Let it shine
As a general manager of Jenny Lie Event Management, Jenny Lie is one of the earliest qualified event management specialists in Hong Kong. A native of Netherlands with a Hospitality and Event Management degree, she has been specialising in corporate events, marketing programmes and special corporate hospitality events for more than 10 years. A multi-linguist, Ms Lie speaks fluent English, Dutch, Hakka, Cantonese and Mandarin, as well as several European languages.
What got you attracted to the world of events?
Since young, I’ve been finding myself a perfect fit with the hospitality industry. Coming from a family that owned an F&B business, I knew that I was very customer service-oriented and insisted on extending the hospitality guests would expect. I studied hotel management in Europe and naturally entered hospitality-related fields such as exhibitions, hotels, corporate event departments of investment banks, PR/media and marketing and communications. I had a lot of ideas and solutions for events, and hence established an event company in Asia.
As the owner of an event management company, what are some challenges you face on a regular basis? How do you manage them?
There are plenty of challenges, especially the ones that are out of your control. For example, we cannot control the economic and market situation. Companies usually have extra money to be allocated into events/promotions, but this is also the first budget cut when there is an economic downturn.
Dealing with different kinds of clients can be fun, but it can similarly be challenging when there is a need to convince them that a certain method of doing things is best. Also, to be able to keep personal and business emotions separate when something bad is happening.
What do you think is needed to thrive in the events industry?
They have to be flexible, reliable and understand what quality service is. Being multi-lingual is an advantage, but that is not as important as the personality and attitude. To earn respect from clients, guests, partners and team members, you have to show that you can deliver results simply by being yourself – and other opportunities will come naturally. We’re in a people industry, so it’s not about selling a product. Our personalities are everything.
What are some things you do to wind down as well as to continue growing as an individual?
Growth is constantly within me; no matter where I go, I keep observing the little things that are happening around me. This allows me to be more aware of what’s happening and it in turn helps when I give advice to clients. I find travelling around the world most enjoyable. Events provide opportunities for me to explore the globe and widen my horizons, and it will be a waste if I were to just remain comfortable where I am.