Looking for some event management tips to help reduce stress? You’ve come to the right place. Being an event planner sounds like nothing but fun to those who don’t have to do the job. But you know it takes a lot of creativity and careful choreography to pull things off flawlessly. And that, of course, is stressful.
You’re responsible for managing vendors, presenters, performers, caterers, contracts, marketing, and all those tiny details that go into planning an event. You’re good at that, but you need to get good at managing your stress, too. So, here are some event management tips that are guaranteed to help:
1. Face it: Stress Happens
You cannot eliminate all the sources of stress, but you can greatly reduce their impact — on you, your team, and your event. Just remember that despite your best efforts, something might go wrong. Learn from that. And relax, for two reasons:
- Getting frazzled makes everything worse
- Chances are good your attendees will never know your plans went a bit askew
2. Embrace Technology... To a Point
Say yes to automated tools that streamline event planning. You could use Excel to track event details, but event planning software not only streamlines everything for you, but your entire team can also use it. That exponentially reduces stress. Use a digital note-taking tool, too — something you can carry around and link to your planning software.
Say no to technology that is not directly relevant to this event. Just because it exists and it’s hot right now doesn’t mean you have to use it. If it doesn’t significantly enhance planning or your attendees' experience, skip it. So, online registration? Yep, it streamlines the process and reduces stress for your attendees as well as you. Customized event app? Maybe.
(Side note: technology can do wonders to enhance AV aspects of your event, but you don’t want to go off-course here, either. Ask your AV team how to incorporate innovative tech in ways that won’t put undue stress on you or your budget.)
3. Cut Your Event Into Bite-Size Pieces
Experienced planners divide the work into tasks, then prioritize them. Smaller to-dos are less overwhelming, and a task list protects against overlooking some detail, gets things done in proper order, and you can celebrate every time you cross something off.
4. Try Not to Multi-Task
We’ve managed to convince ourselves that we’re smart to do nine things at once. But, the truth is, nothing gets our full attention, and that just leads to mistakes and greater stress. Yes, your day is filled with interruptions, but you can say no to things, especially if they keep you from the task at hand. Practice saying no to things that can wait.
5. Get Help
Successful (and calm) event planners rely on a team to help get things done efficiently. More brains and more hands make the work easier and the event better.
6. Be Nice to Yourself
All too often, we are our own worst enemy. We not only ignore opportunities to reduce stress, but we also generate more by putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves. This is nuts! You do not have to be available 24/7, nor should you be. You need rest — mental and physical. Your brain and body need time to regroup and refuel.
And speaking of fuel, don’t let “busy” keep you from nourishing yourself. Cramming down a candy bar or gulping an energy drink is no good. Healthy food, eaten in a fun, relaxing atmosphere, reduces stress and keeps you healthy.
At work and at home, give yourself time-outs:
- Go outside and walk around, or just sit in the sun for a few quiet moments
- Exercise for five minutes
- Meditate, or do deep-breathing exercises
- Read a book (not work-related!), or watch a movie
Pick activities that appeal to you most, but whatever you do, get some sleep. You’re no good to anybody when you’re exhausted, and you’ll only feel more pressured. As the event planner, you set the tone. If you’re a mess, everyone and everything else probably will be, too. So, if you can’t quite channel calm (yet), fake it until you get the hang of it.