Workplace stress can derive from many sources. Being in charge of all the events at one venue can be a mammoth task.
A lot of responsibility falls onto your shoulders. Not only do you need to make sure that Guests are happy and satisfied with your service and the event planning itself, you also need to ensure you are hitting targets and generating revenue for your venue.
Stress can be overwhelming at work and can mean you get tunnel vision when you’re trying so hard to focus on the tasks at hand.
The effects of workplace stress can, in fact, make you less productive, when you find it impossible to focus and start seeing fewer results. This in turn often leads to more stress!
Well, don’t panic. We’re here to give you a few tips and tricks that will help you to conquer event planning stress and cope with the everyday stresses of the events industry once and for all.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week which takes place between May 13-19, we’re revisiting our HeadBox Connect podcast with Nick Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Unmind, a proactive workplace mental health platform which offers scientifically backed tools and training for happier healthier and more human organisations.
1. Create structure and prioritise
Being in charge of event planning at your venue means you are required to spin a lot of different plates. There are so many components involved that you are constantly juggling, from vendors to your clients, budgets and beyond.
And then there will be multiple events happening throughout one week, or even one day.
Next time you sit down at your desk in the morning, try creating a to-do list for the day, and think ‘So what’s most important?’.
Prioritising what needs to be done can help you when things get tough. Having a clear list also visually shows you what you’ve got done and what’s left, rather than trying to rack your brain and remember all the smalls things you’ve been working on throughout your day.
There’s some great to-do list software out there! Some favourites of ours are Asana or Todoist. Try them out and make sure you get into the habit of doing this regularly.
We would suggest creating a weekly to-do list and then breaking that down further into daily tasks. This will help make things more manageable.
The to-do list can be daunting but if you prioritise your tasks you will be ahead of the game.
2. Take care of yourself
Something that the majority of people are guilty of in the working world, is not taking the time in the day for a break.
The longer you are trying to work on one thing, the slower your brain will be. Make sure you take regular breaks away from your desk.
Make time in your diary to go and get lunch, grab a coffee or just go for some fresh air. This will help you to reset, recharge and prepare yourself for the rest of the day.
As an event planner you are constantly running around, often juggling way too much. This chaos and stress can spill over into your private life if you aren’t careful.
It’s crucial to make time for yourself so that you don’t let work catch up with you. As event planners, this is a hard one to do, as your mind is probably running a million miles per hour.
But if you take the time to really prioritise some quiet time or regular breaks you will begin to see the benefits in your working day.
3. Set realistic goals and boundaries
At the end of the day, we are all only human. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done, no matter how hard you try.
Always make sure you are setting yourself realistic and achievable goals. If you are trying to get too much done in the day, the likelihood is you won’t be able to achieve everything you promised. That will leave you disappointed.
Another thing to remember is that you should always set boundaries. You can’t be expected to work 24 hours a day.
So make sure you set a switch off time and try to stick to that. If you want to be available a little after your office hours, make sure your clients are aware they can reach you up until a certain time and stick to it.
As event planners, we want to do everything we can to keep our client happy and make the event a success. But you are not bad at your job for wanting some time off the clock. Just make sure your boundaries are made crystal clear to your client from the offset.
4. Delegation is key
The last point is to always try to share the load. If you have a fantastic team of other event planners or a front of house team, make sure you communicate your stresses with them and work on the event planning together.
Delegating work amongst your peers will help the jobs get done quicker. Two heads is always better than one after all.
5. Build relationships with suppliers
If your venue can’t always facilitate in-house supplies such as catering, AV or other production services, work on building a bank of suppliers that you can trust and rely on when you have a big upcoming event.
Do your research into independent or small-scale suppliers, and reach out to them to find out exactly what they can offer and the type of events that they can help you with in the future.
If you have a detailed, curated list ready to go, no matter what the supplier need is, you know exactly who to go to for help. This will help lower the stress of trying to find someone last-minute and lower the likelihood of a negative supplier experience.
Having plenty of options will also help event planning stress as if one supplier can’t help you, you have a few more options to try.
There you have it. Our five top tips for conquering event planning stress.
Implement these into your working day and you will soon notice a massive difference to your outlook on work and the overall success of the events you are planning.
For more tips on wellness in the workplace, be sure to read our article about how mindfulness can ease daily stresses over on the Eventwell blog.
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