Starting this week, we are featuring a weekly spotlight on event planners – both non-professionals and professionals alike. Our first spotlight is on Fiestah’s very own COO and founder, Nurul Yahya. Fiestah is an event planning platform that’s working to facilitate every interaction and transaction in the $100B event industry. Check out the interview, after the cut!
Name: Nurul Yahya
Location: Santiago/New York City/Kuala Lumpur
My Favorite Quote: “When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” – The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
People Usually Compliment My: Sense of adventure. I’ve been to over 50 countries and I hope to visit 50 more!
Favorite Song Right Now Is: My playlist is ever changing. Currently loving “Dont Wait” by Mapei
Apps I Use Everyday: Spotify, Slack, Skype, Whatsapp, Evernote
I Don’t Understand People Who Don’t Like: Spicy Food
Worst Habit: Making a ridiculous impossible daily to-do list. But I love it!
Best Party/Event Experience: World Cup Brazil 2014, Carnival in Brazil, basically anything to do with Brazil..
Worst Party/Event Experience: When a caterer I booked completely misscheduled an event I was working on even after reconfirming the date multiple times. They kept saying they were on the way every time we called. Being in a room with hungry people is never a good thing. It got so bad that guests started complaining on Twitter. And one of the guests that tweeted happened to be a famous comedian with thousands of followers on Twitter, so the business obviously noticed right away. Two hours after the original delivery time they finally showed up!
My Favorite Event Tip: Don’t panic when something goes wrong. I’ve seen amazing and creative things come together at the last minute.
The Best Part About Starting Fiestah Has Been: Working with my amazing team and seeing our vision come to life! When I came up with the idea of Fiestah, I was scribbling on a piece of paper drawing my ideas. I was working at Barclays at that time, bored out of my mind. The thought of quitting an Ibanking job to start a new company with very little money was very scary. I would not have been able to do it without my team. It’s still unbelievable to me that we now have thousands of proposals being sent through the platform in just NYC alone.
What Is a Day Like For You at Fiestah: It varies daily. Mainly I work on all of our operations from acquiring new customers, to marketing and content, to our company finances. Everyday is unexpected. Just today we’ve had requests from catering for a 300 person lunch to a tarot card reader for a 40th birthday party.
What’s the important aspect to consider when it comes to event planning: There are a lot of different moving pieces when it comes to planning an event. Being organized is really important. It’s why we’re working so hard at Fiestah to help give event organizers of any kind a more useful tool than spreadsheets.
In Your Opinion, What is the Mark of a Successful Event: Quite simply – happy people, good food and good music!
Favorite Party Item to Try in 2015: I’ve seen really innovative photobooths from our vendors. I’m kind of obsessed with gif photobooths! In Asia there are Japanese sticker printing photo-booths but I haven’t seen any here yet.
What’s the Best Advice/Feedback Given to You: When I was 17, a really successful entrepreneur told me to focus on the path I want and not divert. Been following it since!
What Should We Be Seeing from Fiestah in the Coming Year: We have really exciting news for expansion coming up. Stay tuned!
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