We had the good fortune of connecting with Yingka Chou and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yingka, what is the most important factor behind your success?
It’s hard to say that there is one factor that has solely contributed to the success of Master Plans Events. I would say that there are two factors continually reveal themselves as the most important reason for our success.
The first factor is having systems in place that allow us to provide consistent high quality service. Our processes ensure that everything from the fine details to the broad elements are considered. Our client’s vision is very important to us and with the systems we have in place we are able to execute their vision with as much accuracy as possible. That being said, we are constantly looking to improve ourselves and these processes. We actively and openly ask for feedback from both our clients and our colleagues and apply that feedback so we can continue to grow as a company.
The second, and perhaps the most important factor, is the relationships we have developed with others in the industry. Event production is truly a collaborative effort. We are so grateful for the connections and relationships we have. The side of our industry that is often unseen is the sleepless nights, the struggle, and hardships that come along with working these events but also in being a business owner. Having a support system and a community in our fellow service providers is a blessing that we do not take for granted. It is a joy to share our successes, wins and witness the incredible efforts of these people. With relationships and connections like these, we know that they too will provide the caliber of service that we (and our clients) have come to appreciate and will come back for again and again.
What should our readers know about your business?
My first taste at event planning really began in junior high and high school with a nonprofit leadership program. As I grew older and went from attendee to one of the organizers, I realized how much I enjoyed the technical and creative aspects of putting on an event. Through my years at USC, being busy as much as possible and attending/putting on events was normal. After graduating, thinking I wanted to do marketing (mind you this back in the early 2000s as I date myself) and technology was only becoming a heavy presence in our everyday lives, I worked for Sony, CAA Media and a small boutique music company, realizing that it wasn’t what I loved to do. The event aspect of the marketing always appealed, but the legal and political was not something I enjoyed though knowing it was part of the job. From there, I left the marketing and entertainment world and dived into hotels, catering and floral/event production. After working a few years in this aspect of hospitality, I had the opportunity to create my own company or continue with a corporate job and do event planning on the side. I took a chance during the bubble of 2009 and walked away from my steady job to pursue Master Plans Events. From there, it’s mostly been an uphill climb for about 5-6 years before social media and industry practices shifted in favor of service professionals.
I would start by saying that anyone who has not struggled or dealt with any bumps along the way in life or business are truly lucky and an anomaly.
As a first-generation Asian/Asian American, events and hospitality isn’t considered a high-earning money maker, stable and title status industry. Despite some of the amazing opportunities and events that come this way, a lot of mindsets and perspectives are constantly being pushed. Back in the early 2000s – 2012, the mentality behind what event and wedding planners did/do were based on financial luxury and capacity. After social media and pop culture “glamified/glorified” events, most of the industry became more standardized but with higher expectations and little room for error.
Event in present day, managing expectations, juggling work-life balance and handling personalities is even more demanding due to the convenience and requirement of replies being instantaneous.
Master Plans Events & Designs is a full-service event and wedding planning studio offering event planning and coordination, design and production and creative services.
We’re known for planning detailed weddings and events, communicating with vendors for details, reviewing and negotiating contracts, designing a space and event from scratch and bringing those visions to life.
There are a couple of factors that set us apart:
– We have multi-lingual planners
– Experienced team members with high-caliber event experience and tools to create an event
– Extremely communative with vendors, venues and clients. We treat each client that signs with us the same regardless of the amount of service requested
– Personalization of information and a lot of reviewing details to ensure every detail impacted is cohesive
– A team of individuals who are passionate about not just the success of the event but that the experience is also on par with the planning process
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Day 1: – Eat breakfast at a local mom and pop shop – Visit a botanical garden – Have a picnic in the gardens
Day 2: – Brunch at a beachside restaurant – Visit Abbott Kinney and beachside boardwalk – Visit Getty Museum or Villa
Day 3: – Brunch at home – Visit Griffith Observatory – Go for a hike nearby – Lunch at a hillside restaurant near Downtown or Hollywood Hills – Visit UCLA Campus and Brentwood area
Day 4: – Breakfast at home – Visit Santa Barbara for the day
Day 5: – Afternoon Tea in Beverly Hills (late morning time) – Dinner at n/Naka or Providence – Dress up and attend a musical concert (Hollywood Bowl, Disney Concert Hall or Dorothy Chandler Pavilion)
Day 6: – Day trip to San Diego
Day 7: – Visit Orange County (Newport Beach/Fashion Island) – Disneyland as an alternative or additional option
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate this to my dear friend Carla Domen who has pushed my limits and creative bounds almost 20 years in our lives together. Together we’ve both leaned on each other to make some amazing events using both our strength and weaknesses.
Yelp: Master Plans Events
Ether and Smith, John & Joseph, Christine Skari Photography