My Interview With Se Yang
December 21, 2012
As many of you know, I have just returned from the IdoIdo competition in Sanya, China where I was hosted by the wonderful Se Yang. Upon arrival, my staff and I checked into the MGM hotel (amazing) and then went to the Kempinski Hotel in Sanya, also an incredible hotel. William, the General Manager went out of his way to take great care of us. Thank you, William. I thought it might be nice to highlight Ms. Yang as a part of my new interview series. Please find our Q and A below.
PB: First of all, I want to say thank you so much for including me as a judge. I loved seeing the different designs. What was your impression of the table top competition?
Se: For me, it was a dream-come-true. I first had the idea for the competition back in February at the Event Solution Idea Factor In Las Vegas where you were highlighted as one of the main speakers. It was a very inspiring experience and I thought of how nice it would be to have something similar in China where florists are not yet recognized as artists.
PB: What a wonderful idea! It’s interesting what you say about florists in China. This makes me wonder what your thoughts are in terms of the differences between the Chinese and American markets. What do you think are the main differences, and what do you think we can teach one another?
SE: The difference really comes down time. The Chinese market is only about ten years-old, twenty at the most. Before that, our economy was not doing so well and we weren’t thinking much about decoration. This has started to turn around in the past decade, and our market is growing at what seems like rapid speed. We have learned a lot, and I think the gap is closing as a result. That said, I believe that we excel when it comes to our food and photography, two places we place great emphasis. I am pleased that we are now learning about the differences in floral and wedding design, and planning.
PB: That’s wonderful to hear! It was evident that it was a big deal as it felt as though it was the “Oscars of the table top design”. I have never seen that much press in any other event function. This doesn’t even take into account the amazing talent that I witnessed. What do you think the very talented participants took away with them?
Se: Most of them thought this tuened out to be a great event. At first, it was a competitive vibe, but by the end, they had bonded and made friends with one another. I loved how they openly discussed ways to improve themselves as artists and businessmen and women..
PB: That’s so wonderful to hear! I am a big fan of friendly competition and collaboration. In China do vendors tend to work together, or are they very separated
Se: They were very independent in the past, but that too is changing rapidly. These kinds of events encourage them learn from each other. In China there is so many different areas and market is huge. They are learning that they can learn from one another without competing against each other. They are learning the concept of networking and that you can introduce clients to one other.
PB: Such a great lesson! Let’s talk a little about you. You are a very lucky lady. Your husband,Leon, is the manager of a very large international company and he still he took the time to support you at this major event. On a more personal note, I would like to know you have learned and what would you have done differently?
Se: Thank you so much, Preston. My team and I are happy with the outcome. We are happy because the participants walked awat happy. If I had to change something, I might change the pace of the event. We accomplished a lot in a few days. I would have just paced it differently.
PB: You have established yourself as one of the trendsetters of Beijing. May I ask you what are your goals?
Se: I was a management consultant before I was a entered the event business which I did after being encouraged by a fortunte teller to do so. These days, I am motivated by the idea that I can make a difference in helping others receive the proper pay and recognition for their gifts from our society. This is truly my gold, Preston. I also have a lot of very supportive friends and family. I feel very I have accomplished many of my goals.
PB: My last question is one I love to ask: What would you say to your younger self of 10 years ago?
Se: I just graduated 10 years ago, and I was very ambitious and impatient. I wanted success as fast as possible. If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her that life is long. In order to walk far, you need to manage your pace, and every step should be very steady.Again, learning to pace oneself.
Thank you so much, Se. I wish you all of my best and I look forward in seeing you In Las Vegas again in March.
Note: The concept for the competition was Christmas and the winning design was made entirely of yarn and reminded me of a Salvador Dale sculpture of a raindeer.