WPP StreamAsia 2014

Stream Asia 2014
Stream Asia 2014

I had the privilege to attend the by invitation only StreamAsia 2014 unconference which happened at the Berjaya Langkawi Resort in Malaysia.

Named by WIRED as ‘one of the world’s best tech conferences’ and described as the ‘Bilderberg of Advertising’ by the Guardian, Stream is the WPP unconference.

My Makey Makey session on the Big Board
My Makey Makey session on the Big Board

The key of any unconference is participation and I went prepared with a bunch of carrots and Makey Makeys to share how easy it is to connect the real world with the digital world. I represented VML Qais at this event, so was really looking forward to get to know more people, what better way then with carrots right. :)

A minute of silence for MH370
A minute of silence for MH370

But before we started the whole event, there was a minute of silence as everyone is still shocked my the tragedy of MH370.

Gadgethon
Gadgethon

On of the first events was the Gadgethon. Individuals each had 2 mins to demo a cool gadget and of cause I used it to demo the Makey Makey carrot piano setup and also marketed my unconference segment which was on another day.

There were some real cool stuff shared. Robotic arms, Smart homes, an remote droid thingy, etc.

WPP UnConference
WPP UnConference

The main meat of the unconference happened in tents on the beach. How awesome is that. Marketing professionals talking about really current issues and challenges faced by brands and marketers. There were also some really future thinking topics like how will online advertising be like in 10 years, many industries were covered, from Hospitality to Kids. Here is Jason Oke facilitating the discussion on Click Fraud. I also attended a session where we talked about the idea of reality TV funding our first Mars colony before Nasa can.

All these were done in berms, flip flops, shades and a coconut in hand. How classy.

The Tech Lab
The Tech Lab

There were lots of cool gadgets displayed at the Tech Lab which allowed everyone to get some hands-on. I think there were easily about 15 items on display including the Oculus Rift, Cubelets, many many different kind of mobile phones especially affordable smartphones from China, Interactive Digital Kiosks, an Instant Instagram photo printer and more.

I setup the Makey Makey to allow people to play Pac Man and Tetris. Here is a video of how the 5 player Tetris turned out. Real fun.

Google Glass Selfie
Google Glass Selfie

Finally I managed to try out the Google Glass. Its really cool, but I feel the technology is still very rough. Can’t wait for it to be mainstream.

Xbox One Demo
Xbox One Demo

Managed to get a demo of the Xbox One also from someone at Microsoft. I have to say the capabilities of this console is quite amazing and the amount of stuff it can sense is just jaw dropping. If I tell you It can sense your heartbeat would you believe me?

Stream's Got Talent
Stream’s Got Talent

There was also lots of opportunities for individuals to showcase their other talents. There was a band, an Opera singer, Powerpoint Karaoke, cooking and of cause drinks as well.

#StreamAsia 2014
#StreamAsia 2014

One of my favourite photo of this trip would have to be this one where I used some luminous paint and wrote the event’s hashtag #StreamAsia on me hairy leg lol.

It was an awesome experience and I manage to have real interesting conversations with many new people. An amazing feat as I do feel this is not what introverts do. Hope to get re-invited to this inspiring event.

Initial Fashion

Initial Fashion Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Initial Fashion Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

I stumbled upon Initial Fashion when I visited Hong Kong recently. From outside, it looks warm and has this rustic charm thats inviting with a dash of stylish sophistication.

After a few minutes browsing the racks, I saw a suit that i really liked. I’ve been shopping for a good suit since I started working, but i’ve never found anything that I liked… until now. It fell into the no-need-to-see-price-tag category.

The well dressed salesman came forward to provide assistance and advised me to try it on. He provided me a matching shirt and the full suit in my size. Off to the fitting room I went.

My girls
My girls

The girls were well entertained by the other sales people in the store. They were all not only well dressed, but were also really polite and nice.

Clara was a hit
Clara was a hit

One of them have kids too, so he really chatted with the kids. Also, everyone was naturally drawn to the cute little leopard (wife bought the outfit from H&M).

I tried on the suit and loved it. It was a khaki coloured one, but I really needed a black one for work. Damn… I manage to find a super nice black one too. back to the fitting room I went.

The both fitted perfectly.

Ah Hai, the sales person that was attending to me explained the little details on the suit to me. The way the shoulder part was done in a non-typical way. The way the back of the suit was also special, etc. He then asked me where I was from with the purpose of advising me how the suit will work out in the climate back home. The khaki one will be good, but the black one could be slightly warmer as its from the Fall/Winter 2011 collection. I kinda don’t like being cold, especially when I’m at work, so it was ok. I really appreciate the advise and this have always been the kind of customer service that I feel should be given by those who love what they are doing.

Ah Hai and his colleague
Ah Hai (right) and his colleague

I ended up walking away from the store paying for 2 full suits and a free pair of leather shoes. Apparently with purchases up to certain amount, customers were entitled additional cash value which can be used to make other purchases. So for me, it worked out just nice to a pair of nice leather shoes.

They had to alter the length of the pants, so I came back the next day to pick them up.

I’ll definitely be back and really hope they open a Store in Singapore soon.

Initial Fashion

G/F 530 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
t: (852) 2442 1433

Hong Kong 2011

ready for the flight
ready for the flight

This is the long awaited trip that the kids were looking forward to. 7D6N Hong Kong + Disneyland!

Day 1

Meetup with Leo and Fiona
Meetup with Leo and Fiona

When we landed in HK, we took a private bus to our hotel. This time we stayed at the Cosmopolitan Hotel near Causeway Bay. The hotel provides free shuttle service to Time Square, so its still kinda convenient.

The first thing we did was ring up our good friend Leo and Fiona to arrange a time to meet. Its always nice to meet up with good friends and for those who don’t know, Leo introduced Pearl to me. So I do have to thank him for my family. :)

We did not do much on the first day as for this trip, we planned to have no plans and just chill and relax and enjoy Hong Kong.

Day 2

Ladies Market
Ladies Market

We went to Ladies Market as usual and just strolled the streets shopping for random stuff. We bought iPhone accessories, bags, boardgames, basically very very random stuff. Clara slept most of the shopping parts as it was her nap time + its not so exciting anyway. I tell you, go hong Kong with baby, better bring stroller, else if you carry your baby, you will surely not enjoy the trip. I’ve learnt my lesson from my 2008 trip where I had to carry Cleo most of the way.

Ho Tin Wan
Ho Tin Wan

According to my colleague Wei Li, Ho Tin Wan is to die for, so we got a queue number and after 2 hours, we got seats. Pearl and I never queued for stuff, but since we are already here we might as well give it a go. Not too bad.

Initial Fashion
Initial Fashion

That evening, we walked into Initial Fashion at Causeway Bay and after trying on a few suits, I walked out with 2 full suits and a pair of shoes. OMG. I will blog about this separately.

Day 3

18 Gram
18 Gram

I did some research of nice places around Causeway Bay for coffee and 18 Grams came up. Since its not too far from Times Square, we walked there. It was a wonderful breakfast. We ordered a full breakfast with bacon, toast and eggs. The coffee was great too.

18 Gram
18 Gram

The past few days have been too much walking and shopping, so just to chill out at a cafe was really nice.

Ladies Market
Ladies Market

We somehow went back to Ladies Market again. It was random shopping once again and half way thru, a fire engine wanted to pass thru. The street is so small, I never expect that a full sized fire engine could pass thru. But apparently its a regular thing as fire hazards is a real issue there.

Anyway, it seems that the hawkers there are used to such checks as they all lined the streets to retract their stall extensions. Its quite a sight. I heard from the news that the very next day, a fire broke out and nine people died. :( Its a real sad news, but thank God we missed it by a day.

Day 4

Capital Cafe
Capital Cafe

Again with some proper research, I found out that Capital Cafe was also very well known in the area.

Capital Cafe
Capital Cafe

The food was simple and fantastic. We ordered the basic set and because it was so good, we actually came back the following day.

Mid Level Escalators
Mid Level Escalators

Day 4, I decided that we don’t do anymore shopping, but do the Mid Level Escalators and The Peak. We took a tram to the base of the escalators and after many many many escalator rides and crossing many small streets, we finally reached the top.

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

According to the map, we just needed to walk about 20 mins to reach the Tram Station to go up to The Peak, so I decided we brave it. The map also showed that we will be passing the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, so why not. It looks like it will be an interesting walk.

Little did I know that the 2D map did not really show the number of hilly roads and steep slopes we had to walk pass and it was challenging especially with a stroller. Good thing was that Clara was asleep. When we reached the Zoo, she woke up and just in time to meet the animals.

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

Just a short stroll away, we reached the Botanical Gardens. After being to the one back home in Singapore, I have to say this one is really small. But kudos still to the management as the place was very well kept and really comfortable.

The Peak
The Peak

Finally, after so many trips to Hong Kong, we finally did the tourist thing and went up to The Peak. It had a nice view, but really no big deal lor. We ate at BubbaGump which was themed after Forest Gump. The food was nice and the view is of cause amazing.

The Peak Galleria
The Peak Galleria

We walked over the The Peak Galleria and chilled. The kids had fun at the playground and we just sat there till sun set. Really nice.

Causeway Bay
Causeway Bay

Once we got down from The Peak, we took a taxi back to Causeway Bay as I needed to pick up my suit form Initial Fashion. The kids were super tired. So so super tired already.

Day 5
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland

Now the trip really started for the kids. Its Disneyland time. We took a taxi from our hotel to the Disneyland Hotel. The last time we stayed at the Hollywood Hotel, but I think after experiencing both, Disneyland Hotel is better.

Jump for joy
Jump for joy

YAY! Disneyland! :)

giant candy cane
giant candy cane

Clara saw a HUGE Candy Cane and ran up to it to hug it. She did this a few times actually. So so super cute.

So check this video out! :)

Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land

The new addition I heard was Toy Story Land, so that was the first thing we went to explore. The place was cool. Lots of the stuff from the movie was made into rides. I think the plastic soldiers paratrooper ride was the coolest.

However, all of us were not into rides, so it was more of picture taking and just soaking up the atmosphere.

Mad Hatter Tea Cups
Mad Hatter Tea Cups

Cli and Cleo love the Mad Hatter Tea Cups and wanted to do it several times. I did it twice and I’m gonna puke my lungs out. I had to hold Clara, hold the iPhone while I recorded a video and you can imagine how disoriented that feels.

Its Snowing!
Its Snowing!

The weather changed when we were there. It dropped from 18 to 12 and we just had to go back to the hotel to wear more clothes.

We went back in the early evening and it started to snow. Yes it snowed. lol… fake snow. We stayed for the fireworks and did some souvenir shopping then headed back to order room service in the beautiful hotel room.

Our Puma shoes
Our Puma shoes

We placed our shoes nicely in the correct place and it was very apparent that we all wore Pumas. :)

Clara battery flat
Clara battery flat

Clara is beat. She had her milk and went straight to sleep.

Day 6

Enchanted Garden
Enchanted Garden

We had breakfast in the Enchanted Garden in the hotel. Its had a real nice entrance.

Breakfast
Breakfast

The variety of food was really good. From western, to asian, to indian. You can really have close to anything you can imagine for breakfast.

Family Photo
Family Photo

It was Day 2 in Disneyland and unfortunately the cold was too much for Cleo and she ran a temperature. She was listless and did not really want to do much. What a pity. Cli and Clara on the other hand was really enjoying themselves.

Clara loves a small small world
Clara loves a small small world

Clara really enjoyed the Its a Small Small World ride and even when she came out, she was still super happy and excited.

CANDY CANE!
CANDY CANE!

She spotted yet more giant Candy Cane! and this Photo is simply amazing. Its now my iPhone wallpaper.

Cotton Candy
Cotton Candy

There were blue candy floss being sold, so we got them for Cli and Cleo. They really enjoyed it and the whole day was just like a fairytale.

All in all, we did quite a number of shows and explored the entire park.

We did not stay for the fireworks, but went back to our room to have room service again for dinner in the hotel. We just lazed around in the room and the kids played with their new purchases.

Day 7

Stickers
Stickers

We had breakfast again in the Enchanted Garden. Did you know that everyone that works in Disneyland have stickers in their pockets. They give them out to kids when ever they see kids. So you can safely say my kids collected loads of stickers and Clara have some of the nicest ones.

Breakfast with Mickey Mouse
Breakfast with Mickey Mouse

The best part of having breakfast here is that they Disney characters will walk around and take pictures with you. Clara really loves it. Just look at how she smiles in this picture.

The Glam Girls
The Glam Girls

Its the last day of our trip, so we just walked around the hotel and sat at pretty places to take pictures.

Cli loves the hotel

I have to say this was an amazing trip and I really put down my twitter, facebook, instagram and spent good quality time with my girls. I do look forward for other opportunities to spend good quality time with them again. In Singapore also can. Alot cheaper too. lol…

The crying baby on the plane
The crying baby on the plane

Guess what, almost every flight there is a crying baby and on this flight I know the baby very well.