This is one of my regular disclosure posts. You can read more of them here.
Flights and Accommodation
Flights and accommodation were paid for by Schneider Electric. I travelled economy class on Qantas and stayed in the conference hotel which was the Kerry Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
The Kerry hotel is a brand new, super-fancy hotel where all the lights are controlled from a little panels scattered around the room that you spend 20 minutes figuring out on the first night. They are helpfully labelled in three different languages (English, Chinese, and often Thai) none of which help you understand which lights “Evening” will turn on or off. Or where the right switch is for light in the shower. Or how the knobs on the lamps work.
Schneider also paid for transfers to and from Hong Kong airport.
Food and Drink
Sunday 24 September
I had breakfast at Qantas club before my flight, and was served plane fare for lunch on the (relatively) short flight to Hong Kong. It’s short compared to MEL-LAX at any rate.
For dinner I ordered room service, which I paid for. I had a curry laksa, and it was pretty decent.
Monday 25 September
Breakfast was a breakfast buffet in the hotel, and it was excellent. There were a variety of stations, like a hawkers market, each providing a different style of cuisine. There was the Western Breakfast for those who wanted bacon and scrambled eggs, but there were also Eastern offerings like build-your-own noodle soup (chicken and laksa broth both offered, several noodle types, and an array of vegetables and proteins, plus sauces and spices), sushi (maki), and a continental pastries table (croissant, danishes, pain au chocolat, breakfast rolls, and bread for toast).
There is something about having chili noodles in chicken broth for breakfast that agrees with me, and I wish I could have this in hotels in the USA. It is super great.
I had a lovely spicy bowl of egg (Hokkien?) noodles in chicken broth with fish balls, mushrooms, and green leaf stuff I forget the name of. A dash of fish sauce, light soy, and chili powder. So good.
The coffee was bulk hotel style, but I’m used to it now. The soup made everything better.
My PR minder, who ferried me around the whole time (which was a bit weird, to be honest, having a single minder beside you basically non-stop) bought me a latte from the cafe in the centre of the hotel and it was excellent.
Lunch was back at the same buffet restaurant as breakfast, but some of the stations had changed around, and some that were closed were now open. There was Indian curry on offer, and some Korean friend chicken. I had some sushi and some of the Korean chicken.
Dinner was the conference event, and was back at the same place once again, but with some new options. I had some Chinese dumplings (we have better ones in Melbourne, these were fairly average), some rice and curry, some more Korean chicken (it was pretty good) and various other nibbles. Some small, square chocolate sample things for dessert.
Tuesday 26 September
Noodle soup and croissant with strawberry jam, plus hotel-grade bulk coffee. I miss the soup even now. I’m sure you’d get sick of it if you had it every day.
Lunch was at the other buffet restaurant, which my PR handler had been told was better than the breakfast one, but we weren’t able to get into the previous day. Today we did, and oh my! There was a sushi and sashimi station where you could get freshly carved sashimi cut for you. A lovely pile of tuna and salmon dutifully made it into my belly.
There were loads of other options. Malaysian and Indian style curries, Singaporean crab and noodles, Korean barbecued things (and kimchi, of course), sushi and sashimi. The choice was somewhat daunting, and I would have loved to have sampled more things but then I wouldn’t have fit into my seat on the plane later that night.
Conference in Hong Kong > Conference in Las Vegas.
Dinner was at Qantas club in Hong Kong before my red-eye flight back to Melbourne overnight. A beef rendang curry and a sort of cheesecake slice was my choice.
I didn’t pick up any swag, and there wasn’t any on offer that I particularly noticed. The critical equipment crowd is quite different to the enterprise IT crowd, and it was 95% Schneider booths on the show floor.