More than 150 people attended my book launch event in Palo Alto on December 10th. The conference room at DLA Piper law firm was filled with people, enjoying Champaign and fine hors d’oeuvres while networking with each other.
As usual, there are always last minute details that need to be attended to before an event. I was running around to help set up the book signing table, greeting friends who showed up to support me, and answering questions from fans.
As usual, there are always things that don’t work as they are supposed to. At the last minute, we discovered that the book trailer video, which was supposed to be projected on the background screen, did not work. Oh well.
At about 7 pm, Sara Rauchwerger, the president of Chamber of Commerce International Consortium for Entrepreneurs (CCICE), opened the meeting. Then, Gerald Brady, managing director of Silicon Valley Bank, introduced me and Forbes Beijing Bureau Chief Gady Epstein, who flew in from Beijing to attend the event.
The format of the evening was that Gady and I had a fireside chat about my book and China’s middle class. Thanks to Gady, who is so experienced with fireside chats, the conversation between us went smoothly as we talked about what inspired me to write the book, highlights from my book on China’s middle class, and opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs.
The originally planned half-hour fireside chat lasted much longer. The audience was very attentive, asking many questions. Some raised the question about how China’s political system seems inconsistent with its economic growth. Others asked about spirituality, traditional culture, and the prospects in clean tech and clean energy fields.
I really appreciate Gady Epstein’s sensitivity to remember that Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo was still in prison. Despite the great progress China has made economically, we must not forget that some people in China still do not enjoy the basic freedom that many of us take for granted in this country.
I am very honored to have an opportunity to introduce Half the Sky Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides love and care for orphaned children in China. A portion of royalties from the book sales will be donated to Half the Sky Foundation and Natural Resources Defense Council.
“The event was extremely pleasant for the audience,” Ms. Rauchwerger says, “I only heard positive comments that people enjoyed the evening while listening to Gady and Helen talk. We had a great attentive audience and the room was full with people who wanted to learn more about what Helen wrote in her book.”
Thank Silicon Valley Bank that graciously sponsored this event. Thank Sara Rauchwerger, Gady Epstein, and many of my friends and fans who have made this event a huge success!
Watch the event live stream:
- The Chinese Dream – Helen Wang (chinaherald.net)
- Nobel Peace Prize: empty chair represents Liu Xiaobo at ceremony (telegraph.co.uk)