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Vietnam Summer Festival 2012

by Sam Clark

The show begins…

On Saturday most of the office was at Spitalfields Market for the inaugural Vietnam Summer Festival 2012. It was an enormous success as an event and we all had an excellent time. I think we will have also persuaded people to visit Vietnam too – so hopefully, it will have been a profitable day too!

Despite the inevitable rain, it was a brilliant turnout and music, crafts and food were of unusually high quality for an event of this type.

Busy day at Spitalfields for The Vietnam Summer Festival, 2012

I have no idea of the actual numbers – but it was a very busy event – Spitalfields was completely packed and the many fantastic food stalls seemed to be doing a roaring trade. There were plenty of people interested in travelling to Vietnam too – which is great for us.

Experience Travel had a great stand – just by the main screen. We were also one of the main competition entry points which ensured a steady stream of visitors. It really was an awesome prize – this holiday here, worth £3099 per person – for free! Any visitors to our stand can still claim a £200 per person discount on this holiday until 31st July 2012.

Cecilia with Lucy from Vietnam Airlines, Anna in full Laos costume, Dat and Phuong from Vietpro and me.

The lucky winner was Cecilia Tran, a young British lady of Vietnamese/Chinese descent. She took a long time to be convinced that it wasn’t a practical joke, but once she was you can see she was very pleased!  It actually means that not only will she be able to enjoy a luxury holiday, but she also will get to see her parents in Ho Chi Minh for the first time in 2 years!

As you can see, Anna (Alice’s daughter and a previous contributor to our blog – see here) – was there as was Edie, Melissa’s daughter. It was that kind of event – a really nice informal occasion.

Anna gets a hug from Cecila for picking out the winning ticket

There was some amazing Vietnamese food – with many brave stands outside in the rain absolutely packed for hours. As we know, Vietnamese food is perfectly suited to this kind of event – quick, fresh, tasty and not yet so well known in London – I think many people were fully converted by the end of the day.

Many thanks to our co-sponsors – Vietnam Airlines, The Nam Hai and Heritage Line and also for the prize contributors: Sofitel Metropole Legend Hanoi, La Residence, Bassac and An Lam Saigon River. It really was a magnificent prize – the best we have been associated with.

I’d like to make a special mention of the volunteers from Vietpro, the organisers, who really did an incredible job pulling this all together. It was all the more remarkable considering they all have busy day jobs and did this on a part-time basis.

I think it was a great advert for Vietnam.  There were lots of volunteers from Vietpro who must have all done a huge amount of work, but a particular mention to Dat, Thao, Hien and Phuong, none of whom managed to sleep at all for days in the run-up to the event! Well done.

Dat, Hien, Thao and Phuong – the Three Musketeers and D’Artagnan…

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