Man oh man – the SMART Seminar crowd in Singapore was awesome!
Great content, great speakers, great crowd.
The networking alone was well worth the trip.
And I know that you have heard this over and over,
but if you’re not attending live events – your business IS SUFFERING.
Period. End of story.
We had 3 incredibly well filled days at the Expo Center in Singapore.
And as a huge bonus, all of the speakers enjoyed each other to such an extent that we shared most of our after hours meals together. <<Hint – hint: great time to further friendships and create new business!>>
At the conclusion of day 2 of the SMART Seminar, we decided to congregate once again for a group dinner. Tonight it was sea food at the restaurant, Long Beach.
It was a short taxi ride to this beach front dining option. We arrived as the sun was deeply set and the sky reflected several different shades and layers of royal blue. Stars were a shining and the low hanging moon beconned to us.
As we enter the establishment I was first struck with the food display
– because the food was still moving!
You know how when you go to a 5 star restaurant in the states, how you can often pick out your lobster from a single tank thoughtfully provided near the entrance?
Imagine a dozen of these tanks stacked and filled with live fish, prawn, squirming lobster and much more.
I will admit that I didn’t take more than a fleating glance at these water filled, glass death row cells.
Probably as a result of my early days on the family farms, I am not a huge fan of looking my food in the eyes before I eat it.
So, I hurried to our table and took the seat next to my loving hubby.
I find it so interesting that most dining options in both Malaysia and Singapore are served in big bowls, family style.
What a great way to easily sample the many dishes served were served in these great countries!
Tonight we had chili crab, sea bass, large boiled prawn and several vege and rice dishes.
Let’s start with the prawn. This dish arrived at the table in a large mound of whole cooked prawn drizzled with a light sweet sauce.
Now, when I say whole, I mean with their little heads
attached and little legs reaching out from their little bodies.
I bravely took one and began to peel away its shell and other unedible (staring) parts.
I bit down into the firm, white flesh.
YUMMY! No strong fishy taste here. Only thick, textured shrimpy goodness.
Next up for me was the chili crab. NOw, this arrived on the table as a whole crab covered in a pink / orange crab meat infused gravy. We also received a plate of sweet bread rolls to dip into the gravy.
I took a chunk of crab and began working on getting to the meat.
Personal note here…I LOVE crab. But I am also typically too lazy to work so hard for just a few tastes. Tonight I made an exception and dug right in.
I held the slimy crab carcass and, using the provided shell crackers, I gained access to the sweet reward.
First bite – awesome. Second bite – even more awesome.
Third bite – I cut the hell out of my thumb on the crab shell.
And remember, I already told you that this was a chili crab dish. So my thumb immediately was set on fire along the fresh slit in my skin.
But no worries – I rinsed my thumb off in my Tiger beer and move onto the rest of the meal.
We slowly worked our way through 5 dishes and a couple of hours of awesome conversation – to find that is was time to re-group at the taxi’s and take off back to the hotel to get rested for last and final day of SMART Seminar.
Day 3 of any seminar often seems to take so much out of – well, everyone.
The excited crowd prodding for more answers and insights –
the speakers leaving everything that they have out there to
try to infuse as much knowledge as possible.
The speakers were nearing exhaustion. The attendees were anxious to get started on their new lives. And the event hosts could barely think any more.
It was time to celebrate the huge success and enjoy some well earned decompression time.
Once again the speakers decided to go out as a group for dinner, but tonight we stayed near the hotel.
We found a beer garden that offered American fare. Beer and recognizable food – enough said.
The only highlight worth mentioning (besides the always entertaining conversation) was my trip to the public toilet.
I know, not the normal evening highlight – but I feel like I must share.
Obviously dining at a beer garden, I found that I had to equal my output from my beer input. I had to break down and use the public toilet.
I ventured to this unwelcoming room alone, as Lee was deep in talks with several other speakers.
No details needed here…gross…dirty….good hovering skills were required.
The event that I want to share occured AFTER exiting the icky room.
I quickly began my journey back to the group, with my head down and with purpose in my step. See, the toilet was WAY away from the group and I didn’t want to invite interaction from the crowd while I was alone.
Next thing I know…a half naked, homeless looking man sitting at a table
outside of the toilet room slams his fist on the table, screams what had to have been vulgarity at me and began to chase me.
Adrenaline rush…quick decision…fight or flight?
I easily chose flight and ran around the corner of the building and back within site of the group.
Out of breathe I shared my experience. The most informative Mike Koenigs educated me that of course the man chased me because I neglected to pay him his dime for keeping the toilet clean.
First – the toilet rooms were DISGUSTING. Second…well – no second, see First 🙂
Apparently there is a sign that I missed while not making eye contact on my solo trip.
On a later trip, Lee did indeed verify that there was a huge sign indicating this obligation and he paid the man double for his deposit, to make up for my neglect. Oh well, lessons learned.
The evening started to wind down and some of the speakers began to wander back to the hotel.
Only, the rest of us were all so jacked up from the incredible speaking engagement, great food and even better conversation – not to mention being chased down by half naked toilet room cleaners – that we weren’t ready to call it a night just yet.
There was mention of a Karaoke bar. That was all we needed.
Two full taxi’s later, we met back up at Party World KMA on Orchard street.
After another small adventure of equaling our output to beer input and viewing some of the local “sites” (let’s just say that prostitution is very acceptable here in Singapore) – we found ourselves at Party World.
Most awesome establishment…there were about half a dozen private lounges that could house up to 10 people. Leather couches lined the room, a single table in the middle and a private Karaoke set up in each.
Not to reveal too much of the revelry, but I’ll share that we went through lots of drinks, sang many songs in several languages (including a most entertaining version of Barbie Girl) and made it back to the hotel almost 8 hours later.
Too much fun! And if you want more details, I’ll never tell. You’ll have to come to the next event in Singapore to find out first hand!
As I wrap up some of the highlights of the very first SMART Seminar, I want to take a quick moment to thank our gracious hosts: Simon Leung and Stuart Tan.
You both made this event a huge success and have given us some of the most precious memories that we will cherish for our lifetime.
And to the other speakers: Mike Koenigs, Stephen Peirce, Donna Fox, Mark Widawer, Mike Morgan, Anik Singul, Robert Puddy and Ewan Chia…
You guys rock! I am so happy to call you all my friends and I very much look forward to our mutually profitable futures and good times (especially the ones not shared in the public forums 🙂
And with that, I will close the chapter on SMART Seminar 2008.
You’ all come and see us next time, ya hear!