In novels, films and plays, beautifully orchestrated events are always the pinnacle of glamour—and pivotal to the action. And it turns out the same is true in real life. At this year’s Hong Kong Tatler Ball, there might have been the rumblings of a typhoon outside, but inside the Grand Hyatt guests were dumbfounded by the beauty of the ballroom.
This was all down to one man’s creativity—Pavel Zamakhin, whose production house, Yagoda, turned the five-star hotel into a perfect visual representation of the theme “Science. Space. The Future.” This included beautiful, custom-made light fixtures and decor for all the walls and walkways.
And while Pavel might be from Russia, he understands Hong Kong perfectly. He studied Putonghua and Cantonese at university and now works across Asia, creating weddings, parties and corporate events for the elite of the continent. We sat down with him to find out some of his secrets.
I speak Russian, English and Putonghua. I used to speak Cantonese but over the last eight years I’ve lost so much of it—I plan on practising it a lot in 2019. In my opinion, it’s impossible to organise an event abroad without any knowledge of the local language or culture, even if you have an interpreter. The planner has to understand the country and not have any limiting factors if he or she is going to be truly creative.
Each country has its own specific reasons why an event can be tricky—in Hong Kong it’s probably the unpredictable weather and high prices. Russia has its own unique issues, while in the United States and Europe the approach is very similar. An experienced planner should be prepared for any situation, wherever in the world they are.
Perfectionism is my middle name
It’s not possible to be an events planner without being slightly obsessive about the job. All our events bring me such a sense of satisfaction, but I know I only get that feeling if I get every detail right. I like to imagine that I’m arranging it for myself, which means I am just as excited as if it were my own event.