Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why Wedding Planner?

I love love LOVE the feeling of being a part of creating something together with a team.
That’s why I studied production/broadcasting in college and went into TV production.
And that’s why I love planning parties and a little get-together.

Then why not go back to the TV production or corporate event planner like I used to?
And why "wedding" now?

When I was little, my dad used to videotape his coworker’s weddings and edit that to make their personalized wedding video. Mind you, it was in the early 80’s. So the video camera was as big as an old-school boom box, and his editing was done using two regular VCR players.

I watched my dad go through the footage over and over, and turn it into this wonderful piece full of emotion and joy. There was this one particular song he used all the time ("Ballade pour Adeline" by Richard Clayderman), and I got goose bumps whenever I heard that song.

My favorite parts of the video were the parts of a bride getting ready and a newly-wed saying thank you to their parents at the end of the reception.
I always teared up when I saw the bride bowed her head (usually crying) to thank her dad.

So I always had this "thing" with weddings.
I want to feel that goose bumps.
I want to help create that goose bumps for someone else.
One day, THAT will be my job. How awesome would that be?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pamper Me Fabulous

Sunday, I had an opportunity to volunteer at an event "Pamper Me Fabulous."

It is an event for women where they can shop at booths set up by boutiques or other speciality stores, exercise at a fitness corner, or get services like facials or hair extensions.

Complimentary champagne was served and there was sampling corners for cupcakes, or drinks, etc.

Apparently, it is a very successful event, and the tickets were sold out 4 years in a row.

This time, it was held at Vibiana Church in downtown LA.
I've never been there, so going there itself was a great opportunity.

                                                                               (Pamper Me Fabulous by Fresh Events Company)

Despite the gloomy weather, approximately 1000 people showed up.
It was like a mad house full of women!!
But they all seem to enjoy the event. (And that's what matters.)

This was my second time volunteering for them.
I learned a lot for throwing this type of event at this scale.
How to utilize staff, who and how to approach the sponsors, etc.

Great experience over all!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Your Target Market

Yes... I'm still talking about that conference.

Another panel discussion I found very interesting was about "knowing your target market."

They demonstrated an exercise of envisioning our target market.
We were to pick specific things for the following categories for our potential clients.
If our clients were (or were to use) the following, what would they be?

1. Hotel
2. Car
3. Restaurant
4. Magazine

The lady who volunteered to be an example said, her client would
1. Stay at Intercontinental Hotel,
2. Drive a Cadillac Escalade,
3. Eat at Ruth's Chris and
4. Read a local information magazine

So, I decided to do the exercise myself too.

1. Hotel: Ace Hotel

A boutique hotel in Portland, NY, Seattle, Palm Springs, etc.
It's not super cheap, but not too expensive. It's more "edgy" than "gorgeous."
Popular among hipsters. Customers range from early 20's to late 30's.

2. Car: Toyota Prius

Or any other hybrid car

3. Restaurant: Urth Cafe

A cafe known for its organic coffee in LA. The food here is excellent!! It's definitely not a hole-in-a-wall diner price, but it's reasonable. Santa Monica or Beverly Hills locations are known to be favored by celebrities. It's one of my favorite restaurants too.

4. Magazine: Real Simple

A lifestyle magazine which covers home/garden, food, beauty/fashion, decoration/organization, health, etc. I'm not really sure, but I think it's a magazine catered for a women in her 20's to 40's.

So... my target market is:

A women who are in 20's to late 30's who like to be eco-friendly and organic, and wouldn't mind paying a little extra for style and quality?


I'm not TOO sure that's my target market.
It's more like I just described myself (although I'm not really eco-friendly nor organic...)

I should re-visit and do it again some other time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Believe in Yourself

The panel discussion I got most inspired by at the conference "Uncensored" was the one with Ms. Wanda Wen, who is the founder and CEO of a paper/stationary company, Soolip.

      (picture from

16 years ago, she decided to establish her own company for her life-time passion for "paper."

She said there were people who thought she was crazy for leaving her 11-year successful career in fashion and opening up a store of "paper" when everything was in the trend to be digital. But she believed in her passion and created Soolip.

Soolip is now a well established high-end paper boutique favored by celebrities, etc.

She said the key to her success was to listen to her heart and respect herself.

I almost teared up when she said this:

"Know what makes you happy.

Know what you are passionate about.

And that is what you do!!"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Conference "Uncensored"

Yesterday, I took a day off from work, and went to a conference for event planners, "Uncensored" in San Diego. Got up at 5am, and off I went.

I made the PowerPoint presentation for Gianna, who's speaking at this conference.
She invited me over as her guest and let me in for free. Yay!
(The admission is a couple hundred dollars!!)

                                                                                                                                                             (@ Uncensored)

I learned SO MUCH!!!!!

I learned:
what to say when a potential client just wants to know your price,
how to advertise/market your service,
how to determine your target market and
much much more information that was so useful.

There were some industry beginners just like me, and there were also veteran planners who've been in this business for years. I met a couple of people from other states like Florida or Atlanta. It was definitely encouraging to see so many women, most of whom are married and have children, ARE successful doing what I would like to do one day.


The biggest accomplishment I got this day was ME!

As I mentioned on this post, I couldn't really "network" like I wanted to at the last conference I went to.


This time, I was different.
Maybe it was the experiences I gained by interning for several months, but whatever it was,
I was able to walk up and talk to a couple of people without hesitation.

One of the people I talked to was an event planner who came from Hawaii.
He told me that in Hawaii, there is a huge need for planners who can both understand Japanese and American cultures. (Japanese LOVE to get married in Hawaii.)

What... wait a minute... 

That is exactly ME!!!

I like the urban lifestyle, so it'll be a hard adjustment for me to move there.
(I can't even swim, so beach is not really my cup of tea either.)

But regardless, to know that there is a niche market that I might be able to marvel at one day, was very very encouraging.

If anyone wants to sign up for the next conference, it'll be in Austin from October 10-12.
Register here.