During my lunch with expert event organiser Kathryn Garcia, I learnt some unexpected lessons about running events.

Kathryn Garcia, the 297th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, taught me there’s more to event management than just organising and promoting the event.

You also have to be a creative thinker and a skilled negotiator, I discovered.

For example, Kathryn is able to source quality venue spaces for free. In return, she offers something of value to the landlord, such as brand exposure or foot traffic.

She also knows how to persuade caterers to meet the budget of her clients – again, by identifying something non-financial they consider valuable and offering it to them as a makeweight.

Kathryn has adopted the same entrepreneurial approach to her own career.

Besides running an event business, Kathryn has built a wonderful digital brand, Sydney Events Things To Do, through which other event organisers can promote their own events. This brand combines an online event supplier directory, a newsletter and a Facebook group with about 5,000 members. 

Sydney Events Things To Do has allowed Kathryn to not only develop an alternative revenue stream but also establish herself as an industry authority figure. Very clever.