stress, but less

You may well have heard us talk about the fact that, for the last few years, ‘Event Manager’ has been consistently ranked 5th most stressful occupation (Career Cast). For 2019 it has dropped a place to 6th, being out-stressed by ‘broadcaster’ (note – another ‘live’ performer). Nevertheless, it’s still up there on the top 10 stress charts.


On the basis of this statistic, we are frequently asked ‘why do you do it?’. They have a point. Why, if the job is so stressful, do we still do it? Why have we been doing it for a combined 50 years between us?


The short answer, for me, is that when that event goes live, when you see your guests benefitting from the fruits of your labour, learning new things, responding to the right messages and getting results – that makes it all worth it.


It’s getting to that point, the live event, that can almost break you.


So, how can we make the planning process less of a stress?


A certain amount of stress is good – it sharpens the mind, gives focus to the task in hand. Too much, and overwhelm can set in and the ability to think with clarity and strategy is compromised.


Here are our key strategies to make the planning process more manageable:


a. Get your crystal ball out. Once you have mapped out your project plan, see if you can pin-point areas that might cause stress. If you know a colleague is not great at keeping to deadlines, but you rely on them for part of the event, set their deadlines for a couple of weeks earlier. Got annual leave booked in? Schedule deadlines around that or delegate to a colleague to cover you. If you can foresee potential stress, you can make plans to avoid it.


b. Embrace it. You get that phone call/email that derails your plans and throws a spanner in the works. We know it all too well – it’s part and parcel of the process and is unavoidable. But, we are Event Managers because problem solving is in our DNA. See it as an opportunity, rather than a problem – reframe the situation to better your problem-solving skills.


c. Build your stress less tool box. No matter how busy your schedule is, remove yourself from the project on a regular basis. Read a book, listen to music, go for a walk, do some yoga – however you do it, clearing your mind will allow you to come back to the task with a clear head.


We spoke on ‘how to turn stress into a positive’ at the Miss Jones Wellness Summit and on ‘staying sane when planning events (on top of your day job)’ at the C&C PA Collective.


If you would like us to speak at your next networking event, please call Kate on 07815 157 899.


Career Cast source:

Image credit: hello-im-nik via unsplash