Meeting hacks for South East Asia
Last week I was invited to share about Vietnamese popular culture and some hacks at a Singapore business event. One of the hacks was about meetings. Whenever I am meeting folks (or organising a meetup) in Vietnam (or Cambodia or some such similar motorbike as the main public transport country), I always pick a venue that is close to a motorbike parking. I will send my contact a photo of the venue with some direction markers, Google Map is not enough to represent chaotic Asian cities. I will also inform them of a nearby landmark - a school or a hospital or some famous building. It is often hard for the other party to stick exactly to the meeting time because of traffic, I will tell them “I will be at this venue from 10AM to 11AM, please do not rush if you are running late”. Also keep a buffer of about an hour between your meetings.
Once you find a good venue - a cafe or a co-working place, stick to it, and be extra nice to the staff on your every visit. In most South East Asian cities, the staff are already super nice to begin with. Many of them are students who have moved from some other city. When they are not busy, I will usually ask them about their recent trip to hometown, new happening in their life - not really a hack, I am genuinely interested in their lives. I have noticed that how the staff interacts with you conveys a positive and comfortable impression about me to the person I am meeting with (more so if you are meeting someone for the first time and even more so, as I suggest to friends who like meeting new people for romance, it is better to have your first date at a place you are comfortable with versus meeting at a completely new place with more unknowns)
Thanks to Thao, Trang Phan and Sarah for always patiently answering my questions
I will miss the Cozy cafe, one of my favourite places to meet people. It closed earlier this month. Good luck V.