An Alliance with the City by the Bay
San Francisco is certainly one of America’s most beautiful cities. It played the perfect host to the dozens of people who came from cities across California and the United States to talk about living and investing in France. I loved being there, in spite of the cool winds and unsettling fog — summer much like the one we’ve experienced so far in Paris.
The Conference was held in the 75-seat theater at the Alliance Française of San Francisco, who co-sponsored it as one of their special events. We have Liza Reavis to thank for that — a member of the Board of Directors and past conference attendee — an idea she had a few months ago that came to magnificent fruition. In coordination with Chef/Owner François Alips and his daughter Corinne of La Cave Bistro Restaurant (in the lower level of the Alliance Française at 1345 Bush Street in San Francisco) the conference was able to accommodate more than 80 attendees and about 15 presenters and staff over a 1.5 day information power-packed event.
When the registrations grew to large numbers, the logistics were becoming acute, to hold the conference for 75 (and growing by the moment) and a seated dinner for 60 in the bistro which normally can’t seat more than 35. Corinne, a hard-working French-born “restaurateuse” brilliantly executed a shift of venue by folding back the stadium-like theater seats to a flattened wall and setting up a huge U-shaped table where the theater seats once were for a 4-course gourmet French dinner complete with special presentation over dessert by authors Cara Black and Leonard Pitt. One attendee wrote later, “Dinner was yummy and enjoyable including the speakers and chef [who came out to say few words from time to time].”
This was the first time we had held the conference in such an unusual configuration, and we learned quite a l
ot for the next time around to adjust for the plusses and minuses, but one thing is clear: we could never have provided such an event for the price it had been offered without the generously provided venue by the Alliance Française. To them we are all forever grateful.
Most of the presenters are regular and seasoned…with each conference the information they provide becomes even clearer and more useful. About John Howell one attendee (who has attended once before) wrote, “This guy is a walking encyclopedia. His presentation alone is always worth the money.” Marcell Filipe joined forces with John Howell when speaking about taxation on both the U.S. and French sides, an attendee remarked, “Howell and Felipe — more information and easier to understand.”
About Peter Zipper of Caye International Bank Offshore banking in Belize, one wrote, “Fabulous, clear, direct, the real world. What a personality. Huge credibility.” Stéphane Denner of Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier, provided “clear, direct details as to the [loan] process and requirements.”
A few newcomers added even more depth. It was the first time for Paris Home Shares’ Steve Navaro, who described just how his Fractional Ownership program works and details about the current project for sale called “Le Jardin Saint-Paul,” just at the foot of rue des Rosiers in Le Marais. For one attendee, it was an “interesting concept, new information,” and for another, it was “very informative — looks like a very viable entry into the market; will consider.”
For international currency brokers HiFX, young British Jody Cracknell stepped in for seasoned Doug Johnson. His nervousness at his first presentation before such a large audience was overshadowed by the warm reception and when he had completed his presentation, he received a hearty applause!
France Today and France-Amérique provided copies of the current issues of both for all and Editor Hélène Goupil spoke about how she keeps up on the pulse of France. They found her presentation “nice, simple and straigtforward.” Keith Maillard, President of the Board of Directors of the Alliance Française, presented “earnest, heart-felt encouragement to take the leap and improve upon existing French language skills.”
In general, it was clear those attending were pleased. Further comments were, “Any of the long-time FPI subscribers know that this conference is the best value you have ever been able to offer.” “This was soooo good! Enjoyed all of it — so much information; speakers were great! Merci beaucoup — can’t wait to return (and live) in France!” “What we have learned: 1) plan, plan, plan, 2) expect to pay a lot, 3) glad we don’t have kids to worry about inheriting and 4) don’t be cheap…but we still love Paris!”
And about me, one wrote, “Our fearless leader always reminds us why we need to live our live in Paris and own!” I got a good chuckle from that, but a warm reward knowing that all the effort to make an event of this kind happen is really worth it.
Now tonight, I say so-long to the City by the Bay and on to New Orleans and 90 degree heat!
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. We’ve had lots on inquiries about our next conference…mark your calendars now for October 13th in Paris at Chez Jenny — a one day real estate seminar to work in conjunction with the Expatica.com Welcome to France Fair on October 14th. If you haven’t made your plans to be in Paris at that time, then maybe you should!
P.P.S. Can’t wait for the next conference? Start learning about investing in French property today by subscribing to French Property Insider. Now get two extra months free when you subscribe for one year. Click here to subscribe now!