CWT Meetings & Eventsâ€™ Singapore director candidly shares how she accidentally fell down the events rabbit hole, and why she has stayed on in the wonderland since.
How did you first enter the events industry?
Some people start off knowing what they want to do with their career, but I went in the reverse by finding out what I didnâ€™t like â€“ which was to be in a deskbound job.
One of my family members introduced me to working part-time in a hotel, and I realised I really liked meeting people. I then realised that if Iâ€™m good at it and I like it, why not make a career out of it? I was subsequently introduced to an events agency (MCI Group) by an ex-colleague.
At every stage of my career Iâ€™ve been lucky to have good mentors, and be able to learn from both my managers and peers.
What is the best part of your job?
The colleagues and the team that I work with. They are all very driven to learn new things and trends. I love being able to bounce off ideas and learn from my peers.
The other fun thing is that I get to travel so much. I was 21 when I started in events, and being able to travel around the world at that age â€“ until now â€“ has been a good part of my job. For me, travel doesnâ€™t lose its lustre. In fact, it makes me want to visit a country at least twice, once for work and once for leisure. I get two very different perspectives when I revisit a country. I also use it to bookmark where I want to go next! For example, I want to go back to Switzerland, Ireland, and China.
Do you think youâ€™ll retire in this industry?
I definitely want to continue doing events. I think the industry is dynamic, and it never gets boring because every event is different, and every client I deal with is different. It is the chameleon-like nature of the job that I really love.
How do you motivate yourself daily?
My motto is: pursue greatness anyway. This is because in the events industry, working 15 to 20 hour days, and sometimes weekends, can be really tiring. The important thing is to look forward, and always try to outdo yourself.
Whatâ€™s the most memorable event you organised?
In Ireland, I organised a Game of Thrones experience â€“ complete with the appearance of several actors â€“ for delegates who were fans of the series. The experience even made me, a non-fan, want to watch the series.
It was fun watching something I plan come to life. One thing I realised about being an event planner is having to be a little bit selfless, as youâ€™re planning a best experience for other people.
People come first, and thatâ€™s how great events materialise. I get a great sense of satisfaction when I watch what I build comes to life.
What do people think you do for a living?
I donâ€™t think my friends and family have any idea what I do for a living! They think I travel very frequently for holidays, thanks to the fancy pictures with Hawaii hula boys and Game of Thrones actors (laughs). Some people also think Iâ€™m a tour operator!
Tell us something most people donâ€™t know about you.
I really love doing art â€“ drawing and painting. But Iâ€™m not great at it (laughs). Most of the art I do is hidden in some cupboard somewhere because I think itâ€™s too shameful to show the world. But I try it anyway, (in reference to her daily motto) and because itâ€™s a good outlet for stress. â€“ Rachel AJ Lee