SASSY TOWN FOLLIES by Felicity Appleton, no. 18 May 6

The Big Meeting

On Friday night it was drinks, which followed the canapés and the first lot of drinks, which followed the combined meeting we had with all staff members from the Asia-Pacific Sparky People Group. It was the first time we’d ever done it. Jonesy was flexing his muscles a bit by bringing everyone into a huge conference room which overlooked the harbour, just so he could look around and know that he was in charge of all of those people: three hundred women wearing shoes matching their handbags and men more interested in the other men than what the women were wearing. Three hundred people from Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and India, who all wanted to speak, all the time, and were almost impossible to shut up when the speeches were on.

Jonesy spoke at first. Up the front, with a microphone. He looked so good with his stubble (I’ve encouraged him to let it grow a bit and he looks very cute I must say). He welcomed us all to the hotel and promised that the pink champagne was already chilled and if we could control ourselves there would be plenty for everyone. He told us to behave or there would be no champagne at all. Then he laughed and said he was only joking. But he told us all to shush again anyway. He mentioned the champagne chicken vol-au-vents, which I told him to mention. I’d personally ordered them, having tasted all the options on the catering menu (best day at work ever!), and told Jonesy to say they were to die for. They are to die for, and all of our guests agreed when the food was served later.

Executives from all the offices spoke. They talked about the work they do and the challenges they have to deal with, going forward. Most of them said “going forward” at some time in their speech. Many said it a few times. I said it during my speech because Jonesy told me to. I spoke about the changing nature of celebrity and celebrity representation. It was Jonesy’s topic and I thought it sounded a bit dry, but I used Kim Kardashian and Chris Hemsworth as my examples, so I used plenty of pictures on the big screen of Kim’s engagement ring/baby bump/changing boyfriends and Chris just being dreamy and hot and lovely and having the most beautiful eyes in the world. Everyone seemed to enjoy my talk. I enjoyed it too. I love an audience.

After the formal part of the day was over there was a stampede for the bar. Many of the region’s best Public Relations minds were running towards the free booze and the expertly chosen hors d’oeuvres and, well, it wasn’t a pretty sight. They let out delighted shrieks as they ran, and soon they seemed satisfied, in groups, mingling, all talking at the same time, showing off, and exaggerating stories about important clients and famous contacts. It was a typical PR gathering, only much bigger.

Adriano and Kikki and I ended up, where else, but Bacall’s. With us was a small group of men from the Bombay office, who were straight, which confused Adriano, and who insisted on drinking Johnnie Walker red label, which confused him even more. The only stars they had met were Bollywood stars, so none of us had heard of them, but these men were karaoke demons, so that made everyone happy.

We all sang Frank Sinatra songs until they turned off the karaoke machine and closed the bar and threw us out onto the street. By then hangovers were inevitable, but we didn’t care. We ate meat pies with our new friends as the sun came up and exchanged business cards. It was a very good day.

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Published in: on May 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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