Event Coordinator made Forbes 2017 “Most Stressful Jobs” list of 2017 and (you’re probably aware) it’s for good reason. Events have a lot of moving parts–everything from budget to promotion to organizing those long lines out the door.
Get in the mental game before your next event with these tried-and-true tips:
Compartmentalizing is a valuable skill when organizing an event. It’s isolating one challenge from all of the others. When getting started, keep tasks separate and clearly defined. Make several lists, using different colored notepads, such as a green notepad for staff and a yellow one for venue logistics. Switching between lists and notes will allow your mind to recognize you’re focusing on different tasks. It also comes in handy when delegating work to others because you can easily find and hand them a copy of the to-do list. Use these 5 steps of compartmentalization to get in the practice of compartmentalizing before your next event.
2. Stay Organized.
Take notes and lots of them, but make sure that you aren’t just writing down thought fragments. Note-taking is most effective when you can strain out needless information. Think of your notes as detailed instructions for somebody who has no idea what’s going on in your mind.
3. Eat Well and Hydrate.
When you’re busy, eating healthy and drinking water tends to slip. But it’s crucial. Nuts, fruit, grains, granola and raw veggies give the sustained energy you need. A quality protein bar will work, but avoid sugary snacks, chips and other convenience foods. Find a water bottle you love and keep it with you at all times.
4. Get Plenty of Rest.
We all need to recharge our batteries. Event planners tend to work long into the evening and often don’t get enough down time. Give yourself real breaks when you aren’t thinking about the event or doing anything strenuous. Prioritize sleep and take a power nap. According to this article, the ideal power nap takes place between 1-4 PM and is between 10-30 minutes long.
5. Don’t Overthink.
Indecision can create confusion, frustration, and ultimately leave you mentally exhausted. Once you’ve made a decision, trust your instincts and stick to your guns. Of course, there are always scenarios that will force you to change things and hopefully, that happens early in the planning process. When making major decisions such as venue or date, find as many viable options as you can and weigh the pros vs. cons carefully. Then go with the best option for your situation.
Be clear in your communication with every person that is involved with planning, promoting, and putting on your event. When working with vendors, repeat everything that is agreed upon back to them in an email so you have it all in writing. Also repeat important details to your staff, venue managers, friends who are helping, even potential attendees. Double-checking that all parties are clear on what’s happening helps events run smoothly. Once you have established and practiced this protocol, your mind is freed up to then focus on other tasks.
You can apply this clarity to your promotional efforts as well, which will help you in turn get more people to the event.
7. Stick to What You Know.
You can’t be an expert at everything. If you aren’t sure how to set up a buffet for example, just don’t do it. Delegate, so you can focus on the things you are skilled in. Find someone on your team who has the skill or hire out if the budget allows. It will take the weight off of you and ensure the task is done and done well.
The better every aspect of your event is planned and executed, the happier your attendees will be and more likely they will be to attend future events.
8. Prepare for Things to Break.
Here’s the deal. Things will go wrong. Expect the worst but don’t panic when it happens—it could be as simple as the caterer having to slightly alter the menu or as disastrous as a pipe bursting at your venue the day before your event. Instead of freaking out (waste of time), regroup and come up with a plan of action.
If you need to cancel or postpone your event, begin communicating it to everyone immediately—your team, attendees, ticketing company and all of your vendors. If the worst happens and the event can’t go on, consider postponing your event instead of a flat-out cancellation. Postponing your event will save you money, help maintain relationships with all involved, retain attendees, and spare you from the process of re-planning the entire event. Take a deep breath and go on. Keep in mind that if you have to cancel an event, you can reach us 24/7 and our staff will help walk you through the process.
9. Implement Rewards.
It’s important to be rewarded for your efforts. Setting goals and pre-determined rewards will help you keep motivated. Maybe it’s an event finale, like fireworks, a wrap-up bonfire or staff party. Or maybe it’s simpler and more individual – sleeping in the night after the event or cracking open a new book. If you’re working with a team, keep morale up by treating them to coffee once in awhile and giving “thank you” favors after the event.
Remember, happy people are productive people. Treat your crew well and congratulate yourself when it’s all over–having an event is a huge deal.