The three Beijing Rotary Clubs joined for the Rotary Red Lantern Banquet 2017, on Saturday 25 February 2017.
It was supposed to be a ball, a charity, something like that. It became then a “banquet”, unfortunately not as copious as a Chinese full blast banquet (you hate it or you love it).
Setting was the Four Seasons Hotel, the ballroom decoration was pretty nice.
As far as the food was concerned, some kind of high-level Chinese dishes, that means large plates, little content and afterwards need to head for some late night snacks. Some tried to eat enough of the bread. Some (including me) went for the nice red wine, just to get high and forget about food. Our club felt squeezed in a faraway corner.
I am black-listed
I did complain about the logistics: a video shooting that was lousy and useless, and blocked access to the raffle and auction prizes. No reference to the projects we are backing. Lighting positioned too low. Some questionable speech (common for most balls actually). Auctions with little appeal, take too much time and fail to excite the audience, up to the point one simply misses the relevant auction items. And more.
As I have been through a number of balls and other events, I know what it takes and I was unhappy with the issues. Good I did not invite my VIPs as I did for other balls.
Yeah, complaining got me shot down so all my pictures as well as of other “complaining parties” were removed, so, I mostly have the pics I got myself and the ones I selected. You won’t see anything of us in the “official photo gallery” (whatever that means).
Balls are a challenge
One can even question the purpose to organize a ball. It demands a huge investment in volunteering and a semi-military approach and precision, but with often too few returns. One could simply require club members to spit up some money and cancel the ball. More efficient. There are too many balls in Beijing vying for attention and sponsorship. Then paying big bucks to eat a so-so dinner, no dancing, no fun music – next time: no thanks. I even have no idea what our “banquet” brought as benefits.
Well at least we had our Rotaractors acting great as volunteers and nice people at our table.