After embracing a new role this year as Director of Engagement for Terramar, Kate is ready to help the industry “tune up” its business practices. Enjoy this “encore” blog version of a smash-hit presentation Kate was asked to deliver at IMEX America in October, inspired by someone whose star is (nearly) as bright as Kate’s: the one and only Taylor Swift.
And with a new Swift album released shortly after Kate delivered her talk, the timing couldn’t be better. Get ready to press play, as we dig into some tips from ‘Tay2 and chart out what a new year might hold!
This advice from the top of her IMEX talk was delivered literally and figuratively, Kate says.
Leaning toward the literal first, it’s on event profs to remember that people look to us to feel out the energy in the room, Kate stresses. If we’re frantically running around, that’s the energy your attendees will (usually, unfortunately and unhelpfully) embrace. So deep breaths, back up — and encourage everyone to “take several seats and then try to restore the peace” next time things start spiralling!
End-of-year season is also a good time to embrace the more figurative side of Kate’s advice. Now’s the time to pause, then get ready to embrace both changes and different or new perspectives heading into 2023, Kate suggests.
You never know who you’ll work for or work with, Kate sagely reminds us. Burning bridges and expecting to still be successful in the industry will only leave you with the kind of deep cuts Taylor croons about, in this tip’s namesake track. Leave every situation and relationship a little better than how you found it instead, she advises.
Kate’s trick for doing this? Take a step back from emotional situations. How you react will write the story of how you’re perceived. Keep a sense of levity, a level head, and a long-term outlook rather than react in the moment to something.
You’ll have to tap Kate herself for a more personal take on the advice backing this tip — but her insights on how this Taylor track applies to DMCs are just as fascinating.
Kate’s resolving for the new year, on behalf of her DMC peers (and for the sake of clients, too!), for all of us to be more assertive. Her call to action? For us to focus on giving and sharing information transparently, being confident in what you’re bringing to the table, and allowing space for a response rather than rushing to fill awkward silences (or inbox lapses, if you’re trading emails).
Some may call her “mad” for it, sure — but it’s about reading cues and body language, Kate says.
If the trust is there that a DMC will be an ideal partner that will price things fairly and bring great ideas to your event, then both parties should feel confident enough and know when to ask for commitments to book that business — without requiring a DMC to submit a full proposal or diving too deep into the scope of work before there’s commitment from both sides.
Kate wrapped up her talk — and we’re closing out this post — with a nod to the state of the business events industry. We’re not in the clear just yet, Kate agrees: things have shifted, but work is being requested on compressed timeline, with a need to hold budgets close until everyone sees how things will continue to play out.
There’s always going to be hurdles, says Kate. It’s about how we react and handle it though that sets clients and their DMC partners apart.
Kate will be leading the Foundation’s board as they work on doubling the assistance offered in 2023. She’s also brimming with ideas for how anyone interested can get involved if they’d like to give back as part of this industry initiative.
Our sincere thanks to Kate for sharing her wisdom, and for always stepping up in her role as the resident Swiftie in the DMC Network, too!
We’re always sharing more from our conversations on the DMC Network’s social media pages. Catch more of our discussion here:
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She’s about as far from an “Anti-Hero” as you’ll find in the DMC Network, which is what makes Kate Patay a perfect fit for today’s post.
And for those in need of some extra support in what are undoubtedly tough times: the DMC Network is also excited to congratulate Kate on her recent successful election to a second term as chairperson of the SEARCH Foundation.