Event Coordinator made Forbes’ list of The Most Stressful Jobs in 2017 and (as you’re probably aware) it’s for good reason. Events have a lot of moving parts–everything from budget to promotion to managing those long lines out the door.
Get in the mental game before your next event with these tried-and-true tips:
Compartmentalizing isn’t always a bad thing. It can even be a valuable skill when organizing an event because it helps you isolate one challenge from all of the others. When getting started, keep tasks separate and clearly defined. Use different colored notepads, pens, or labels to designate different types of tasks (staff, venue logistics, promotion, etc). Switching between different colors will allow your mind to recognize that you’re focusing on different tasks. 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 filter 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, healthy eating and hydration tend to slip. But they’re crucial. Keep quick snacks on hand, like fruit, nuts, or veggies and hummus. Focus on sources of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to provide the sustained energy you need, and 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. Try to schedule a couple 15-minute breaks per day, where you don’t think about the event at all. If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep at night, 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 and cons carefully. Then, go with the best option for your situation.
Be clear in your communication with every person that’s involved in 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, and even potential attendees. Double-checking that all parties are clear on what’s happening helps events run smoothly. Soon this will become second nature, freeing up your mind to focus on other tasks.
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, now may not be the time to learn. Delegate, so you can focus on your strengths. 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 your event is planned and executed, the happier your attendees will be and the 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 and energy), 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 can 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 carry on. Keep in mind that if you have to cancel an event, you can reach us 24/7 and our specialists 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, like 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–putting on a successful event is a huge accomplishment.