There’s no denying that meeting and event planning comes with more than its fair share of stress. To make sure the event goes off without a hitch, and to instantly tackle the issues that will inevitably pop up, requires nerves of steel and intense mental focus.
All of that can take its toll on a person, but the show must go on, right? That’s why we put together this helpful list of things to help you de-stress, even when you’re in the thick of things. There’s no way to entirely take the stress out of event planning and execution, but these things can take the edge off so that, ideally, you’ll experience reduced stress levels while onsite. Let’s dive right in.
TIP#1 Stay organized
One of the best ways to combat stress is to have a firm idea of what elements are in play, what personnel you have to reach your goals, and what other assets or resources you have at hand to meet the challenges you’ll face. Once you know that, you’ll always know what you have to work with when it comes to resolving unexpected issues and troubleshooting.
Organization is the key to this, and its importance cannot be understated. This will help you stay on top of things and reduce the scope of the major bumps in the road, which as you are already aware, are the leading stressors you’re likely to encounter in the field.
Our recommendation is to invest your time into your schedule and a checklist of action items well ahead of time. That won’t cover it all, but it will cover a lot. For our planners on Team Infinix, we can make two recommendations that we’ve found invaluable in keeping organized:
- monday.com: This intuitive digital organization platform has personalized to-do lists, collaboration tools, and adjustable timelines. It’s a great way to see a project, or series of projects, on a macro scale with the ability to ‘drill down’ into the specifics.
- The Golden Coil: This physical planner is best described as a system. It’s fully customizable with a host of accessories, styles, and formats to choose from. If you’re looking for a way to plan on your terms, accept no substitutes. It’s the planner our planners love.
TIP #2 Take breaks throughout the day
Remember, events are a marathon not a sprint. No one can run at full blast indefinitely, so be sure that you pace yourself. The longer the event, the more important this becomes. So, save your energy for when it really counts.
While the pulse of an event in motion can be difficult to resist, recognize when you can step aside, even for a moment, to rest, refocus, and recharge. Sometimes a quick 10-minute break to sit down, breathe, grab some coffee, and rally your thoughts can prove invaluable.
TIP #3 Stay hydrated and nourished
This point goes hand in hand with the previous one. In addition to taking breaks, be sure you’re drinking plenty of water and eating. No one wants to work when they’re distracted by hunger or thirst, but this goes beyond that. Being hydrated and staying fed helps you maintain concentration and mental focus for longer with less stress overall.
Conversely, when you’re dehydrated or your blood sugar gets low, a normally manageable situation can suddenly be more stressful than it would have been otherwise. So, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. We highly recommend carrying the following with you at all times:
- A reusable water bottle (To reduce on single-use plastics).
- Electrolyte powders (For that quick pick-me-up).
- Emergency snacks (You’re not yourself when you’re hungry).
TIP #4 Connect with your team
You don’t exist in a vacuum. You’re team will be instrumental in both bringing an impactful and memorable experience to your event-goers and taking some of the pressure off of you. That’s why it’s important to have a strong working relationship with your fellow team members. The stronger the bonds you have with them, the less they’ll waver when subjected to various types of stress.
After all, these are the folks who will form your support network, who will give you slack when you need it, and the ones who you’ll delegate various tasks to before, during, and after the event. Ultimately, your team will take care of you, so keep the channels of communication open, and be sure to take care of them in return.
TIP #5 Practice mindfulness
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a few minutes to hit the pause button on everything around you and center yourself. Techniques such as controlled, rhythmic breathing, meditation, and positive mental visualization can help keep your concentration sharp.
Each of these little bits of self-care acts as a way to tackle situations with greater clarity and focus while also shedding stress. The good news is that, like connecting with your team, you don’t have to be onsite to put mindfulness into practice, but you may find that you gain the greatest dividends from it when the press of the event is closer at hand.
There are apps that can help you with this as well. Here are a couple of recommendations:
- Headspace: Great for daily meditations, sleep sounds, stress reduction, centered fitness, and tension relief.
- Calm: Ideal for sleep and relaxation, you can listen to sleep stories, music, soundscapes, and more.
TIP #6 Stay flexible
No one can anticipate everything. Even the smoothest of events is bound to run into some issues that will need prompt attention and decisive action. In those situations, your ability to bend like a reed and rapidly readjust to the situation will save you tons of heartache and mental stress. So long as you can remain calm and focused in the face of unexpected issues, you’re good as gold.
It’s tempting when you’re planning an event to have a definitive vision of how it should unfold, but know when to let go of your preconceptions and expectations to adapt to the situation at hand. In the end, the goal is to present an unforgettable experience. If you can do that — even if it differs from how you originally thought it would play out — you’ve succeeded.
TIP #7 Be kind to yourself
In our experience, event planners tend to be highly detail oriented, dedicated, and (if we’re being honest) a bit of a perfectionist. If something goes off the rails, there’s a tendency to blame yourself, but the truth is that events can go awry even under the most diligent, careful supervision. This kind of reaction only adds to the already considerable stress of the event.
Remember to treat yourself with compassion, especially while you’re onsite. As the old saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs. You won’t be at your best if you’re burnt out. So, be kind to everyone — starting with yourself.
We’ve been in the event business for a long time, so we understand what it’s like to be onsite with a million things vying for your attention, and all of them critical to the event’s success. Through this extensive experience, we have a few other ways to take care of yourself that we highly recommend:
Stay active: Keep up with your workout routine, even when you’re onsite. Many gyms these days run 24 hours per day. If you can’t fit in a full workout, a 15-minute walk or mini-set in your hotel room will work until you get back to your usual schedule and facilities.
Be prepared: Pack some self-care products in your suitcase. This can take many forms, depending on your personal tastes, but this might include facemasks, lip masks, anti-fatigue foot creams, lotions, and more.
Bring the right shoes: You’re going to be standing and walking for hours at a time, so be sure to take care of your feet. Bring shoes that will support you during this time. You might also bring some comfy shoes for after hours.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a completely stress-free event, but incorporating these tips and strategies into your routine can greatly reduce your stress levels, so that you can laser-focus on what matters most: delivering a great event experience.
If you have questions (about this or anything else), we have answers. Contact us today, and let’s talk!