As a contributor to Beijing Kids Magazine, I knew that a School Guide was in the works, particularly since I had been called upon to research and write one of the articles. Still, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to the launch party for the 2011 beijingkids Annual School Choice Guide at the Marriot Beijing Northeast. I consulted with Reina (a lover of big hotels) and as the event was at the Marriot Beijing Northeast, a new hotel for her, she quickly agreed that we should go. She was a bit disappointed when her mama informed her we would not be getting a room and staying overnight at the hotel.
When we arrived at the Marriott, after the staff opened doors and checked our coats, we were warmly received at the ballroom where the obligatory photo was snapped on our way in. Although there were numerous staff members in attendance from beijingkids and True Run Media (the publisher), most, if not all, of the schools covered in the School Choice Guide, had representatives on hand for the launch party. It was a great chance for Savvy and I to mingle with sales and marketing people from the various schools to learn a bit more about what makes each school unique – part of the challenge of picking the right school in Beijing is that there is no longer a want for options. As there were only a few small children in attendance, Reina occupied herself by exploring the hotel and running between our legs while Savvy and I met people from schools I had never heard of, and I thought I had a good grasp of what was available in Beijing.
Overall, the party was fun, the food was good, and the speeches were short. We had a great time, but as it was in the afternoon, Reina began to run out of steam after the first hour and we had to leave so she could take a nap. After two weeks of playing non-stop during the holidays, she finally hit the proverbial wall and bonked. She managed to keep her composure and remain awake long enough to receive a complimentary goodie-bag on the way out. She heard there was a yummy bar of Cote D’Or dark chocolate inside and wanted to make sure she didn’t miss out on that treat. Little did she realize that Baba would eat most of it while she was sleeping.
Check out the Gallery for all the Launch Party pics.