Innovation, technology... and expensive beer: The further adventures of Navada Group in China

Making connections is gathering apace for the directors of Newcastle-based Navada Group who are into the third day of their adventure in China.

Jeremy Forsberg and Matthew Scott, directors of Navada Group, in Shanghai

Day Three

We concluded the evening of day two with a drinks reception with most delegates from the event.

There seemed to be an endless supply of Tsingtao beer, which we’ve taken quite a liking and I think were relatively modest in our consumption.

Initially we had just connected to a few familiar faces and met a few new friends – Paul Goodenough, Adam Place and Emma Cerrone.

Emma runs a brilliant programme called FreeFormers and is really enthusiastic about how digital can impact on business and young minds.

They run a OneforOne programme that means for every person they train under a paid programme, one young person gets trained for free.

We love the model of empowering young people.

Another youth empowered was Liam Tootill from SBTV who we had a good catch up with. Awesome guy.

We had a few connections with Chinese delegates, one of which we are hopefully meeting on the Beijing leg about partnership opportunities.

We were told before of the custom of business card giving – which entails giving and receiving cards with both hands and giving it some amount of consideration. It’s actually a nice way to honour the exchange.

Matt from Navada Group and the firm's new friend, Ben from Radio Century Media

As Jeremy is American and Matt British (Northern Irish to specify) – we tend to have a casual approach – the Chinese so far have had a good mix between casual and formal. While you can learn all these customs in advance, it’s really nice to learn from experience.

After a few beers, two nights of minimal sleep, jet lag smacked us with a handbag loaded with bricks. So we ventured through the muggy heat back to our hotel, where we grabbed a snack and worked away on our presentation for the morning. (If you want some entertainment - watch Matt try to eat spaghetti).

Day three started with a bit of ‘hellos’ in the morning and taking our seat.

We had our translating headsets at the ready and we started the day with a panel with some investors.

For more from the Navada guys in China, click here and here.

The headsets made us feel like we were at the UN. Kind of. One of them was absolutely our target for Vadoo. Redhouse Investments - they have a huge portfolio in media - and the panelist OuyangJingdong is a very big Premier League fan.

Then the moment of truth arrived - presentations from selected companies.

At this point we should mention - everyone at home should be super proud of UK creative technology companies.

Such awesome ideas, innovations, content and technology. Walk with heads held high at how Britain is being represented.

China also put up some amazing innovations, they are definitely one to watch and are throwing themselves full on into the creative tech scene.

Right, then it’s our turn - cue slides - ummm….cue slides……CUE SLIDES….. Nope.

Jeremy of Navada Group with his translator headset at the first Qingdao TIF-In

As it’s a visual product and there is a language barrier to some of the nuances, no slides threw us off our mojo a little. It was only two minutes so we needed visuals. However, we held our own and made it through. There were big apologies afterwards but most of our colleagues said we pulled it off.

Immediately following this was a range of meetings some set up, some ad hoc. We met with Baidu - that’s China’s Google. They’re big, super big.

He was interested in Vadoo but also took a keen interest in what we did with the digital marketing and content. We’re going to follow up as he was interested in Navada becoming a content partner, sourcing and producing great content from the UK and US. So that was a nice follow up to the Phantom Slide incident.

After this we arranged a meeting with a senior executive from FutureTV.

FutureTV are in the awesome TV business - creative interactive and immersive visual experiences. They both liked our platform and possible content connections. Another lovely lady from FutureTV, Ava, said she thought Vadoo was “more powerful that WeChat” - WeChat being a bit like What’sApp. It’s massive in China.

We hung about for a bit, saw Rt Hon. Vince Cable, the Deputy Mayor on Qingdao and Tim Davie CEO for BBC Worldwide talk before we went to mingle.

Our new friend Ava introduced us to a few people including a cool guy and potential investor and/or partner from Rainbow Century Media, Ben - he works with China’s version of Justin Bieber and has a music platform. After about 10 minutes he was asking about partnership agreements and was generally a very cool guy. He also had a very cool jacket. Matt took a picture with Ben to celebrate the moment.

We’re now preparing for the awards ceremony.

We suppose we’ll have to give you the Oscar line, we’re not expecting an award given the calibre of talent we saw on stage. We’re not being hyperbolic – there was some serious talent there on stage. Just super cool.

We’re sat in loungewear and dreading getting in a suit given the heat. It’s very warm and balmy.

That’s us for now. We’ll provide a run down of the awards ceremony and the nights adventures tomorrow. . .


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