What’s it like to work the Expo at one of the busiest pavilions? We asked several USA Pavilion staff to record a diary of their day during Golden Week during what we expected to be one of the busiest weeks. (It didn’t turn out quite so. The numbers for that week were actually lower than usual, probably due to the ticket price mark up for the public holiday…much to the relief of all Expo staff.) Amy Kao is a student ambassador from UCLA who works with the Sponsorship team. Here’s a peek into her day.
9:00am: Lining up to go through security check for the “express bus” that takes us directly from the Expo Village onto the Expo grounds. Riding the “express bus” (which has a limited run time) means that us Expo workers can avoid having to ride the Expo bus with the crowds of people. Worth. It.
10:00am: The USAP’s office was pretty busy about 30 minutes earlier as everyone rushed around getting the day’s schedule ready. Now, things are quiet and everyone is catching up on emails … or maybe on facebook.
11:00am: It’s time for the weekly USAP’s Sponsorship and Partner Relations Fulfillment Department meeting Unlike many of the other national pavilions at the Expo, the USA Pavilion is supported entirely by corporate sponsorship instead of government funds. Today’s agenda? Upcoming Global CEO and Global President visits to the Pavilion and key events for the month.
12:00pm: The President of Intel, China is here. USA Pavilion protocol, sponsor account manager and a Student Ambassador head down to the VIP lobby to greet.
1:00pm: Lunch time. Expo staff cafeteria food today is the usual oily, salty and Chinese-y taste. You would think that they would have something special for China’s National Day, but the food today includes boiled Chinese sausages and mushy chicken skewers.
2:00pm: There is a guy standing outside the staff cafeteria with his collection of Expo pins, looking for someone to make a trade. He is surrounded by Expo Volunteers (小白菜 xiao bai cai) and service workers.
2:15pm: Mariachi band and dancers at the Mexico Pavilion. The Chinese men are fans of the Mexican female dancers.
3:00pm: Working over the details for the Senior Vice President of Wal-Mart, China visit to the USA Pavilion and the Expo tomorrow. The Wal-Mart DVD downstairs in the Pavilion needs to be fixed before the Wal-Mart VIP’s visit.
4:45pm: Just received a couple phone calls regarding urgent and last minute requests from sponsors who want visit the pavilion. I need to coordinate with the protocol department and other account managers. Hopefully other pavilions will be quick in responding to our requests to send our guests through their VIP entrance. Time to focus again.
7:00pm: Heading home now but the usual bus routes are all shut down for the night. The bus driver tells me it is because there are VIPs from the Chinese government for a National Day event. So it is off to the taxi queue line outside of Houtan Gate. Dang it, I’m ending the day by lining up with the crowds.