We are delighted to welcome Kate Kassar, Director of BEYOND events to our next C&C PA Collective event.
Before setting up BEYOND, Kate worked as a Senior Project Manager, creating bespoke hospitality around major international sports tournaments, film premieres and music events, a highlight of which was a 6-day hospitality programme entertaining 2,500 VIPs at Madonna’s “Drowned World” Tour. From there she broadened her experience, working in sports sponsorship then running the Marketing Department for an American law firm in Mayfair.
Kate set up BEYOND in 2004, an event agency specialising in project management and consultancy to deliver “intelligent events”. Project management: the “intelligent event” not only delivers a seamless project, it meets marketing objectives and hits return on investment targets. Consultancy: to help clients “DIY” (or manage their own events) with training in key areas from concept creation to post-event reconciliation.
BEYOND’s mission is to make agency and client work more collaboratively together as one integrated team, not as two separate entities with the same goal. We caught up with Kate below:
Can you sum up what you do in a sentence?
We manage events for companies or we advise and train them on how to manage events themselves.
Why did you decide to get into this?
When I finished university (having studied languages) I lived abroad for a while, working freelance as a translator at events. I worked at some really glamorous events, such as the Venice Film Festival, and some less glamorous like an international pig farming conference! I was inspired by what it took to get an event up and running, and in equal proportions gobsmacked that the set could look total chaos one minute and then be glossy, shiny & ready to go live the next. I was hooked. Obviously the fact that it was a social job where I would meet loads of people, be out of the office a lot, travel and attend incredible events was secondary!
What are the big plans for the BEYOND team right now?
To work with more charities and institutions as well as corporate clients. We can genuinely turn their spend into an investment, helping them to save money & gain real tangible value from their events. Plus they’re really lovely people to work with.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken that’s paid off?
Setting up BEYOND! Before that, I was running the marketing department of a law firm and part of my role was events. An old events colleague came in to join me as a freelancer and we managed a large-scale conference together. On her first day she asked me “Why are you here when you could set up on your own?” Just a few months later, BEYOND was born, and that same colleague became my right hand man!
Work – life balance, what’s the secret?
Be present – know when to put your mobile phone on to silent & hide it in a cupboard.
What’s the one success habit that’s changed your business?
Keep asking for feedback – good, bad or ugly. As a business owner there is no-one to give you an appraisal so ask your staff to be brutally honest. I did today and while it wasn’t pretty, it was worth it.
What makes you happiest about your work?
We have a charity client which meets in a war-torn or deprived location each year for their annual conference. They work with children to lift them from all sorts of harrowing situations and they come from some of the poorest countries of the world. Each year at the end of the conference they spontaneously burst into song and dance and that, on its own is enough to make our job worthwhile. Knowing that we facilitate their communication across the globe is definitely the happiest feeling.
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