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Being an event planner is one of the most rewarding, fun, and creative jobs out there. However, there are times when planners just want to getaway, or punch a wall (literally), due to the overwhelming amount of stress and responsibility that goes with the role.
It takes a particular person who understands the ins and outs of event planning to manage events. You have to stay head steady, and have a positive attitude at all times – or it will definitely show. Below are five things that truly do tire event planners day in and day out.
Want Some Whine with that Cheese??
One thing that can become overwhelmingly tiresome are the whiny people event planners have to deal with. These can be vendors demanding they come first, or attendees asking a million questions over and over again. It’s sometimes hard to prioritize getting back to everyone, especially when they may want answers right away. One way to look past the whiny-ness is to create relationships from the very get-go with everyone a planner interacts with. It’s important to listen to everyone, even if they are annoying, and make sure they are getting answers – and not just one worded answers, but thought out, useful answers. As a planner your role is to engage with everyone, and make sure everyone is happy at all times.
It can become annoying when particular people just can’t let the whine go. Just remember to take a deep breath, relax (when you can) and handle these types of personalities with a positive attitude. Remember kindness always goes a long way.
Patience over Peeves
Pet peeves can take a toll on event planners. For example, tardiness can make or break an event. What if your caterer is running an hour late and there’s no food for your welcome reception? No amount of calls or emails will get them there faster if they simply can’t. Stay focused, and always have a backup plan for disasters. Patience is key in times of event crisis. Also, don’t blame those who irritate you – if someone is running late, they may not be able to help it. There could be bad traffic, an accident, or multiple other reasons why they may be upsetting you. It’s the planner’s job to smooth things out, and make the call to move to plan B if needed.
Being Really, Really, Ridiculously Slow
Another issue event planners have to deal with is slowness. This can come across as last minute RSVPs, belated responses to enquires for venues or entertainment – the list goes on. For the most part, planning events takes a lot of time and effort, and your time is very valuable (because there is usually little of it). If you’re having to deal with time suckers who cannot pull it together to help the event experience in a timely manner it can be stressful. For example, it’s important to get final attendee counts in weeks before the event takes place. If you don’t set yourself up for success by having a firm due date sent out to all vendors, speakers, and attendees, this can alter your order numbers, and overall budget. Be sure as the planner that you’re taking the lead on these time-sensitive details.
Slow turtles on your team can also affect the overall outcome of the event being successful. Make sure you have the right team as an event planner – team members who are focused, encouraging, and on time are crucial to being successful. If you’re having to make calls to fill seats for an event, or hunt down the ETA on deliveries, you need staff members who are sharp and outgoing to pick up the slack where needed. Again, planners can’t do everything, so make sure the extension of your team is just as on top of things as you are!
The worst thing event planners run into time and time again are no shows. Whether it’s the one sponsor who can make or break the expo floor, or an important speaker, no shows can ruin any event experience. Remember there is always a backup plan to everything (or there should be), so pull another rabbit out of your magic hat if needed. For example, if you receive a note from one of your top speakers days before an event and he says he cannot make it – make sure you have solid backups to replace him.
When selecting sponsors and speakers, make sure they are credible, have a solid track record and engaging. The only reason they should be cancelling is for family emergencies or perhaps a delayed flight. Book solid talent – that’s the takeaway.
But Your Job is SO FUN!
Two words all event planners will always hear over and over again are that their jobs are SO FUN. And they are… usually. But, there is a lot that goes into event planning that can be very draining. Most people think all of the travel, fun venues, networking, etc. is so exciting, and it IS, however it can really weigh on a planner. You’re pulling yourself in so many directions to make contacts happy, and being away from friends and family for weeks at a time is never fun.
Although planning events can seem like the best job in the world, there are so many times when planners just want to sit back and let their team members take the lead – and they should. It’s important to sit one out every now and then to not get drained and to stay healthy and positive.
Event planning is super fun, and a very rewarding job all around. Just remember to check in with yourself and your team from time to time to ensure everyone is on the same page – meaning they are healthy, happy, and positive. There’s nothing worse than a super tired event planning staff.