As the first day of the Sibos conference and exhibition in Hong Kong drew to a close, the Hong Kong Observatory upgraded its typhoon warning to T8 level, causing many banks and vendors to cancel their evening networking events.
With sustained winds of up to 116kph expected on Monday evening from 6pm, Sibos delegates who usually need no excuse to unwind with some drinks on the exhibition floor queued to leave the conference centre and head back to their hotels.
Banks such as JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Citi were among those reputed to have cancelled or postponed drinks receptions at top-end clubs and restaurants around town. On the vendor front, IBM's Banking Industry Framework launch was hastily rescheduled from Monday to Wednesday evening as bankers hurried home to the safety of their hotel suites.
Printers around town also shut up shop early, hitting the operations of Swift's Sibos Issues daily magazine and other printed trade dailies at the show.
The Hong Kong government makes a number of recommendations associated with the T8 warning level. Among them are that Hong Kong's many neon lights should be turned off.
Upon hearing this, one vendor who was leaving the building was heard to exclaim, "We better go quick before they turn out the neon lights or we won't find that titty bar again."
Hotel lobby bars and restaurants will likely do a roaring trade as a result of Typhoon Koppu. And delegates could well be feeling sharper than they would otherwise have been for Tuesday morning's sessions, which include many presentations and discussions focusing on the Asia Pacific region, an update on Target 2 Securities, and Amazon presenting their cloud computing offering.