredibly entertaining meal and one of the most memorable. For those as uninitiated as me:

1. Don’t make a little pallette of the different sauces, herbs and spices on the table – you are meant to mix them together as a sauce

2. The big pot is not stew, it’s for cooking your food – don’t start spooning it out no matter how hungry you are

3. It really only takes 5-10 seconds to cook your food – don’t overdo it

4. If you can’t use chopsticks, ask for a cutlery and a ladel – the Chinese do it too

Basically, don’t be so Irish!

Rob Elliffe, Zara Walsh, Niamh NicClamha, Andrew Bonello and Dr. Theo Lynn pose with DCU Agents in China and Xiaoxia Wang, DCU China Rep

Rob Elliffe, Zara Walsh, Niamh NicClamha, Andrew Bonello and Dr. Theo Lynn pose with DCU Agents in China, Julia Wang (Shanghai Oriental Overseas Studying Service) and Kenny Wang (IESC), and Xiaoxia Wang, DCU China Rep

Our lunch was followed by a meeting with two of DCU’s Chinese Agents, Julia Wang (Shanghai Oriental Overseas Studying Service) and Kenny Wang (IESC). Between Xiaoxia, Julia and Kenny, a lot of valuable data was both derived and teased out – the difference in undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment, the importance of ranking, the influence of parents (particularly at undergraduate level) and the key role agents play. This was all subordinate to one key factor – Ireland simply isn’t on the radar as an international study destination for the overwhelming majority of Chinese students. Educating the Chinese public, and not only prospective student but parents, on Ireland is essential. While the Irish agencies do a good job, the scale of investment needed is not insignificant if we are to make a genuine mark. Our agents were somewhat surprised (although happily) about DCU‘s increasing specialisms in biotechnology and e-commerce and associated links with industry, our postgraduate business conversion courses (MSc in Business Management), links with US universities and high ranking for our size and age (DCU although ranked 279 worldwide is the youngest college in the top 300 and is ranked extremely high within its class – G1). One of LINK‘s projects is focussed on best practice digital marketing for international student recruitment for the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance under SIF II and the territory is certainly different than the map. Our Chinese website needs a dramatic improvement and we need to start seriously looking at advertising in China using sites such as Baidu and Sino amongst others.

Beatrice Metzler and Niamh NicClamha with DCU Chinese Alumni

Beatrice Metzler and Niamh NicClamha with DCU Business School Chinese Alumni at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店)

The day ended with dinner at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店), a restaurant frequented by Chinese rather than tourists for a Chinese banquet. These restaurants are much louder and brightly lit than one would expect. We had an all-in price – all the food (some 30 dishes), soft drinks and beer for c. 25 euros per person. We were joined by some the DCU alumni, including Xiaoxia, which added to the evening and provided us with insights in to living and working in China but not necessarily what we were eating!

Ekaterina Zavershinskaya, Xiaoxia Wang and Nick Opris discussing living and working in China at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店), Shanghai.

We sampled a variety of local dishes including various seafood (cooked and uncooked), lotus (quite nice), chicken (slightly raw for my taste), snake (surprisingly nice) and a warm fruit soup, peculiar due to the blue fruit (?) included within.

The snake at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店) was surprisingly tasty

The snake at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店) was surprisingly tasty

I think most people enjoyed the experience, if not the food. I have to say being able to see the live food you are about to eat in aquariums etc behind you is probably not to everybody’s taste and in particular the snakes were somewhat disconcerting.

Live snakes displayed before being cooked

Live snakes displayed before being cooked at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店)

While Julio Herrero, one of our alumni, tried to convince us to support Spain in the World Cup and join him to watch the Spanish match, most people headed back to the hotel late bar, the bizarrely named “Man Club”, although I did see a number of the group tracking down Happy Meals! What would we do without the American fast food invasion of the Far East!

DCU Business School Students discussing the deals of the day in "The Man Bar" at the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai

DCU Business School Students discussing the deals of the day in "The Man Bar" at the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai

More photos on flickr. Day Four to follow….

Exploring Shanghai – Day Two of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In Business Education, DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Uncategorized, World Expo 2010 on July 9, 2010 at 9:13 pm

We eventually arrived in Shanghai at 1030 and after a surprisingly efficient immigration check, collected all our bags. Yes, all of them. We also encountered the ubiquitous Haibao for the first time, the World Expo 2010 mascot. He resembles some toothpaste and is literally everywhere in Shanghai.

Rosemary Clancy, Niamh NicClamha, Joe Cullinan, Nic Opris, Tanya McNamara. Dr. Theo Lynn (sitting on) Andrew Bonello with Haibao (the World Expo 2010 Mascot) at Pudong International Airport, Shanghai

Rosemary Clancy, Niamh NicClamha, Joe Cullinan, Nic Opris, Tanya McNamara. Dr. Theo Lynn (sitting on) Andrew Bonello with Haibao (the World Expo 2010 Mascot) at Pudong International Airport, Shanghai

Without Neil the Navigator, we struggled but eventually found the MagLev station and while waiting for the train experienced the incredible heat and humidity of summer in Shanghai. The MagLev was the first commercial magnetic levitation train and is one of the fastest operational public service trains in the world with a top speed of 431 km per hour.

The MagLev hits a top speed of 431 km per hour

The MagLev hits a top speed of 431 km per hour

It is an impressive ride but only scary when another train is passing by! It’s a bit weird but the train is a tourist attraction in itself and a great way to start our adventures in Shanghai.

Andrew Bonello competes with other passengers to take a photo of the speed display on the MagLev as it hits the top speed

Andrew Bonello competes with other passengers to take a photo of the speed display on the MagLev as it hits the top speed

On arrival in Shanghai, some members of the group decided to go native and get the metro to the hotel; others gave up and got a taxi! The metro was an adventure in itself and gave us an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere but also get to know the train system and how to find our hotel.

Sean Cullivan on the Metro to the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai

Sean Cullivan on the Metro to the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai

As it turned out, our rooms weren’t ready so we ended up taking over the lobby where Rob delivered his sermon on the future of religions. Some headed off for food, others to the bank…..and eventually, Rob gave up. Our rooms were eventually allocated and were a pretty good 4-star standard. We had booked tickets for the Big Bus Tour via email and exactly on time our Red Bus contact, Titan, turned up as good as his word and not only gave us a good group discount but a 48 hour pass. This pass was pretty good value and recommended – it gave us hop-on/hop-off access to two tour bus lines crossing the city, a river cruise and access to the Shanghai Museum, Madame Tussauds and some other attractions. After distributing the passes, the group split off to explore the city.

Sarah, Micheal, Andrew and I decided getting food would be a good idea. After hailing a taxi, we headed off to Renmin (People’s) Square. This was an adventure in itself. It became apparent quickly that wearing a seatbelt in a taxi was considered bad luck (or insulting) and after several attempts, Andrew gave up and rode beltless. After an unsuccessful attempt to even understand the menu in a Chinese food court outlet, we resigned ourselves to eating our first meal in Shanghai in McDonalds…it tastes the same….

And so at 3pm we got our bus tour on the red route. Like Dubai last year, this is a pretty good way to be introduced to the city showing and explaining the architecture and history of the city quickly and professionally.

Siobhan Buckley soaks up Shanghai on the Big Bus Tour

Siobhan Buckley soaks up Shanghai on the Big Bus Tour

In an hour, we got a birds eye view of Renmin Square, the Shanghai Museum, Xin Tian Di, Huaihai Road (Shopping), the Jade Buddha Temple, and the Bund. Unfortunately, the combination of heat (30 degrees), humidity and fatigue did hit us and sometimes it was hard to keep the eyes open. Luckily, we weren’t the only ones!

Fellow Big Bus Passengers Take a Rest, Shanghai

Fellow Big Bus Passengers Take a Rest, Shanghai

While the others continued on to the Yu Gardens, Madame Tussauds and the River Cruise, Andrew and I had to jump out to confirm M on the Bund, our restaurant for Friday night and meet Xiaoxia Wang, DCU’s China Representative.

Martin Hennig, Beatrice Metzler, Wafa AlMuhamma and Nic Opris and Jackie Chan at Madame Tussauds, Shanghai

Martin Hennig, Beatrice Metzler, Wafa AlMuhamma and Nic Opris and Jackie Chan at Madame Tussauds, Shanghai

At 7pm, a group of us had dinner at the Lost Heaven restaurant on Yan’an Dong Lu near the Bund with Deirdre Walsh (ChinaGreen) and Ciaran Lally (Saon Group China). Saon Group have acquired a number of recruitment companies in China, for example MyJob, and Ciaran outlined the challenges and opportunities of growing the business in China. While the cost of everything is an eighth of Ireland so is the pricing so scale is important. Deirdre and Ciaran also gave us great insights in to living, working and staying in China. Don’t expect people to work through lunch too often and don’t answer any unexpected knocks on the hotel door at night! The food was excellent and recommended. I am not sure what we were eating but it apparently was a “mix of dishes from northern Thailand, Yunnan, and Burma (self-described as “Mountain Mekong” cuisine).” I think we were spoiled for our first night and only 25-30 euros per head including drinks.

After a short walk along the Bund, where our two blond twins (Sarah and Micheal) got stopped for regular photos by Chinese tourists visiting Shanghai for the Dragon Boat holiday, we embarked on another mini-adventure getting a ride back to the hotel on the back of the motorised version of a rickshaw. Sarah and Micheal fared better than Andrew and I – they worked out to bring down the bar at the back that held you in to the seat as Andrew and I were knocked all over the place by every pothole in sight!

Chinese people enjoying the Bund during the Dragon Boat holiday, Shanghai

Chinese people enjoying the Bund during the Dragon Boat holiday, Shanghai

More photos on flickr. Day Three to follow….