Here’s how to have the per­fect con­fer­ence exper­i­ence, using the example of the IPBA-THAC Arbit­ra­tion Day in Bangkok on 6 Novem­ber 2018.

Group picture of attendees of the IPBA-THAC Arbitration Day in Bangkok on 6 November 2018

First, plan on going the day before. Attend one more yoga class right before you’re off to the air­port. Then, fly to Bangkok. Arrive when there’s next to no traffic on the road so the Grab ride is smooth and you won­der why the same trip took you three times as long the last time.

At the hotel oppos­ite the con­fer­ence hotel, hear the recep­tion­ist say they’re upgrad­ing you to some suite. Before you go to bed, watch a lot of Fash­ion TV and Sponge­Bob Square­Pants. Drink all the straw­berry infu­sion and jas­mine tea you can find.

Litsan Chong from the THAC

The next morn­ing, run into the THAC’s Lit­san Chong first thing as you arrive at the con­fer­ence ven­ue. She has organ­ised this con­fer­ence and mod­er­ates a part of it. Meet old and new friends, arbit­ra­tion law­yers and fel­low trade law col­leagues from when you were an IPBA mem­ber more, um, reg­u­larly. Enjoy insight­ful ses­sions on top­ics such as ‘Are estab­lished arbit­ral insti­tu­tions sub­con­sciously biased towards the appoint­ment of civil law or com­mon law arbit­rat­ors?’ Honi soit qui mal y pense.

Andreas Respondek and Eckart Brödermann
Arbit­rat­ors delib­er­at­ing

Hang with capa­cit­ies in the field of arbit­ra­tion such as Eck­art Brö­der­mann, Andreas Respondek or Chris­toph­er Boog. Fly with them the flag for more civil law pro­ced­ure in inter­na­tion­al arbit­ra­tion. Have lunch with the THAC’s Elle Pitchaporn Noomnam, although she doesn’t eat dessert.

In the after­noon, over­in­dulge in muffins, tea and cof­fee. Click with fel­low arbit­ra­tion prac­ti­tion­ers like Elaine Wong. Meet, albeit briefly, Rouven Bod­en­heimer.

As the train sta­tion is right in front of the hotel, go back to the air­port using pub­lic trans­port instead of a taxi. Wear full busi­ness suit while doing so. Find everything imme­di­ately, thanks to Andreas’ descrip­tions, regard­less of you hav­ing to change trains twice and it being rush hour. In Bangkok, mind.

At the air­port, notice there are no queues, neither at check-in nor at immig­ra­tion. Have a straw­berry-rasp­berry smooth­ie, a piece of pep­p­er­oni pizza and a coconut ice cream lolly. Have more time than you ini­tially thought you’d have and decide to head over to this pub for an hon­est pint or two. Bond with a theatre stage hand from Mel­bourne who’s had the same idea and for­get why both of you are at the air­port.

Remem­ber why two minutes before they close the board­ing gate.

On the plane home, read Mahita Vas’ second nov­el, It Happened on Scrabble Sunday.

That’s how.