Delegates in Action. TFS Bangkok 2013*
The Freight Summit is one of the leading open networking events in the world of freight forwarding. A total of almost 2,000 CEOs and top managers (and counting) have attended this networking conference. During my employment in RWSolutions, I was assigned to manage the total event organization of TFS from 2012 up to 2015 and was lucky enough to fly abroad and execute these events. I was able to ensure that the events were put together perfectly while exploring the culture and famous spots of these cities.
TFS Macao 2012
The event was held at the luxurious Venetian Macao in October 2012. We rented out an enormous 2,000 sqm ballroom for the four-day TFS event. Delegates attended the conference where they got the opportunity to meet hundreds of like-minded individuals and talk about their logistics business. They had three full days of hard-core business meetings as the first day was for registration and the welcome cocktail reception.
Hotel staff preparing the Beer Garden Pavilion at TFS Macao 2012*
To balance things out, we offered house beer inside the ballroom! Things got so much fun with booze involved. Ha! People were even meeting up at the beer garden pavilion that was set at the entrance of the room. We also had a VIP night out at the Bellini Lounge located at the side of the hotel’s casino. Free bottles of booze were passed around like newborn babies being passed around by excited aunts!
Booze offered at the Bellini Lounge for VIP Night Nout, TFS Macao 2012*
TFS Bangkok 2013
TFS Bangkok 2014
After a thorough deliberation, the management decided to hold TFS in a different city as people got tired of Macao for the past 5 years of TFS. Next stop for us: BANGKOK! These two events were held at the five-star Shangri-la Hotel Bangkok, which gave an outstanding service to the events team and to the attendees of the event. A total of 1,300 sqm main ballroom was used for these two TFS editions.
To make it more intimate and stir the eagerness of our delegates to attend the following year, we limited the duration to 3 days only, including the registration day.
Welcome Cocktail Reception, TFS Bangkok 2013*
The usual welcome cocktail reception was held at one section of the ballroom as not everyone had already arrived for the reception. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the overflowing booze. Nothing’s official yet until we get our booze on. Ha!
Traffic at the Ballroom Foyer, TFS Bangkok 2014*
The following two days were business as usual. You’d see attendees having face-to-face (f2f) meetings in all 150 meeting tables we provided all day long. More than two thousand f2f meetings were held in these two events, making the event one of the sought-after freight networking conferences in the world.
Delegates getting on board for the 2-Hour River Cruise, TFS Bangkok 2013*
At the event’s social activity, we rented out a river cruise ship which sailed us along the great Chao Phraya River. The cruise lasted for two hours where we had canapes and more booze! Delegates had so much fun that they even requested to extend the cruise but was not possible, as the cruise ship needed to cater to their guests who booked for the night.
TFS Pattaya 2015
Pattaya Thailand, a huge city just 2 hours drive away from Bangkok, is the next destination for TFS. Unlike the capital city, Pattaya is surrounded by beaches and hotel resorts. Just a warning, this city is not for the conservative people. Bars and clubs are rampant, with pretty ladies standing in front to offer some satisfying services. The city even has a red-light district called the Walking Street where you’d see more, like paid live shows and some shows that would make you feel unrighteous just by walking along the district.
Pattaya City, Thailand. Location for the 2015 TFS Edition.
Anyway, back to the event (Wew!). The last TFS event I organized was held at the chic 5-star hotel, the Hilton Pattaya. The main ballroom of the hotel was the venue for our conference. Located at the 16th floor of the property, attendees were welcomed by a floor to ceiling window with an overview of the Pattaya beach and that famous sunset. A thousand f2f meetings were held high atop this building, with the help of some booze and familiar faces.
Hilton Pattaya. Hotel venue for TFS Pattaya 2015 (photo grabbed from Hilton Pattaya website)
Delegates in Action. TFS Pattaya 2015*
TFS does not only promote networking during events, we also promote friendship among the delegates, thus the cocktail receptions and group outings. On the third day of TFS 2015, we brought the delegates to different tourist spots in the city, including the famous Sanctuary of Truth. Construction of this temple started in 1981 and has not even finished yet (at the moment of this writing). The temple is surrounded by delicate carving of different figures done by hands. After visiting this temple, a sumptuous lunch was prepared at the Mantra Restaurant which served a large variety of international cuisine.
Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya Thailand
Mantra Restaurant, Pattaya Thailand. (Photo grabbed from www.mantra-pattaya.com)
After getting back to the hotel, we closed off the hotel’s lobby lounge, the Drift, where we offered some more booze, canapes, and music for the sunset cocktail party. This was where attendees get to enjoy talking with fellow attendees outside the business meeting scene. It was a great experience as the drinks were free flowing until the last minute of the party. Colleagues were introduced, drinks got drank, food got eaten, and at the same time, friendships got real and business ties got stronger. With that, we realized that we have achieved the purpose of TFS, and that’s what matters.
Sunset View at the Drift, Hilton Pattaya.*
The Freight Summit is indeed a complicated event to organize. Papers were thrown, tears were shed, words were spoken, and emails were written. But all these are worth it when we learn that attendees connect with their meeting partners after the event to kick off their business partnerships. Whenever they fly to another country for sales visit, they make sure that they get to visit the offices of their fellow attendees. And that tells me that we have done something right.
* Photos are grabbed from The Freight Summit Facebook Page