Celebrate Lunar New Year with the Business Confucius Institute

The Business Confucius Institute explain why paying attention to Chinese visitors is good for business and look forward to the next Lunar New Year Business Dinner at University House.

The Lunar New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar. The next celebration, the Year of the Pig, begins on February 5 2019.

It is a time to get together with family, friends and loved ones to celebrate. In a business context, it is the time of year to celebrate the success of the previous year with colleagues and clients, further strengthening the 关系 (guanxi – relationships) that are at the core of doing business in China.

The Business Confucius Institute (BCI) at the University of Leeds host the Lunar New Year Business Dinner to bring together representatives from organisations engaged with China to network, celebrate the success of the previous year, and build relationships to set the foundations for further success in the coming year.

The event is a valuable contribution to the events calendar in the city, as the appetite for knowledge of China and Mandarin grows among the Leeds business community. As businesses notice the increasing number of Chinese students, residents, and visitors in the city, they are realising that even a little understanding of Chinese language and culture can help them build strong and lasting relationships with their consumers.

The above video created by the BCI, shows that you don’t need to do business in China to benefit from an understanding of Chinese language and culture. In the video Harvey Nichols and Malcolm Michaels Quality Butchers share the actions they have taken and explain why they believe that developing their knowledge in this area is good for business.

A seminar run by the BCI at Leeds Business Week in October this year was attended by a full room of delegates from various businesses in Leeds, who all wanted to understand what they could do to attract and cater to Chinese customers.

The next Lunar New Year Dinner, celebrating the Year of the Pig, will be held on Tuesday 29 January 2019. The after-dinner speaker will be Patrick Horgan, Director of Global Government Relations for Rolls Royce, and current Vice President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China. Patrick has been awarded an OBE for services to the British business community in China.

University House has again been chosen as the venue for the dinner. For last year’s event the venue was adorned with red lanterns, red table dressings, and decorations showing the Chinese character 福 (fu), which means ‘good fortune’ and is commonly seen at this special time of year. Delicate papercuts of the Chinese character 春 (chun, meaning spring) hung from the centrepieces on each table.

Performances on the pipa and the guzheng filled the room with the delicate sounds of traditional Chinese instruments, and guests were treated to traditional dances that also provided an unmistakeable Chinese flavour.

The special guests, welcoming the Year of the Dog, included University of Leeds Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands, Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Jane Dowson, and Minister Counsellor Mr Jin Xu from the Chinese Embassy.

After the speeches, performances, and a three-course dinner from the University House catering team, guests took full advantage of the opportunity to continue the conversations at their table and network with other attendees around the room.

Afterwards, one attendee praised the “wonderful atmosphere, great company, and high quality food”, and another said “the food, entertainment, atmosphere, and speeches were all excellent”.

Make sure you don’t miss out by securing your place for the next dinner. Tickets are £72 (including VAT) and are available online now.