The Hutong is a courtyard home and events venue located in the heart of Beijing.  Our aim is to provide exceptional corporate events with a cultural twist.  Our corporate team is comprised of professional and creative staff hailing from Australia, China, The US and England.  Our backgrounds range from media, event planning and tour leading to education and charity.  Although we have varied experience, we are united by our passion for bringing Chinese culture to life through unique and memorable experiences.

Many of our corporate clients include a visit to The Hutong in their conference schedules as a way to gain valuable cultural insight into their target Chinese market. The Hutong team is able to craft truly exceptional programs and experiences for our clients that bring them into contact with the aspects of Chinese culture in which they’re most interested. We consult with local tea experts, gourmet chefs, history buffs, business leaders, local craftsmen and innovators, athletes, adventurers, and many others who share The Hutong’s passion for doing what we love to help our clients take away valuable experiences from their time in China.

Our Corporate Leadership Team:

Erin Henshaw

Erin has never believed in separating work and play.  As a child she loved teaching children and doing art projects, so ran a summer craft camp in her parent’s basement.  Developing a passion for fundraising and exercise, she took her first job in events management at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  Today, as Corporate Events Manager at The Hutong, she is fortunate enough to create team-building events infused with various elements of Chinese culture, her passion since moving here a few years ago.  From working with chefs on personalized menus to exploring the surrounding hutong neighborhoods, Erin is motivated to get creative and personal with each event  to learn more about Chinese culture.  She is also consistently amazed by the support of The Hutong Corporate crew, an outgoing, international team whose passion to educate and entertain others is downright inspiring.  Erin hopes that all guests of The Hutong feel like friends, so work feels a bit more like play.

Jake Laband

Hailing from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jake now calls Beijing one of his many homes across the globe. A recent college graduate, Jake’s favorite part about working at The Hutong so far has been sharing a little bit of the parts of Chinese culture that he’s come to love with people from all over the world. Jake has also found it inspiring to watch how well multi-cultural teams from international companies can come together over a friendly cooking competition or scavenger hunt designed by The Hutong.  He gets a kick out of the challenge that planning and hosting events in Chinese for Chinese teams presents, and is glad to have such a friendly, supportive, and professional group of colleagues to put on amazing activities for guests.


Morgan O’Hara

Morgan discovered the importance and the thrill of team spirit playing baseball from little league through college. Later, during his MBA studies he learned how necessary teamwork is for the success of a project. At The Hutong, Morgan loves being a part of events and experiences that connect teams. His favorite corporate event was a cooking competition he hosted, where a top manager teamed up with the company’s ayi to form the winning team. Their raucous pre-meal presentation – performed in both Chinese and English, even though the manager could only speak English, and the ayi Chinese – combined with the great taste of their dish, got them the majority votes. But even better than seeing the duo shine that evening, was hearing that one year after the event, the top manager and the ayi would still give each other high fives in the office, a continued celebration of their victory.


Jess Zhao
Jess Zhao hails from a small village in the north of Anhui Province, China. Her colorful and outgoing personality has been influenced by the collision of a multitude of cultures, and she fits right as the queen bee of the The Hutong. She’s got the beauty of a Southern Chinese girl, the sass of a Northern girl, and an obsession with the changing nature of traditions from all over China. Her biggest dream is to host international groups in outdoor settings all over the world, and hopes to help others understand cultures different from their own. Whether it’s an intimate tea workshop or a Hook ‘n’ Cook: Cooking Competition for 50 senior managers, Jess gets a sense of accomplishment from helping others get to know a different culture just a little bit better. She strives to make everyone who comes into The Hutong feel like they’re at home, meeting with old friends. Jess hopes that everyone who comes through the red doors of The Hutong doesn’t just learn something, but that they come away with a totally unique and memorable experience.