With all of the unrest and uncertainty in the world because of Covid-19, we chose to publish this article on event planning burnout to help you. Event planners and speakers alike, are facing a huge downturn because of canceled or postponed events, and here at eSpeakers we are no different. Preventing Burnout during these times will be important as you work to keep yourself afloat. If you are struggling with how to approach the coming months, you should also read our article about how to move your speaking career to the virtual sphere.
How do you prevent burnout as an event planner?
Did you know that event planning is one of the most stressful jobs there is? That’s right; right after firefighters, police officers, and airplane pilots come the unsung heroes of the event industry—the planners!
Those of you who are planners yourselves know exactly why that is the case. Demanding clients, finicky speakers, thousands of guests, deal-making vendors, and all the logistics that go along with the million moving parts involved in pulling off a major event or convention, it all falls on the shoulders of the hard-working event planner. Not to mention mastering marketing and figuring out food!
All the facts and science are in and we’ve known this for a while: stress is a killer. Especially in these times when the economy is uncertain and competition can be fierce, planners are working harder than ever and taking on more work and more responsibility, and often at lower rates than they had in the past. This all adds up to some stressed out, overworked event coordinators.
So how do event planners keep healthy and prevent burnout? We’ve compiled some tips to help you take care of yourself when the stress-meter is turned up to max.
Five tips to prevent burnout for you and your event planning team:
1. Self-care, self-care, self-care.
The first and essential way to prevent burnout is to have a strong, calm body and mind before you even get started. This means making taking care of yourself your top priority at all times. This includes before, during and after an event; working shouldn’t mean that you put your own health on the back burner, ever.
We know it’s hard when you have a million different demands that you need to get to, yesterday, to just stop and meditate or go for a yoga class. Yeah, right! You’re thinking. We hear you! But self-care can be much more simple and mean just a few conscious choices per day.
Like making a commitment to shut your phone every night is enough time to get to bed and get a proper night’s sleep. Or eating a decent breakfast, or bringing healthy snacks with you in your bag instead of grabbing muffins and chocolate bars all day. And yes, you can find time to meditate if you really try—try five minutes in your car each morning before you run into your first appointment.
2. Love your job.
If you don’t love your job, you’re fighting a losing battle from the beginning, and we hate to tell you, but there really isn’t any way to prevent burnout in this situation.
The truth is, in order to deal with such a high-stress job without completely breaking down, you need to have a passion for it. It’s the fuel that keeps you going. Do some research before you begin a career as a planner and find out what it’s really like being in those trenches.
There are so many things to think about when you’re planning an event…and choosing and hiring the right speakers is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Working with eSpeakers can take all the guesswork out of it; we work with you to find the perfect speaker at the right price. Check out our marketplace of top-tier speakers and get started here.
A lot of control-happy and over-organizing planners find this difficult! But a sure way to prevent burnout and decision fatigue is to offload some of your responsibilities to other members of your team. Even if you’re an independent planner, invest in a few staff members to help you with setups, to liaise with clients, or attend to registration and other tasks so you’re freer to deal with putting out fires and problem-solving.
Letting go of control, even just a little, can make a big difference and help prevent burnout.
4. Set your limits.
Boundaries are non-negotiable. As a planner, you are in high demand from multiple parties, often for months at a time. Setting limits and learning how to say “no” are skills that every planner should practice.
Setting limits takes a lot of different forms. It can include things like deciding you will not respond to work emails between set hours every night, to not accepting back-to-back contracts, to letting another team member deal exclusively with a certain vendor who has a knack for stressing you out.
Setting limits, even if they are small, can help prevent burnout by chipping away at your building stress levels. Let your team members help you create boundaries that will keep you from reaching your limit.
5. Recovery is key.
We all need downtime, especially after enduring months of high-stress situations, day after day. That’s why in order to prevent burnout it’s important to let your mind and body decompress as much as you can.
Ideally, this means taking a break between contracts. But we know that many of you can’t do that, often for financial reasons. So try to at least bookend each job with a few days of downtime, even if it means just flying into a location early so you can spend a day preparing yourself and getting a good night’s rest in before you jump into the fray. Or, after a show wraps, spending an extra night in your hotel just to have a moment to breathe and regroup before hitting the road again.
We know it can seem impossible to lessen stress as an event planner or an event planning team. But with these suggestions and a few adjustments to your professional routine, you can turn down the anxiety and prevent burnout for you and your team.
Are you a planner? What do you do to prevent burnout? Let us know in the comments!
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