In this article we look at the mental health effects a career in the events industry can have on event planners and the importance of practicing self-care.
Traveling weeks out of the year from city to city planning and attending events for work can be taxing. An event planning career means lots of long hours standing on your feet and several nights away from home.
According to Careercast.com, event coordinator jobs have been rated one of the most stressful career paths for several years in a row.
The 2019 study ranked event coordinator as the 6thmost stressful job. The study analyzed the emotional and physical demands of the job, the amount of travel required for the job, and intense deadlines associated with the position.
The high stakes, high pressure work environment, nature of the job makes it easy for many event planners to burnout, experience mental health illness and potentially leave the industry.
A study by Meetings and Incentive Magazinerevealed that 1 in 3 event professionals believe that the event planning industry has had a negative effect on their mental health. As event organizers, it is our job to create exciting and engaging experiences that attendees will love but at the end of the day we have to be accountable for our own mental health and well-being.
Event planners are under more pressure than ever to plan jaw dropping events while trying to prove the return on investment, so the ability to manage stress levels and maintain a sense of sanity has never been more important.
In this article, we will discuss how to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy lifestyle while succeeding at your event planning job.
1. Always have a backup person
It’s always important to have a backup plan just in case a last-minute emergency arises. Say you break your foot a few days before or you get called away for a family emergency and can’t be there for the event.
Having a back-up person and plan in place to help you fully execute your event strategy in case of an emergency will help avoid any panic attack episodes and ensure everything continues to go as planned. Prior to the event, you should de-brief your entire team on the run of show document that walks them through the event logistics.
A great event organizer should be able to give his or her team every detail needed to plan an event as if they weren’t there in that run of show document.
2. Set personal and professional boundaries
In the event planning industry, it’s pretty easy to forget to set personal and professional boundaries. Bosses and vendors may make unreasonable requests at the last hours, requiring you to work late nights and weekends to make sure everything is ready for the show.
This is often perceived as the nature of the job and sometimes requires you to experience sleepless nights and time away from home to get the job done. This is how burnout happens.
That’s why it’s important to set boundaries and expectations beforehand with bosses and vendors so they know that you aren’t available 24 hours of the day.
3. Take small breaks throughout the day
As an event organizer you are often too busy throughout the day to find some downtime to rest. So, it’s important that you schedule in 15-minute self-care breaks in your run of show so that your team knows that you will need to step away.
This ensures that you have time to run to the restroom, grab something to eat, stay hydrated, and take a few moments to rest your feet. The practice of self-care is crucial when trying to avoid burnout.
4. Always make time to grab breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it might be your only meal until dinner. Before the day starts order room service in your room so you can eat while going through the logistics of the day. Order a balanced protein packed breakfast like eggs, yogurt, fruit, and pancakes to keep you full for most of the day.
5. Make time to exercise
Research shows that frequent business travelers tend to have higher BMI, a higher blood pressure, anxiety and alcohol dependence.
After a full day of events has ended find sometime before or after dinner to fit in a quick 30-minute workout in the hotel gym. This will help you wind down after a long day on your feet and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
6. Try to get some quality sleep
After running around the show floor all day, you have to be exhausted. Avoid going out with colleagues after the event for drinks. Instead head back to the hotel room for some quality sleep time. Lack of sleep can decrease your productivity throughout the day. It’s critical that you try to get 6-8 hours of sleep during the night time hours.
Event planning is an exciting and thrilling career to be in. The fast paced environment can cause unwanted stress. Stress is a surefire way to burn out and thinking about leaving the industry. That’s why it’s important to set boundaries, take breaks, have a good support system and practice self-care every once in a while.