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A few months ago, we compared event management to rocket science, and it seems we weren’t far off the mark. According to a recent report, the role of event coordinator is the fifth most stressful job of 2016, with only military personnel, firefighters, pilots, and police officers coming in higher on the stress scale.
The study, while carried out in the US, tallies with finding here in the UK, where 83% of you believe stress to be a significant problem within the sector.
Of course, those of us who have earned our stripes organising events have long been familiar with the demands of our industry. With endless ‘to-do’ lists and never enough hours in the day, pulling off a successful corporate event that meets everyone’s expectations is not easy. And, if that isn’t enough, today’s event profs are faced with even more challenges. Challenges such as short lead times, diminishing budgets, a lack of innovation, and of course, having to demonstrate ROI and meet wider business objectives.
But, while it might be stressful at times – and it’s definitely not a career for the faint-hearted – we know that as an event professional you are hugely passionate about what you do. And, with the right planning and support, you have the potential to create fantastic events that will be talked about for years to come - for all the right reasons.
How event profs can reduce the stress
1. Be strategic
Whether you’re organising a conference, award show, teambuilding event, or roadshow, it pays to start with a strategy. Without establishing the purpose of your event, and setting defined outcomes upfront, there’s a real danger that any benefits will be short-term and easily lost.
When you know exactly what you’re working towards, and who you are talking to, it's much easier to figure out how to meet the expectations of your attendees, and the less stressed you’ll be when planning your event.
2. Make technology your friend
While quirky tech is always an attention grabber, new and emerging technology can also help you to meet your event objectives. With engagement, analytics, data, and ROI becoming increasingly important, consider using tech to remove some of the burden from your shoulders when planning, running, and measuring your events.
3. Be social
Letting you do more with less, social media should be a key weapon in every event professional’s armoury. In fact, used correctly social media can help to promote your event, boost attendance, and generate conversations – without requiring a big budget - giving you one less thing to worry about.
4. Choose the right event management partner
The right event management partner will remove the burden of event planning from your shoulders with a range of specialist event services. A good agency will provide an 'engine room' of back-office services to reliably bring all elements of your conference or event together. Freeing you to concentrate on your wider strategy, reducing your day-to-day workload, and making your event a success.
5. Take a break
We know you have a million things to do, but stepping away from that monster to-do list can help you to refocus and re-prioritise, reducing the likelihood of burnout. Even better, if you can, get outside. Even if just for a five-minute walk around the block. You don’t have to think of it as a break – just use the time to get some headspace and re-energise.
6. Don’t make it personal
When it comes to corporate events, it’s tempting to be swayed by your own personal tastes. But, while your likes and dislikes matter, without adopting a more strategic approach, these preferences could actually hinder your chances of success.
The path to a successful corporate event starts, not with looking internally, but instead by focusing on your audience, and what they want from you. In doing so, you’re also more likely to reduce your stress levels, as every decision you make will be based on subjective reasoning, not personal bias.
7. Don’t get disheartened
When you’ve got lots of great ideas, it can be difficult when others don't get on board. But, rather than getting stressed, take the time to rationalise each of your proposals – setting out what the benefits are, what they will cost to implement, and the expected ROI. Status-quo planning can be difficult to break-through, but the more groundwork you put in, the more likely it is that at least some of your ideas will be implemented.
8. Don’t be afraid to say “no”
Short lead times and reduced budgets mean we all have to do more with less; which can send stress levels through the roof! So, while it’s only natural that you want to do everything you can to make your event succeed, sometimes you have to be honest about what is, and what isn’t achievable.
By being honest and saying “no” when something is impossible (and suggesting an alternative if there is one), you won’t only reduce your own blood pressure, but you’re also less likely to let people down, and gain their trust in the process. Over-promising and under-delivering never wins hearts and minds.
9. Switch off your email (shock horror!)
Event profs are bombarded by emails during the day and it can be difficult not to read, react, and stress over every message that hits your inbox. So, for a few hours a day, take control and eliminate the interruptions.
If the thought is just too terrifying, include an Out-of-Office that explains when you’ll be back online and invites those with urgent queries to call you. You’ll be surprised how often people are happy to wait for a response.
10. Choose the right location
You know that picking the right location is fundamental to the success of your event, and that getting it wrong can be a disaster. Start with the right venue and drastically reduce problems and stress later down the road.
Your event management partner
From strategy to venue search, organisation to payment collection, print & design to technology, and sponsorship management to finding you the right speakers, at Apex, we can help you do all this and more. And we start by taking the time to get to know you, your culture, and the outcomes you want and need. Combined with over 25 years of successful event planning, it's a winning formula.
Supportive and helpful. Creative and innovative. Organised and flexible. Experienced and reliable. At Apex, we bring 25 years’ experience and exceptional support to your events, exhibitions, roadshows, awards, open days, and conferences. Click here to find out more or give us a call today on + 44 (0)1625 429370 to discuss your requirements in more depth.