The English UK fair in Macau started on a high note, hosting a welcome event for delegates at a revolving 60th floor restaurant in one of the world's tallest towers.
The 360 Café is on the top floor of the 338m Macau Tower, which is the tenth tallest free standing tower in the world, with panoramic views of the city and the Pearl River Delta.
"It was a fantastic start for our biggest fair so far, and the combination of the food and the spectacular view made it the perfect venue to get people networking from the start," said senior international manager Jodie Gray, who organised the event.
The welcome reception was not the only spectacular evening enjoyed by the 35 English UK members and agents from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Mongolia and Indonesia. On the last night, they were treated to a traditional Chinese farewell gala dinner hosted at one of the most famous hotels in Macau.
Decorated with beautiful lanterns and stunning bird cage centre pieces on each table, the banquet resembled a piece of traditional China. During the meal, delegates were wowed by an energetic tea pouring performance and an ancient dramatic art known as Chinese face changing. Delegates were welcomed by Bob Ness, Country Director British Council Hong Kong, who spoke of the importance of English as an international language and the quality of a British education.
Other highlights included an evening walking tour of Old Macau, with the cobblestoned streets of Senado Square and the grand façade of the Ruins of St Paul's, followed by traditional Macanese home cooking at an award-winning restaurant.
As with all English UK fairs since the first in 2007, the packed social programme was tailored to build on the relationships created during the three-day event's full programme of one to one meetings and seminars, allowing agents and educators plenty of opportunities to meet formally and informally to develop lasting business partnerships. The seminar programme on the first full day began with an icebreaking networking session, where fun activities for delegates included a challenge to express their feelings about learning English in the UK meant to them - in just three words.
Participants were impressed by the three-day event. Ho Thi Kim Phuong from UKTI in Vietnam said: "It's been an excellent event in which I have had the chance to meet quality UK educators, learn about their courses as well as raise awareness of UKTI Vietnam and how we are there to support UK businesses in the Vietnamese market."
Grazyna Anna Sutherland of the London International Study Centre was also delighted. "It's been another superbly-organised quality fair. Attention to detail, ongoing care and support are always exemplary, and there have been fantastic opportunities to meet new agents and consolidate older relationships."
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