Just returned from a great night of Pecha Kucha sponsored by Dutch Design week in Shanghai.

First i have to say it was an awesome crowd. I arrived at a little after 730 and they were already nearly at capacity. Drinks were free. The space was well designed. And the people were really interesting. It was a who’s who of sorts of the design and architecture industries as well as a sprinkling of marketing, pr, and general creatives, and of course the Dutch were out in force.

The hosts were excellent and knew what they were doing. My only criticism, even though it’s a little snide for a free event, was that the presenters weren’t given direction on the ground-rules of Pecha Kucha. Its not a forum to sell your company. I don’t want to see 20 slides of your portfolio. I want to be inspired.

There were a couple of standouts, among them a bar owner and former industrial designer, and a creative designer. While they did not miss the opportunity for a free plug, they didn’t go overboard as most and make me sit through a whole presentation of their most recent (unimpressive) portfolio pieces together with descriptions and awkward pauses that would put their mother to sleep. These few had a prepared interesting presentations that made the whole night worth it.

Anyway, here’s my takeaways::

  1. There are a lot of Dutch in Shanghai
  2. I’ll be back for the next PKSH, and
  3. Next time, I should back up my smack by presenting