Planning an event is no walk in the park. It involves a lot of thoughtful planning and seamless execution. Along with the meticulous attention to detail also comes the stress and anxiety of ensuring that everything will flow smoothly.
Beyond the glitz and glam of every event, there is a backstage full of people scrambling and cramming to make sure everything is going according to plan.
Stress-busters at Work
If you have experienced managing an event or are about to embark on an event planning journey, know that you will be facing numerous challenges. Along the way, adventures of every kind will pepper your event planning experience. Without proper knowledge and guidance, you can easily get sucked in by the stress of it all and drag your event down to the pits of despair.
On the other hand, if you know how to properly handle stress, then you can overcome it and emerge victorious. Knowing how to take the stress out of your event planning will help in the successful staging of your project.
To skip the stress, here are some noteworthy tips from expert event planners:
1. Make a Checklist
Break down your tasks by creating a checklist. You can have a master list of all the major things you need to do, then break it down to little bite-sized pieces to make everything more manageable.
Creating lists will also show you where you are in your to-do tasks. Checking off your daily checklist will also make you feel more accomplished. There’s something satisfying in seeing those tasks crossed off that fuels you to achieve what’s next.
There are plenty of apps and reminders to make this easier for you, so make use of them. If you still prefer handwritten notes, then go create those. Do whatever makes you happy.
2. Build a Winning Team
With all the moving parts involved in setting up an event, it is easy to get weighed down by all the responsibilities. To avoid being bogged down by the million things you need to do, create a strong team and designate tasks accordingly.
Place the right people in the right positions so they can better handle the demands. This will also make your operations flow smoothly as you know you have placed accountable people that you can trust. Allow them to step up to the plate and share the spotlight.
Assign reasonable tasks, set realistic expectations, establish clear communication, and conduct regular meetings to see where everyone is at. Make sure that you do not micromanage as it defeats the very purpose of delegating assignments. Remember, divide and conquer.
3. Choose a “Nest”
There will be times when you and your team will need to work on location. When this happens, make sure to request to have a proper place where you can work.
Having a designated place or space will make it more conducive to work as well as hold meetings with your team or other suppliers. It can also serve as a storage area for your personal belongings or for other equipment that you will need to conduct your work properly.
Make sure that you also have a quiet nook where you or your teammates can decompress. It can just be a small room or corner where nobody can bother you unnecessarily.
4. Bring In Technology
Today, events planning and management are made easier and more convenient with the use of apps, gadgets, and other technological advancements.
Make use of the available technology to make your life easier. From task apps to online registration forms, data collection tools, communication software, digital signage, and other modern conveniences, technology plays a key role in reducing the stress in every event.
You can also use technology to make your event more interesting. From an integrated social, online, and mobile marketing gimmick to awesome digital screens, AI, or virtual reality gizmos, catching (and holding) your audiences’ attention will be an easier task.
It also facilitates better interaction, especially with the use of social media platforms that engage and invite people to a more experiential event.
5. Assign a Point Person
To streamline operations, you should assign a point person in your team to handle specific tasks. This way, it will be easier for you to monitor and manage the event flow.
At the same time, it is also crucial that you request for a point person among your suppliers and contacts. For example, ensure that you are talking to one person only regarding the venue. If he has a colleague or assistant, it’s ok to keep them in the loop as part of a contingency plan.
Also, make sure you have their contact details for emergencies. Knowing that you can contact someone who knows the details of the event can already unburden you.
6. Stop and Smell the Roses
The demands of the event can take its toll on you if you don’t take a breather from time to time. Make sure you set aside time for you or your teammates to take a break. A quick walk outside or a brief look-see of the grounds can help in clearing your head and reset.
Aside from giving you that breath of fresh air, looking around the venue (especially if you’re on location) will also help you experience what the guests are seeing. If you’re planning to attract the local market, visiting the area will also give you tips for attracting them to your event.
In any case, whether it’s a swift stroll around the block or a few hours scoping out the venue and local culture, the break will surely refresh and re-energize you.
7. Practice Self-care
Even if you think that you cannot spare a single second while managing the event, you can surely benefit from not breaking your self-care routine.
If you usually get up and do yoga, or are used to going on morning runs, continue to do so. If you’re a breakfast person, do not skip this meal. If you absolutely have to be in bed by 9 p.m., then stick to it. In the whirlwind of activity before and during the event, it is easy to forget to practice self-care.
However, self-care is important not only for your emotional, mental, and physical health, but also for productivity. When you feel good, then you are wired to be more focused on your tasks.
When you’re out of town for an event, you can also consider bringing a pillow from home, setting up your music playlist, or packing a stash of your favorite snacks. Having things that are familiar to you will also make you feel more comforted. This is another form of taking care of yourself so that you can be in tip-top shape to manage the event.
Less Stress for Success
Stress is almost synonymous to event planning and management. There are things that pop up out of the blue, there are expectations to be met, and there are goals to be attained.
In spite of all of these, you have to remember that you only have one body. You need rest and relaxation just like everybody else. That is why it is crucial to form a trustworthy and reliable team, delegate, and create a list of tasks and timelines that you can stick to. A slew of technological gadgets can also help address all the demands of the event.
Plan out a strategy that will involve all the tips mentioned above. When you follow these stress-busting techniques, chances are, you will be happier and more energized to ensure the success of your event.
Charlotte Manzi is the Creative & Project Director at BlueInk Event Management in Dubai. Launched in 2012, BlueInk provides its clients with bespoke, best-in-class event management services. The team’s pursuit of going beyond satisfaction enables them to advise, manage and execute extraordinary experiences that are exceptional and unforgettable.