Calling all #EventProfs: read on for wise advice from an industry veteran! Learn from Kate Patay about:
- Getting into the business (both how she did it and questions you should ask along the way)
- Building your personal brand
- Predictions for the future of the industry (and what this means for you)
For tips and tricks to boost your brand and your business, look no further. Break into an events career now and get your small business rolling!
Who is Kate Patay?
As the Chief Strategy Officer of Patay Consulting—a firm that focuses on determining and uplifting businesses’ images—and a lecturer at the International School of Hospitality in Las Vegas, Kate Patay has had her fair share of events experience. With over 20 years of practice in the events and hospitality industries, she is able to offer sage advice to anyone who may be looking to grow their own career in the events industry.
Like many others in the events industry, Kate started out working in a restaurant, mainly in events and off-property catering. The fast-paced work environment was exactly what she was looking for and resulted in her budding and ever-growing love for the industry. She worked as a catering and events manager, assisted with a hotel-and-casino’s rebrand in fabulous Las Vegas, and then moved on to a sister property that was opening a new freestanding addition, eventually becoming a vendor/supplier. Of all her past experiences, she explains that there was not one specific turning point that got her to where she is now, but rather a combination of all these past experiences that culminated in her current position.
Patay Consulting is a successful consulting firm that has helped a variety of individuals and businesses find their voice and boost their brands. Kate planned to start her own business two years prior to the actual launch. Her motivation was a desire for continuous growth and evolution as well as taking opportunities as they came.
She encourages event pros to ask:
- Who am I? Am I portraying my authentic self to my prospective clients?
- What is my company’s goal?
- Am I willing to say no to business that will not benefit my company and my end goal in the long run?
- How can I provide the best service to my clients to suit their needs? (Learn more about this here)
By determining the answers to these questions, she has been able to genuinely and effectively serve her clients. Kate found that being selective with clients is important, as business is a two-way street. While she has since figured out her formula, there are still pain points, the biggest being getting everything done and keeping track of it all. With the right people and the right technology, she explains that this is more than doable—you just have to see what works best for you.
Looking towards the Future
As an expert on past changes and current trends, she also has insight into big industry changes that will be occurring in the next few years. Currently, the biggest changes in the industry are technology based. Everything for event companies is being automated, from the first to the last step of your business processes. As more systems and market networks are created, it can seem overwhelming. Experimenting with demos and trials as well as checking out webinars is a great way to see what could work for your business and what is maybe smart to avoid. Change can be daunting, but switching over to upgraded technology can improve efficiency, impress current and potential clients, and turn you into an industry leader.
In the future, Kate predicts event trends such as:
- Increased consolidation
- More agencies having in-house planning options
- A rise in planning via technology and apps
She cautions that this could mean the removal of the human element. Another concern she has is the underbidding and undervaluing of what event professionals do. She urges those in the industry to be transparent about all aspects of the business, including staffing and pricing. Providing a transparent process creates a relationship founded on trust between company and client.
Kate’s Advice for Event Pros
Kate encourages #EventProfs (like you!) to share collective knowledge with each other and create more standardized policies within the industry. Along with this advice, she suggests finding a mentor or hiring a consultant that can assist in navigating the hurdles that come with the job, both forecasted and not. Don’t go it alone! Doing it right the first time is more efficient and cost effective. See what works for you, your company, and your clients, and learn from those who have made mistakes in the past so that you don’t have to. And if you do make mistakes, own them and grow from them!
Finally, Kate lists off a few tried and true tricks to growing your career and business:
- Know yourself and be true to your strengths
- Hire to your weaknesses to create a rockstar team
- Surround yourself with people who have the same core ethics as you
- Always go with your gut
- Be transparent
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or hire a second set of eyes to gain a fresh perspective
With these tips, you are more equipped to launch your events career and boost your brand. If you are interested in hearing more from Kate Patay, check out her website and see how she can further assist you.