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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Time to Partay: Interview with Event Planner Yvon Nguyen

August 1, 2011  
Filed under Profiles / Interviews

event planner yvon

Yvon Nguyen, Event Director at My Petite Planner

Yvon Nguyen may be small and petite, but don’t let that fool you. She’s got drive, ambition, (a compassionate heart) and serious systematizing skills—which we all covet. After working successfully in a marketing/sales position for a few years, she decided to use her skills and number one passion to start her own event planning company—My Petite Planner.

Many people talk about dreams but only a few take action and she’s one of them. To be an event planner, you need to get nitty-gritty with the details and need more than organizational and time management skills. What’s required: an eye for creativity, negotiation and interpersonal skills, tact, multitasking abilities, and the ability stay calm under stress and pressure without pulling your hair out. With a few years under her belt and staff members to assist her, Yvon is ready to take her company to the next level. Read on to find out more in her own words.

Nationality: Vietnamese-American

Education/background: Marketing & Human Resources

Favorite reading material: Work-related messages and emails

Drink I always order at Starbucks: Iced Caramel Macchiato upside-down with whip cream & caramel on top

Pet Peeve: When people don’t mean what they say & when they don’t recycle

CM: So My Petite Planner was started by you. Could you explain the name and the process of how it all started?

YN: I loved playing with puzzles since I was little. Event & Wedding planning is like putting together a puzzle. They all start with small pieces in the form of a task, checklist and time-line. On the day of the event, all the pieces come together and it’s an amazing feeling. With my friends and colleagues, I’ve always been the one that volunteers or being volunteered to put an event or party together, whether it’s for a friend’s baby shower or an office party. To build experience, I started planning small events on my own for friends and co-workers while learning and assisting event & wedding planners. Eventually, I decided to combine my passion for event planning and my entrepreneurial spirit.

The name was not easy to come up with. I played around with a few ideas but some sounded too boring or corporate while others just sounded like I’m about to jump out of a box with animal-shaped balloons (Prestige Planning, The Happy Guru). I finally decided to go with My Petite Planner because it’s personalized. When clients meet me for the first time, I can see the “ohhh” moment in their eyes when they realized that My Petite Planner is literal. It’s awesome! Personalization is important because that’s what I bring to the table. I guarantee personalized service for my clients because they all have different goal, need and vision.

CM: How do you find and get clients?

YN: From referrals and facebook!

CM: Is this your full-time job or do you have side gigs?

YN: Event and wedding planning is my full-time passion. Although I always get approached with side projects, and once in a while something would peak my interest. I think it’s a great learning tool to be working with different sets of responsibilities. You can also gain exposure and cross-marketing benefits by reaching out and working with others outside of your industry. However, My Petite Planner remains and continues to be my number one priority.

CM: What are the hardest challenges you face in running your own business?

YN: As a small business owner in this economy, there are definitely challenges. Many still see event and wedding Planning as a luxury service only accessible to the rich and famous. They don’t necessarily know that in many instances, hiring a planner is a necessity and very affordable. Another challenge is the journey to establish my own identity and recognition in this industry being the new girl on the block.

CM: What was your most memorable event you and your team coordinated for?

YN: It has to be our grand opening event. It was absolutely nerve-racking and exciting! We organized a successful networking mixer with many industries involved and sponsorships by Wells Fargo, Gamut Media, Formula99 Web Designs and Posch Restaurant in Irvine. It was in the form of a business mixer and an expo with booths and spaces set up to display our vendors and sponsors’ products and services. As a small business owner, I recognize the vitality of a business depends on continuous growth and exposure through marketing and networking. Therefore, it was an appropriate way to announce the beginning of My Petite Planner.

CM: Do you feel like you’re balancing your work and personal life pretty well? Please elaborate.

YN: Many of my friends would probably say that I can do better. Right now, it’s like a crazy blend of work and personal life. Since my mobile phone is my best assistant and sidekick, I find myself always working. I can be out with friends and I would daydream about work, talk about work and then open up my phone and work. There’s no 8 to 5 structure when you run your own business. You work when you need to, when you want to, when you can and when you’re free.

CM: If you weren’t an event planner, what would you be doing?

YN: A food critic and writer! Are you guys hiring?!

CM: What topics and subjects are you the most passionate about?

YN: Human trafficking and children sex slaves. It is beyond my comprehension how these depravities can exist in today’s society. It is absolutely tragic!

I’m also very passionate about adoption. When I’m ready, whether I have my own children or not, I will adopt and I encourage everyone to adopt. There are so many children in need. If you are able and have room in your heart, please adopt because that is one child’s life that you can directly impact and change for the better. If there’s ever any doubt if you can love an adopted child as your own, please don’t. I believe we are all capable of selflessness and falling in love.

CM: What makes you the most happy? (Work or personal)

YN: I am most happy when the people I love and care about are happy, worry-free and proud. Corny but absolutely true.

CM: Where do you and your friends like to hang out or do in your spare time? Any favorite food spots in or around LA County?

YN: We love to eat, get together for Happy Hour and throw dinner parties when I have time. My latest food obsessions are the Boiling Crab in Westminster and Anjin in Costa Mesa. I also recently discovered amazing foie gras at Manhattan Steaks & Seafood in Orange! When I’m not eating, I’m a music lover and I like to bust a move whenever possible.

CM: If someone could grant you a wish and you could choose to have any skill or talent in the world, what would it be?

YN: The ability to read minds. I can rule the world with that talent.

CM: What are your favorite websites?

YN: Hmm, Facebook for socializing and networking; Google because that’s where I start all my researching projects; WeddingWire and Yelp for obvious reasons.

CM: Who or what inspires you?

YN: Generally, anyone who has an aspiration, works hard and succeeds inspire me. Specifically, my parents and my younger brothers inspire me everyday to want to become a better person, daughter and sister. I want to be a good role model, someone that my brothers can look up to and most importantly, I want to make them proud.

My favorite quotes are “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” by Eleanor Roosevelt and “Happiness is not having the best of everything, but making the best of everything you have.”

CM: Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?

YN: According to the author Stephen R. Covey in The 8th Habit, “Spiritual intelligence….underlies the things we believe in and the role our beliefs and values play in the actions we take. It is, in essence, what makes us human.”

I try to live “right” and without regrets, do what I need to to be an accomplished and happy individual without bringing harm to anyone. I try to be considerate and demonstrate empathy without letting anyone take advantage of my compassion. Lastly, I truly believe that I won’t be complete unless I have my family’s unconditional support and eventually the unconditional love of that one person that I want to spend a lifetime with.

CM: What’s your best event planning tip for Collaj readers, whether they’re planning a wedding or even something as small as a birthday?

YN: Prioritize! Any event can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. Whether you’re planning a birthday or wedding, there will be a list of tasks and responsibilities. Prioritizing what’s most and least important can help you focus, establish time-line, organize checklist and most importantly, manage your budget.

Another crucial tip is don’t forget to enjoy the process. Organizing an event can be overwhelming and stressful, but try to relax and remember why you’re planning it in the first place. If all else fail, hire a planner!

To find out more about her company, visit MyPetitePlanner.com

event logo

Comments

4 Responses to “Time to Partay: Interview with Event Planner Yvon Nguyen”
  1. ThaoK says:

    With all the talents that Yvon have, I won’t be surprised and to get to where she’s belonging on her career path shouldn’t be that difficult.

  2. Varun says:

    Definitely an inspiring article. Really great perspective on what an Event Planner is all about and personalizing your brand.

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