Ask any event planner and they can tell you that this job is equally stressful and rewarding. To be frank, we classify ourselves as diamonds — we are formed under intense pressure but when we shine, we shine brighter than a star in the sky.
Now when I talk about pressure, I don’t mean that in a negative way. In fact, I am referring to an adrenaline rush and excitement of reaching the finishing line. As a team, we invest time, effort and dedication to achieve the results you see. Our events thrive with this as a foundation for success but in some instances they mean we have short notice to pull off the impossible.
Our secret ingredient for producing such kick-ass events? Experience.
It is through experience that we, event planners, are able to manage the stress, the chaos and the rush of the event planning.
Now, here are my top five tips in planning an event in under two weeks!
The devil may work hard but an event planner works harder!
We present innovative ideas, negotiate contracts and ensure that deadlines and budgets are in check. This is on top of us ensuring that everything runs like a well-oiled machine from the word “GO”. There will always be something more than one thing happening at the same time and being able to multitask will be the superpower you learn to master. Embrace it and acknowledge if you are still learning the ropes.
Fundamentally, events are all about people.
We need to have strong communication skills to understand what clients are asking for, as well as the confidence to share our own thoughts and recommendations. This means being able to listen as much as we talk. Arrange regular update meetings, use organised, shared folders to keep all event documents and email updates on a daily basis – to not waste time and deliver the best result given the time restriction.
Manage expectations and set boundaries
We all want to provide clients with exceptional service and be flexible. Often times, we think of ourselves as miracle workers. We all start with a dream but we also have to be real with the client. While we can move figurative mountains, it is also important to set expectations and boundaries of what can be done given the limited time frame.
Trust your Team and Work with Reliable Vendors
I have long accepted that I am not superwoman, I cannot do everything! Was once a fool to even try. We need a team and it’s important to let everyone take some strain too. If the team is on board from the start, they’re more likely to be able to give a variety of options that we need. Different people will bring different strengths to pull off this last-minute event.
Just like how the teams’ effort is important, depend on reliable vendors who will help you get through this mad rush. I strongly encourage to partner with vendors you have confidence with and worked with in the past. Rely on the experts to get things done.
Plan downtime and recharge after the event
Rushing to plan a last-minute event is stressful. For this reason, it is extremely important for us to build recovery time after the event.
This means being able to find a balance between our professional and personal life.
Passionate event planners tend to work from sun-up to sundown. While that may seem like a good use of time, it can actually cause Us to burn-out easily. We need to make sure to take some time for ourselves, whether it be a coffee break, a quick afternoon walk, a break to hit the gym or even get a decent 6 or 8 hours of sleep! In the midst of the chaotic week of planning, it is sometimes easy to forget the passion that motivates me – it will not always be easy, but it’s not impossible.
At the end of the day, we always have to remind ourself from time to time that what we are doing is something we love – and the most exciting part of this is the unknown. It takes genuine passion, resilience and on-the-job experience to pull off something great under time pressure.