Banks hosting Asian conferences are likely to have a bumper year if the recent CSFB extravaganza in Hong Kong is anything to go by. Some 700 delegates turned up to hear presentations by 70 companies and 12 keynote speakers - and to get their complimentary tickets to the CSFB Hong Kong Silver Sevens tournament.
Sources at CSFB say only one third of the delegates actually claimed their complimentary Sevens' tickets. Indeed the arena that most of the delegates were interested in seeing was Alex Arena, telecom honcho at internet superstar Pacific Century CyberWorks. Over 250 people crammed into a 200-seater room to hear Arena and his boss Richard Li give a lunch-time presentation.
This must have been slightly galling for Hang Seng Bank whose presentation coincided with that of PCCW and only attracted 10 attendees.
Tacking major sporting events on to conferences is certainly in vogue in the region. ING Barings' conference in Malaysia last year was timed to coincide with the inaugural Malaysian Grand Prix, with the successful formula to be repeated this year.
The largest conference in the region - CLSA's Investor Forum in May - has yet to find a suitable sporting event to coincide with its meeting. However, the traditional final-night party at a swank restaurant at the top of the Peak in Hong Kong is said to be something of a bun fight.