Greater China Business Conference
Marketing Strategies to One Billion Chinese Consumers panel

The Kellogg Greater China Business Conference went down earlier today at the Allen Center, which is the executive MBA program’s building. As always we had some interesting speakers, some microphone shenanigans, and lots of folks in attendance. This time around, we also had the added bonus of the AMAZING Allen Center food. Later in the day, I heard that research has shown we tend to regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do. Well…I regret not having gotten 2 desserts at lunch time when I had the chance.

Here are the main takeaways that I got from each panel. Some of these seem pretty obvious, and yet, it still seems like US companies struggle with them sometimes.

Opening Keynote: China Going Global - The ambitions of many Chinese firms is fueling their drive to expand internationally.

Panel: Marketing Strategies for One Billion Chinese Consumers - Biggest challenge to entering and operating in the Chinese market is striking the right balance between globalization (scale) and localization (variety).

Panel: US Market Entry Strategies of Chinese Companies - Just as cultural differences impede US companies entering into China, cultural differences are one of the most significant challenges for Chinese firms entering the US market. It cuts both ways.

Keynote: The Next Rush for US Companies and Professionals - China and the US are both very interdependent, and as China continues to grow, Chinese and US firms need to look for mutually beneficial opportunities to work together and learn from each other.

Panel: Investment and Financing Strategies for Chinese Entities - Can’t expect to find quick success as a foreign company moving into China; go in with your eyes open and be ready to invest for the long haul.

Nota Bene II - Applying MBA Lessons to Your Life
Nota Bene II lecture for Kellogg Class of 2011
Seated from left to right: Professors Adam Galinsky, Kathleen Hagerty, Derek Rucker, Victoria Medvec, Daniel Diermeier, Tim Calkins, and Florian Zettelmeyer

I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed this event. As soon as I got home, I felt compelled to send Frank (at the podium in the picture above), the student that is helping to organize the Nota Bene events, an email thanking him for putting it together. If I could buy a DVD of the event, I would, and I would watch it from time to time whenever I wanted to recall fond memories of Kellogg.

The set up was to get a bunch of Kellogg’s rockstar professors together and have them talk about failures they’ve experienced in their lives and what they learned from those failures in order to impart those lessons to us.

I thought the event was phenomenal because:
<ul><li>Rockstar professors tend to have dynamic/unique personalities. I think that makes sense because teaching is like a performance art; in fact, they’ve even had Second City come in to give professors improv lessons. So, this event basically brought all of these dynamic professors together and allowed them to react with each other for a little over an hour. Hilarity ensued.</li><li>It was a chance to see a more personal side to all of the professors, and I’ve always thought that you form the strongest bonds with someone when you see all sides of them. The result was that Prof. Galinsky wins the award, hands down, for the most inappropriate analogy about teaching I’ve ever heard. Prof. Diermeier wins the “Debbie Downer” award. And Prof. Zettelmeyer told a great joke for use at any business school faculty event.</li><li>The stories and lessons were all insightful. At the end, we even started talking about “happiness,” a topic I love hearing about!</li></ul>
On a side note, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the pleasure of taking classes with 4 of the professors on the panel. So I know that what we got from them on the panel is what you get from them in the classroom. It’s awesome.

Cool Video
I love when people take geeky things, like electromag, and make them cool. I’ve been trying to do this to myself now unsuccessfully for years.

F5 2011 RE:PLAY Film Festival. Inductance from Physalia Studio on Vimeo.