Jamie Vaughan, Head of European Sales at Cvent considers the year ahead and how we stay on top of our well-being.
It’s widely acknowledged that event planning is one of the most stressful jobs around. In fact, if you remove occupations in the top five that consistently cope with life-threatening situations such as firefighters, police, and enlisted military personnel, event coordinator appears right at the top.
Little surprise, perhaps, when you think of the never-ending deadlines, the multiple stakeholders from attendees to the C-Suite, long working days, and of course the curveballs that often arise at the eleventh hour, even with the most stringent planning in place.
Social media has added yet another layer of pressure. Whilst social media can be a fantastic way to communicate and show off all the good aspects of your event, the flip side is there’s no hiding. Even the slightest glitch during the show could end up going viral – having a hugely negatively impact on any event – not to mention the event organiser.
So, it’s fairly clear that the event planner role is not for the faint of heart. However, after years in the industry myself, I know one thing to be true: For all the stress involved, the buzz, the fulfilment, and the immense satisfaction of wrapping up a successful event is second to none. What live events can help businesses achieve makes it all worthwhile.
Yet as a new year looms, shouldn’t we be making a concerted effort to ensure our own well-being pre, during, and post the event is managed as effectively as possible? We all could use a little more self-care.
Here are some pointers:
- Lead by example and ensure your company is supportive of anyone who may be feeling stressed and overly anxious with an open-door policy. This is particularly important in the run-up to an event when tension is at its highest. Stress and anxiety are not always evident and can quickly escalate leaving an employee feeling isolated or worried their job may be jeopardised if they admit they are finding it difficult to cope. Some companies offer support groups – this is less about the technical aspects of the job and more about making them feel they are not alone and listening to their concerns.
- Offer work flexibility. It’s a given that in the run-up to an event, the working day extends far beyond the “typical” 9-5 – even sometimes requiring 12-18-hour days. When time and tasks allow, encourage those working long hours to catch up on sleep and to perhaps come in a couple of hours later. As we all know, when we feel re-charged, we are able to produce better work. For those employees with a lengthy commute to the office, you may offer remote working from home one or two days of the week.
- Find fun ways you can promote well-being in the office. For example, some organisations provide regular yoga classes, 20-minute head and back massages, or energising fresh fruit or smoothies during the working week.
During the event
- Ensure that everyone working the event has access to a break-out space that is completely out of sight (if at all possible) and not accessible to delegates. Stock it with healthy snacks, coffee, even essential oil diffusers to promote a sense of calm. This gives everyone a chance to kick off their shoes and take a breather – even if it is for 10 minutes!
- Take time to get feedback from everyone involved in the event, including those on the registration desk and anyone who may have been contracted in to support. By listening to the eyes and ears of your event, you can address any concerns and you may find ways to change your processes to make it less stressful in the future.
- Finally, in an industry that knows how to put on a good party, don’t forget to make sure you and the team celebrate the wrap of a successful event – whether it’s a few drinks or a big bash. The recognition goes a long way and it will provide some much-needed respite before you move on to the next big event.