The Journey Of People Empowerment With Vibeji’s Ian Carter And Laura Yung
Just over a year ago, Vibeji was born out of Tri Lecao’s vision for personal empowerment. Based on his experiences living abroad, Tri started Vibeji to help anybody living in Vietnam discover new activities and share their passions. Vibeji has become a platform for inspiring people to go out and try new things, meet interesting people, and embrace the unknown.
In the process, the Vibeji team has brought together nearly 100 ‘experience hosts’ onto the platform. And now, they’re beginning to expand the business to include different related services for corporate partners.
Today we meet Ian Carter and Laura Yung from Vibeji's community team, to get insights into how they’re finding hosts and curating unique experiences on the platform.
What are the most exciting parts of your job?
Laura: For me, it’s all about the relationships. I’m surrounded by wonderful and inspiring people every single day. Not only my team, but also our hosts and customers. Everyone is super talented and has stories to tell.
Ian: Plus, we’re learning new things and testing new ideas everyday. There are similar businesses that have had success in other market-segments or countries, but we’re creating something totally unique within Vietnam. It’s really exciting to play a part in developing this amazing community and see it grow right in front of our eyes.
“I’m surrounded by wonderful and inspiring people every single day,” Laura explains.
What qualities make a good host for Vibeji?
Laura: To lead a great one-on-one or small group experience, the two most important things are that they have passion for what they’re doing and they love sharing it. For us, a good host doesn’t necessarily need to be a professional as long as they have enthusiasm, confidence, and they really connect with their audience.
Ian: Exactly. There’s a common assumption in Vietnam that people need to be a professional in order to share their skills. But at Vibeji, we’re more focused on developing an environment of fun and personal growth. Oftentimes the hosts that get the best reviews are the ones that also enjoy going out and trying new activities themselves.
How does Vibeji ensure host quality?
Laura: At first, we always conduct thorough online research into the prospective host’s digital presence. We look for people who fit our brand. We love to see that they’re acting as leaders in their scenes and communities. Then, we reach out and typically meet with them in person. We want to know their personalities, their passion, and their willingness to bring excitement to people. We’ll then send out someone on our team to try out the experience as a little employee perk.
Ian: Choosing the right hosts is critical. We really pay attention to the customer feedback, both spoken and unspoken, and that’s taught us so many best-practices. It’s great to work with new hosts and help them turn their passion into a fantastic activity by applying all these lessons from totally separate activities.
“Choosing the right hosts is critical,” shares Ian.
What sort of new categories and areas would Vibeji like to find hosts for in the future?
Laura: We’re thinking about a poker night or something more advanced like wedding planning, fashion consulting, make-up or hair tutorials, personal training, and so on. I’ve never learned to play poker before, so maybe a good chance to connect with new people and try something new.
Even for personal training, we don’t like to be in a typical gym-like environment. The host for personal training can think of ideas like training out of a park, or in a garden somewhere with the music of the guest’s choice. We want them to be cool, be different and be creative.
Ian: Building off Laura’s examples, we’ve also had a lot of success with the arts. We’re looking for unique ideas we can put together with different dance styles, music composition and playing, graphic design, interior design, crocheting, and the list goes on. I’m also beginning to learn Muay Thai, and I’m hoping we can bring more martial arts and athletic experiences onto the platform.
Then another big category would be more professionally-related skills. We’re starting to have some really creative offerings from graphic designers helping with presentation design, standup comedians helping with public speaking, etcetera. We’re interested in working with anybody who our philosophy resonates with.
People that have never thought about teaching or sharing their passions are oftentimes our favorites to work with because we get to help them bring their concepts to life for the first time. People are so humble about their abilities, and it’s rewarding to see them develop that confidence so quickly.
“We’re always learning new things about the local market that we wouldn’t have guessed,” Ian explains.
What do you think you could do better or differently as a community manager to improve Vibeji guest experiences?
Ian: We’re constantly learning more about how we can improve. The more feedback we get, the better we can enhance the experiences for hosts, customers, and partners.
What is your pick for favorite Vibeji host?
Laura: It’s so hard to choose. One of my favorites is Tien Huynh. She’s a fashion designer that leads several wonderful experiences. She’s just the most interesting, warm, and fun person to work with. She has all of the qualities we look for in a host.
Ian: Impossible to choose one. All the hosts are amazing in their own ways with their open-mindedness and talents. I think my favorite category would be the ones that are the most unexpected for me. Seeing these hobbies that I had never heard of before that are generating a bunch of traffic, especially the new ones, validates so many of our ideas about how to create great offline experiences.
If anybody has cool ideas they might want to share on Vibeji, please email us or connect on our social media. We would love to talk.
Vibeji has built a community of more than 100 hosts on its platform.