My First Overseas Conference - PDC 2017 in Yangon

Late last month, I was in Yangon for the Professional Development Conference (PDC) 2017. It was held at the historic, beautiful Sule Shangri-La (previously known as Traders Hotel) in the heart of commercial activity in Yangon.

The conference brought professionals from various industries together to learn from the expertise of over 30 trainers from Singapore. I numbered one amongst them.

Educators of the Future - EOS

The style of the conference was such that there were five concurrent Executive Overview Sessions (EOS) occurring at any one time, excepting timeslots for breaks and lunch. Each attendee to the conference was free to attend any of these sessions, according to the areas of their interest. It was inevitable that some wished to attend sessions that have timing clashes. Nevertheless, feedback regarding this style of conference was positive.

Trainers who weren't training during a timeslot were free to attend other EOS's or network / mingle with other attendees.

Over the first 2 days of the conference, I got to meet a number of locals who were either currently part of the private education sector or intending to be part of it. In the following days, I learned that many of the other attendees were also interested in setting up training centres, pre-schools and/or tuition centres in the city.

It is heartening that the private education sector in Myanmar is taking the leap and spearheading changes in the way education is done there. 

I will follow up with some of the contacts I made and see how I may be of assistance to them. Who knows? I may be there for longer periods of time in the coming months.

At PDC2017

Teaching Overseas

As 2015 draws to a close, it's time to start planning for 2016.

One of the things I'm thinking about doing is taking some time to teach in one of the SEA countries that's not Singapore. The only knowledge I have of how classes are run in other countries are from videos and anecdotal experiences of others. Perhaps it's time to experience it for myself.

I'll have to figure out how the whole thing is going to work, including visas, accommodation and so on. 

Well, if anyone has any experiences or thoughts, send them my way!

Communication with Dealers from Other Countries

For the past week or so, I've been on a number of merchant sites, communicating with different dealers from around the world.

Truly, there are many kinds - there are some who are friendly and chatty and others who are purely business-like with no room for small talk; some who are quick to reply and others who take a long time; some who are accommodating to requests and others who refuse to make any changes.

It's quite an experience to talk to them and I learned that, above all else, clarity in communication is very important, since many of them do not speak English as a first language though they do try hard.

The other thing I learned is that timing is crucial. Sometimes, the timing needs to be gotten just right in order to strike a good deal for both parties. For example, I managed to get a delivery of some gems that I bought through the overseas dealer's Singaporean friend who happened to be coming back to Singapore the next day. I didn't have to pay shipping or fund transfer fees! It's hard to predict such things, but when they do happen, everybody is happy.

Clarity and timing. My two takeaways from this week.