Last time we checked, being an event planner was ranked as one of the top five most stressful professions of 2016. Event managers need to coordinate what seems like a million different things and between linens, lighting, and lists, something is bound to go wrong. Sometimes a vendor will fall through or event attendance is double what you expected; no matter what happens, professional event planners are always expected to keep their cool and take control.
As we can attest, hosting amazing events never gets easier. Thankfully, we've learned a few tips and tricks from our years of experience, and we're letting you in on our secrets for stress-free event planning!
We all know it's not a good idea to loose your cool on show site. Blowing up at a colleague or staff member won't look good for you, or your company. Unfortunately, people often fix this problem by bottling up anger, which can lead to problems with friends and family who have to deal with your breakdowns.
Instead of harboring an aggressive attitude, find a productive way to deal with anger or frustration. For some people, that’s writing it down. Get your frustrations out on paper and then toss it in the trash or type it out on your phone and then delete the draft. It’s important to express what you’re feeling if you want to be able to move on.
Another way to combat any frustrations or stress build-up is to learn a few breathing exercises. If you can take a minute or two to yourself, try these breathing exercises that expel anxiety and then re-energize you.
Here's some of our favorites: Start with an abdominal breathing technique to relax. With one hand on your chest and the other on your belly, take a deep breath through the nose so that your diaphragm inflates. Take six to 10 slow, deep breaths.
Re-energize using the Nadi Shodhana or “alternate nostril breathing” technique. Hold your right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with your ring finger and then exhale through the right nostril. Continue this pattern for 10 breaths.
Pro tip: Preparation is key to managing event stress. Make sure you're prepared for a new year of events with our free, downloadable 2017 Event Trends Guide!
Simply smiling has been scientifically proven to make us happier and less anxious. Although smiling may be the last thing you want to do when things are going wrong, you can give yourself a little boost by making the effort.
Furthermore, smiling helps you relate with others. By smiling when things get tricky at your event, you don't only convey confidence to your team, but also encourage them to connect with you and help you with whatever you need.
As an event manager, you have to deal with stressful changes all the time. If you find yourself having a hard time coping, you may want to find an uplifting mantra or short, meaningful phrase that you can repeat to yourself when it’s time to overcome a challenge.
If mantras are really your style, try listening to music. Music has been proven to have the power to physically calm us down, or excite us. Find a “pump you up” song you can listen to when you need a boost, and an “everything will be okay” song to keep you calm when things go awry.
When it comes time to problem solve, don’t put all of that pressure solely on yourself. Event managers and control freaks have a tendency to do this, usually because they think it will be faster to do it themselves than to assign the task, but it isn’t the most efficient way to manage an event stress-free.
Delegate all of the responsibilities you can so you free up your time to deal with the big stuff and make sure everything stays (or gets back) on track. If there really is a task only you can do, take a coworker along to watch how you do it so they can take over that job next time.
Rely on your staff or event production company to take care of the small stuff. It might be hard to relinquish control, but it’s essential during crunch time if you’ve got a mess to clean up.
It’s easy to use words like “disaster,” “mess,” and “failure” when things aren’t going according to plan, but those negative words don’t help you overcome challenges, they just cause stress.
When we use negative words, our brain releases the stress hormone cortisol, which impairs our ability to think big-picture and has major impacts on our physical well-being like heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion.
Keep cortisol at bay by re-labeling challenges as “opportunities to get creative” or “learning experiences.” If you can change the way you think about difficulties, you not only keep yourself from becoming stressed, you may also find a new way of looking at the problem that allows you to solve it better.
Being an event manager is no easy job, but these stress relief techniques can help you keep your cool when it seems like everything is going wrong.
To avoid that feeling from the get-go, get In The Event™ involved. Our event production specialists are experts in producing seamless events, and our large in-house inventory of event rental furniture and technology can help you overcome any challenge that comes your way.
Check out how we solved the problem of boring, old events with one killer event planners secret with our free guide!