EXBO Communications Corner

If I might play on the title of a recent hit movie, let me tell you about...
Those Culture-Rich Asians (of Singapore).
This year EXBO was offered sponsorship to attend Destination Asia Business Meet in Singapore. The event and similar meetings around the world allow our Federation to meet with exhibiting CVBs and Suppliers and explore destinations as potential locations for the WFTGA convention, among other tourism related business.  
Sometimes a meeting location is also home to a WFTGA Member Association and this provides EXBO an opportunity to spend some live "face time" with members. It isn't often that EXBO gets to see members other than at  convention - and convention is when EXBO is on duty 24/7, leaving limited time for visiting with members.
We try to combine official and personal travels with opportunities to be with members in their own areas.  Sometimes we help them with a problem, other times it is WFTGA who benefits from the one-on-one.
Until I arrived in Singapore 23 hours after departing my Chicago-area home, I had no idea if, or when, any members in Singapore would be free, so I felt honored when licensed Singapore tourist guides Jean Wang LIT and Jimmy Sim were able to meet me on short notice.  I'd met Jean before she became a WFTGA Lead International Trainer, and long before she and Jimmy traveled to Prague with a sizeable delegation from Singapore to present their bid for the 2017 convention (2017 was later hosted by Iran).
The temptation to write about the extraordinary sights and culture of Singapore is strong, but I'll resist for now and just share a photo Jimmy Sim took with the most Instagrammed place in the world in the background: The Marina Bay Sands Hotel, where Destination Asia Business Meet took place. (Photo of WFTGA Lead International Trainer Jean Wang and WFTGA EXBO Vice President Esther Banike by Jimmy Sim. Singapore Merlion and Gardens By the Bay photo credit to Wikipedia)
Now, you might think these hosted trips are all fun and games, but let me assure you each EXBO member thinks long and hard about whether to go.  In addition to missing paid work while away, advance "paperwork" takes up considerable time, appointment days begin early and meetings run until late, detailed post-meeting reports to EXBO are required upon return, out-of-pocket expenses occur, and follow-up emails continue for weeks afterward.  
On the plus side, quality time with first-class colleagues like Jean and Jimmy is priceless.  And it isn't everyday one gets to meet a Merlion, visit Gardens By the Bay, or taste hawkers Bak kut teh in the company of Singapore's experts.