8 Traps Mentally Strong Event Professionals Avoid
Whether you’re a veteran event professional or someone considering the profession, it is a grueling career with high burnout rates. For planners who want to make a career out of it, they need to avoid these common mental traps.
It’s a popular misconception that event planning is all fun – one giant party after another. It can be emotionally and physically grueling work. There’s a high rate of burnout in the profession. If you want to be an event planner who goes the distance you have to remain mentally strong and avoid these pitfalls.
This one probably accounts for most of the event planner burnout. Event coordinator is the fifth-most stressful positions in 2016, behind jobs like enlisted military, firefighter, pilot and police officer. If you remove from that list people whose lives are in jeopardy every time they perform their job, you’re left with the #2 position behind pilot. The survey cited having to achieve the client’s vision as the major cause of stress for event professionals.
Mentally strong event pros learn quickly how to manage stress because blowing up – one of the most brilliant ways to let it out – simply isn’t an option in this line of work.
Pride is not only one of the seven deadly sins but it can also be detrimental to an event planner’s career. It’s easy to get an inflated ego when you put together amazing events, meet exciting people, and visit top-notch venues. And you have to be confident in order to woo clients. But that’s where the pride needs to end. When you’re hosting an event, you need to fade into the background and let the host take all of the credit (at least in front of attendees). This is incredibly difficult for one’s ego, but mentally strong event pros do it and they do it every time.
Whether you’re the most outgoing extrovert out there, and most of us are, or you need time away from the crowds to get your bearings, everyone needs to unplug. While I might argue in today’s world as an event planner there’s no work/life balance, you do need time for yourself. Event planners tend to be round-the-clock people but very few can keep that pace up indefinitely.
If you simply can’t walk away, then take time every once in a while to refocus. Have someone else run point on the event and focus on a goals day or work on your business plans for the future. Mentally strong event planners know that focusing on something other than the client will give you a pleasant break but still helps you feel like you’re doing something productive for your future.
Feeling Like You Made It and There’s Nothing More to Do
For incredibly successful event planners, success itself can be a trap. Today, no one can be content to rest on their laurels or their name. There’s always something new to learn or some way to innovate or streamline the process. If you’re not making time for creative thinking or professional development of some kind – even if it’s leafing through a magazine or going online and reading what the industry is doing – you’re likely to get left behind. No matter how famous, or how in demand, you are there are always things for the event pro to learn.
Adjusting Your Bio Rhythm Clock to Your Clients’
Event planners don’t have the luxury of being a night owl or an early bird. Events go way into the night and start very early in the morning. You will be required to work both, at least until you get to the point when you are picking and choosing your clients.
Yawning is not allowed so you better discover a love for espresso or figure out a way to adjust your body sleep preferences to your work schedule. Mentally strong event professionals have a good command of their sleep, even when they get very little of it.
Taking It Personally
While it’s terrible to admit, there are going to be days on the job when the client misbehaves, the A-lister entertainer gets demanding, and someone accuses you of trying to sabotage the whole affair by having the wrong after-dinner mints delivered. It happens, even to the best of us.
A mentally strong event planner knows this sort of treatment is not personal. It’s more of an indicator of the other person’s level of stress, frustration, or poor manners. Successful event pros allow this type of stuff to roll off their backs and not hold a grudge but they also know how to politely explain that type of treatment will not be tolerated not by them and not by their staff.
Always Being On
Not only do you need to take time away from events on occasion, a mentally tough event pro must learn to compartmentalize. There are times when family or your significant other will require you to be off-the-clock and just be a normal attendee. While it’s tempting at a family wedding to give the caterer some efficiency tips, it usually ends poorly. Don’t fall into the trap of always being on. Occasionally for your own sanity, and that of those who love you, you will need to check your career at the door.
Knowing Your Value
One of the hardest parts of running a business is knowing what you’re worth. Many people tend to undervalue themselves and their services. Then they end up having a hard time making ends meet when they factor in the number of hours they’re working. Event planning is not the type of position you can have as a side job. It’s all consuming.
Mentally strong event planners know their worth and select clients that are a good fit for them from the beginning. Ditch the temptation to take everything offered to you. It’s exhausting to work with a client who isn’t a good fit and doesn’t offer the kind of work you enjoy doing.
Being an event planner requires a lot of mental agility and stamina. You need to develop ways to effectively handle stress, carve out time for yourself and your business, and keep your ego in check.
What is your biggest challenge mentally and how do you deal with it?
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