Yau Fung Kwan

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she also managed to sharpen her interpersonal skills

In view of COVID-19 social distancing measures, Yau Fung Kwan had to adapt to circumstances and change the learning objective of her 2020 internship. Even so, she was able to make the best of her time with the special events team of the Exhibitions Department at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The internship introduced her to the almost limitless possibilities for using advanced technologies to maximise human interaction and the exchange of ideas. As importantly, she also managed to sharpen her interpersonal skills, which had always been part of the plan.

“My original intention was to get a basic understanding of how a fair organiser operates, because I had worked as a part-time exhibition helper at an HKTDC event the previous year,” Yau says. This time, though, instead of working at in-person exhibitions, Yau assisted with webinars and online conferences preparations. She got firsthand experience of the thorough coordination and close collaboration between team members, for example, Yau was given the task of checking the equipment before a link-up and monitoring some of the devices while online events were in progress. She learned about the importance of attention to detail and the stringent standards any professional organiser must maintain to be sure of delivering well-run events.

As one of the energetic special events team, Yau also had to keep everyone who had signed up for events informed of latest developments, especially when HKTDC decision-makers had to switch dates or format. “That was a chance to hone my communication skills,” she says. “For instance, I helped contact participants of a conference for Chinese medicine practitioners being held online. I had to handle complaints from some participants, who were mostly in their 50s and 60s, and who were not happy that the event had to be online. Shortly before the event, I had to give some of them guidance over the phone, explaining step by step how to log on and participate online. Doing that required good interpersonal skills and patience. I am glad to say the event went ahead swimmingly without any major hitches.”