Sunday, August 16, 2009

8/8 :100 Days to GEW Countdown

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon on the 8th of August.

The program : Countdown : 100 Days to GEW.

The VIP : Dato' Saifuddin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Patron for GEW Malaysia (the Patron)

Time of the event : 12pm to 4pm. The event was to start with a networking lunch followed by the event proper and a press conference. The patron's scheduled time of arrival :1.30pm.

One and a half hours for people to come, register and settle down for relaxed lunch. We did not want to rush anyone on a Saturday afternoon.

It was a simple Malay lunch - fried rice, satay and a few other items including some Malays kueh for dessert.

More than 80 people came - Partners, people new to GEW and friends.

Our our Main Media Partners, Media Prima Group were there in full force - NTV7, NSTP, Berita Harian since 12pm.

Also present was Malaysia SME. Other media such as The Edge requested for the stories to be sent to them as they were unable to attend.

Saloma in a sense is a perfect location for such gatherings - located at the heart of the city, a few metres away from KLCC, it has ample parking and the food is not bad.

Everyone was relaxed, had lunch and was networking. There was camaraderie among the partners. Many knew each other and was glad to catch up again.

The Patron arrived close to 2pm. He was held up at another earlier meeting, down the street at the Nikko Hotel.

The program began as soon as Dato' arrived.

The itinerary was simple - 10 Minutes for the opening remarks, 10 Minutes for the 100 Day gimmick and about 30 minutes for the sharing by catalysts and partners. We had to play press conference by ear - depending on the Patron's time.

We allocated the most time for the catalysts and partners to share what they planned to do for GEW. We wanted the Patron to hear them.

However, there was a time constraint now. Dato' had to leave by 2.40pm. The media too was waiting for him for the past 2 hours and they wanted to have a press conference with him too. So the pc is now on.

This means, he had to adjourn to a press conference by 2.30pm and then leave by 2.45 latest to make his appointment by 3pm.

I gave a quick 2 minute welcome remark, followed by the Patron's inspiring speech.

Dato' in his speech urged universities and college students to become more entrepreneurial and encouraged them to participate in the GEW activities by either organizing their own activities or by attending partner activities.

He mentioned that not many students in Malaysian universities and colleges are becoming entrepreneurs as soon as they graduate compared to their counterparts in other countries. He wanted to see this trend reversed - more ventures created by young people.

The 100 Day to GEW Launch gimmick was designed to create interaction between the partners and the patron. The gimmick was to fix a 8 piece jigsaw puzzle of the backdrop to the board on the stage. 6 people were selected from the sponsors and catalysts including the Patron and I.

2 other partners were selected at random - Datin (the Patron's wife) helped to draw lots.

This was fun - everyone had a great time on stage and the media and photographers had a field day taking photos of people trying to fix a velcro mounted styro-foam backdrop on stage.

This was followed by several sharing sessions by the catalysts and partners. 10 people were selected to do this.

However, as we approached the 5th partner, we had to move the patron to the next room for the press conference. The remaining partners carried on listening to the sharing session.

The Deputy Minister spoke about the relevance of GEW, being enterprising and also various matters relating to the event at the press conference.

This was covered extensively by the media.

The same night we were on the main news, the late news and also the next day in the afternoon news.

The newspapers also carried the story widely.

We thank everyone for being there to make the event a big success. We thank the media too and last but not least, our Patron, Dato' Saifuddin Abdullah for his continued and untiring support of youth entrepreneurship in general and GEW in particular.


No comments: