Bangkok VIV Conference - S8 Expert Recruitment Solutions

Bangkok VIV Conference


Bangkok VIV Conference

I feel very privileged to be able to write this today. Soon after my arrival in Bangkok for this year’s VIV Conference, I had a near-death experience. That’s right folks, I took a Thai Taxi.

In my excitement about getting to Day 1 of the conference, I walked straight out of my hotel into the nearest taxi. Once I realised this taxi wasn’t going to turn on his metre, I stepped straight back out of said taxi. As it turns out, there was a bunch of other people waiting outside the hotel in the same predicament as me. After some serious discussions and currency conversions, we pooled our resources and decided to risk the metre-less taxi. That was my first bad decision. I then volunteered to take the front seat; this was the second of my poor decisions.

Now, I’ve endured a crazy taxi ride in my time but this one was next level!! I was hanging onto my handle like it was my lifeline and breaking for the driver so hard that every bone in my body began to ache. The guys in the back with a full view of the whole scene repeatedly asked me if I was ok…I wasn’t too sure!! I realise it may be time to move on from this but it honestly was one of the scariest rides of my life…until I got my taxi to the airport on the way home, but that’s a whole other story!

This was my second visit to the VIV conference in Bangkok and both times I’ve walked in and been equally impressed by the set-up. The lethal combination of adrenaline from the taxi, a strong morning coffee and the sheer size of the conference left me feeling mildly anxious and very excited.

With nearly 4,500 exhibitors, some of them as big as 6 stands combined, this place was enormous!!! In fact, I was told that this VIV conference had about 20,000 more visitors that one of the largest shows in Europe. Working in the industry we do, I’ve lost count of the number of times people have commented on how niche this industry is. I guess they’re right but when you walk into a VIV conference, you see it pretty differently! My phone confirmed the enormity of it all by telling me in one day at the conference I walked over 14,000 steps!

Despite the scale of it, it’s hard not to find a familiar, friendly face in these things and within moments I was bumping into people I knew from Australia and New Zealand. There were people I’ve been working with or have placed during my last 12 years in the industry. I really enjoyed catching up on people’s progress and have been updated on some really cool growth plans for some companies in the region. All of this news has me totally pumped to work with some new partners and continue the growth of my more familiar business allies.

It’s pretty fun being a recruiter at these events. When I’m walking around talking to staff at each of the stands there’s always a reaction. The funny thing is that generally I don’t yet know the businesses so I’m chatting to the regional heads, looking for new business or it’s a client I’ve previously placed, worked with or still working with and I’m just checking in on them. I do get a bit of a giggle when a manager comes up and asks their staff why they’re talking to me. At this point, I think it’s important I suggest a payrise and some photos to post to LinkedIn.

The stand-out for me this year at VIV was the staggering amount of Australian businesses either exhibiting or as customers. It just confirms how many incredible Australian distributors we have representing some of the world’s greatest brands.

This conference is a real eye-opener and one I would highly recommend if you get the chance to check it out. Maybe just opt for alternative transport!

Once again, thanks to all of you who I managed to get some time with. I look forward to working with each and every one of you.


Shannon Wood, Managing Director S8 Expert Recruitment Solutions. I have over 14 years recruitment experience specialising in the animal health industry across the ANZ region. Areas of expertise include sales and marketing, technical roles (Quality Assurance, Quality Control & Regulatory Affairs) and operational & financial positions. I work extensively in the veterinary, ruminant, monogastric, aquaculture and the pet specialty industries and I look forward to the next 14 years.


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