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Getting to know Alisha Yee
Meet Alisha Yee. Currently the Head of Sales at Trippas White Group, Alisha discovered her love of hospitality through a part-time job waitressing. She loves Japanese food, travelling and is committed to making sure her events run smoothly. Alisha admits she is also somewhat suspicious of people who smile all the time. So, join us as we get to know another fabulous event pro, Alisha Yee…
Give us a snap shot of your career to date.
At age 21, I had graduated from the University of Toronto with a Business Degree and aspirations to change the world (no joke). I spent the next 5 years working as a Marketing Manager for an amazing non-profit organisation called WWF-Canada – short for World Wildlife Fund, not World Wrestling Federation (unfortunately). At the ripe old age of 26, I decided it was time to travel the world and “find myself”. I took on a second job to fund my new enlightened path – Marketing chick by day, waitress by night. This was my first foray into the hospitality industry, and I was hooked. I spent the next 2 years travelling South America, working in bars and hostels and having the time of my life. Not ready to deal with the brutal Canadian winters again, I made the big move to sunny Australia to continue my adventure. Bouncing around and working for some of the big hospo names in Sydney, I finally landed with Trippas White Group, earning the hugely ex-pat coveted 457 Sponsorship Visa as an Event Manager.
The most memorable event you have worked on and why?
Such a tough question! In over a decade of events there have been so many goodies – but I would have to say that running the Earth Hour event in 2009 (or was it 2010?) was an absolute highlight for me. It was a free public event taking place in the heart of Toronto, drawing a crowd of over 10 000 people. Although it was incredibly stressful and had millions of moving parts – it was also brilliant, moving and impactful. The aim of our Earth Hour event was to spread awareness about protecting our planet and furthering sustainability, which I think is just awesome!!
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
Everything will be okay – and if it’s not, you will find a way to make it okay, and it is not by panicking! I once had a wedding where the chair supplier cancelled the day before, the wedding cake was delivered to us damaged, and the florist was 2 hours behind schedule. After doing THREE runs to pick up chairs from across Sydney, convincing a local patisserie to do damage control on a cake they didn’t bake, and personally getting on a ladder myself to hang floral installations, I had learned a very important lesson on resilience!
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
Organisation, Time Management and Enthusiasm.
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
Events are not all fun and glitter. The amount of unforgiving hours and sheer willpower that it takes to execute a successful event is exhausting. Nothing worth it comes easy – but the event industry is totally worth it.
What song always gets you on the dance floor?
Sorry by Justin Beiber… (could it get any more Canadian??)
If you had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
Pretty much anything Japanese.
If you could time travel, when would you go and why?
I would travel to Friday morning to find out the PowerBall Lotto numbers – I’ve always dreamed of beating the system!!!
What superpower would you choose and why?
Teleportation for sure. Travelling is one of my passions in life, and being able to blink and transport to amazing places around the world would just be incredible. Plus, think of the money I would save on airfare!!
What skill or talent would you most like to learn and why?
I’ve always wanted to be able to play the guitar and sing. Unfortunately, I am completely tone-deaf and uncoordinated, so not sure if this is an attainable goal or more of a superpower question…
What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
A marine biologist. Turns out I that when I “grew up”, I realised that I hated science and that I get seasick easily…
What can you not live without in your life?
My family and friends.
How would your friends describe your job?
Part-time wedding and event planner, full-time fun haver.
How do you unwind after a big event?
A very tall glass of wine and comfy track pants on my couch.
Words to live by?
“Never trust people who smile constantly. They’re either selling something or not very bright.”
What do you prefer, cocktail party or sit-down dinner?
Cocktail party! I love the social aspect of these events, and anything with less formalities and speeches is a win for me.
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
Bubbles or any cocktails if they’re on offer.
Why do you love your job?
Events for me is a mixture of everything I really enjoy – food, drinks, entertainment and people. Every day is different and there is never really a dull moment.