Event Industry Then VS. Now With Kate Patay

We recently asked our AllSeated Ambassadors to talk to us about how the event industry has evolved over their years in the business.

Here is what Kate Patay  of Patay Consulting had to say!

What was the event business and industry like when you started out? What systems were in place? 

When I started off working in the catering & events department at a conference center, we worked with a big leather-bound “bible” that weighed an absolute ton. We were only allowed to write in it using a pencil because as we all know in the event world…things change.

If you’ve never seen one of these big books, picture a black leather planner/agenda that is around 2.5’x1.5′ in size— it was the slate and chisel version of current venue software.

And if you had a Sneaky McSneakerson on your team that wanted a room more than you,  you would quickly notice eraser marks with their client name written over the space you had “held.” If you’re nodding your head right now and cursing “that witch Susan” then I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. Sorry for the flashbacks.

There was no such thing as diagramming software back in the day. Dare I get started on the diagramming “software” we thought we had going for us?!?! I mean, I’m going to because this is an interview for AllSeated….something I WISH I had when I was starting off in my career!

Thank goodness for advancements in technology. I remember tracing pocket change on paper, which was never to scale, when we couldn’t find our ball bearing compasses for diagrams. The best part was mailing them to clients when they refused to accept that faxing was safe. For reals. OMG….I also walked uphill both ways with no shoes. Jeez! Can we get on to the next question before people figure out my real age?!?!

What’s your fondest industry memory from when you first started?

I always loved the idea that I was helping people to celebrate a life moment, milestone, or come together for some larger purpose. It was so cool to know that I was playing a small part in their success. I still feel that way a lot, but I think sometimes we need that reminder. I’m definitely very in tune with feelings and emotions, so when the event is a smashing success I feel that joy right alongside the client; which on the flip side has led me to be a perfectionist because I feel the disappointment when something doesn’t go right.

It’s simply amazing how technology has changed the way we work, idea share and communicate today. These changes have helped while also raising the bar for our industry as a whole. We’ve come a long way, baby!

To elaborate on that, whats the biggest difference that you see then vs. now?

I think we’ve had a shift in the mindset of the industry, as there are no secrets in this day and age. Transparency is key. Information is at the fingertips of our clients and our competition, so we need to stay the course and continue to take the high road for long-term success. I see so many people who are helping to educate and elevate our industry in a positive manner, and I applaud them. Those are the people you surround yourself with!

How are clients different today?

While today’s clients have more information available to them at their fingertips, it’s not always 100% accurate. If there is a meme for “I read it on the internet so it must be true” then that needs to go here. A lot of today’s clients see amazing, gorgeous, over the top events, but they don’t know the time, labor, and expense that goes into creating them, so I think we spend a lot more time educating clients as to our value as an industry.

Today’s clients also want a bigger say in their event….the buzzword of 2015…and 2016…and 2017….and probably forever now: PERSONALIZATION. They want to feel as though their event isn’t cookie cutter. Today’s clients want their events designed for them specifically, so that’s one of the several reasons why platforms like AllSeated are great. You can give them a “say” in the look of the event and allow them in to adjust and tweak, but you can also have key items that you know logistically need to be somewhere locked so they can’t affect the overall success with a mis-click.

Out of all of the technology available, what attracted you to AllSeated?

I liked AllSeated best because of the many layers of the team and the technology. The AllSeated team was so easy to work with from the start — they listened to my questions, gave thoughtful answers and they actually came up with solutions instead of just telling me it wasn’t possible — or simply saying something that I’d want to hear.

They shape and advance the platform based on the input of experienced event professionals so that it really is a useful tool and you aren’t trying to figure out work-arounds consistently. It just works. And works well. Any time I’ve been asked which platforms a company I’m working with should consider, AllSeated is always top of the list – they just get it. And they’re usually first to market with their technology, so it makes me look good to my clients to be using the most advanced technology possible for this niche. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Learn more:

Event Industry Then VS. Now With Michael Cerbelli

Event Industry Then VS. Now With Dave Merrell