Stress Management for Event Managers

It’s no secret that Event Management is one of the most stressful careers out there. For many years now, Event Management has been landing in the top 10 most stressful jobs in the world. Ranked alongside military personnel, firefighters, and airline pilots — some might find this surprising, but we sure didn’t!
So what is it exactly that deems Event Management so stressful?

Well, talk to any Event Manager, and they will likely sound like they are working as a Ringmaster in the Circus. Between traveling from event to event, praying for good weather, and worrying if anyone will even turn up, we usually deal with pressure from clients, last-minute changes, multiple deadlines, and lack of sleep, oh and we’re generally doing it with all eyes on us! I think it’s safe to say these types of demands would stress out even the best of us. Right?

And now, in the ever-changing world of COVID-19, Event Managers are dealing with new types of stressors that we’ve never faced before, and they’ve just been tossed in like a beautiful cherry on top.

So, if you’re feeling stressed out, you’re not alone — we see you, and we totally understand!
That’s why we thought there’d be no better time to put our heads and years of experience together and provide some tips and tricks from our April5 team that help us lower stress, release anxiety and be ready to slay the day away.

  1. Use tools & templates
    Having a plan is the key to everything, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Lucky for us, there are heaps of free templates and tools online that can save us time and make our lives easier. Some of our April5 favorites are: Trello Boards to keep tasks organised and Todoist – because who doesn’t love a to-do list?
  2. Have a plan & a backup plan (maybe even a contingency plan for your backup plan)
    What’s better than having a solid plan? Having a solid plan B to lean on when things don’t quite go the way we had hoped. Because we all know, despite our best intentions and meticulous preparation, things can go wrong. Always have a backup plan for your event’s aspects that pose a risk, so you are ready for anything that comes your way. Make sure your team knows the backup plan ahead of time, so they can spring into action when needed.
  3. Communicate & delegate
    There is no such thing as over-communication when it comes to event planning. Communication is the key to success – communication with your entire team and stakeholders about tasks, deadlines, and plans as they unfold is imperative to ensure everyone remains signing the same tune. Delegating is also essential for you to keep calm and carry on. Remember, there is only one of you, so freeing up your time by delegating tasks to appropriate team members and trusting them to follow through allows you to focus on your tasks and manage your responsibilities.
  4. Ask for help
    The truth is, being a control freak is what makes every event manager good at their job, but being able to ask for help is what makes an event manager incredible at their job. Having support will lower stress levels and allow you to be more precise and more focused to operate at your best. Remember, you don’t have to be the person doing everything; you have to be the person making sure everything happens.
  5. Have enough time
    When it comes to event management, time is the hottest commodity. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to meet deadlines, achieve your goals, and bring all the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s never a good idea to take a gamble, so set yourself realistic expectations and timeframes.
  6. Stay happy & healthy
    When your mind is running in overdrive, and you’re constantly overthinking all the details, it’s easy to let anxiety set in and ignore your mental and physical health. We reach for our favorite stress relievers like chocolate, fast food, excess caffeine, alcohol, or smoking, which do nothing for us but merely contribute to our lack of concentration and sleep. When you start to feel overwhelmed, it’s essential to carve out quiet time, exercise, drink lots of water and eat proper meals to keep your energy up and your happy vibes strong. At April5, we use meditation, yoga, getting out for walks, and simply unplugging as ways to reduce stress, clear our heads and stay focused. If you prioritise self-care, you’ll find that you’ll be less susceptible to stress, and you’ll be able to manage your workload much better.
  7. Set boundaries (and stick to ’em)
    It’s 8:30 pm, you’re finally closing your computer for the day and getting ready to relax and unwind when you suddenly get an email from a client. Sound like a familiar scenario? Do you debate whether to check it or not to check it? Well, that all depends on one simple question – have you pre-set boundaries with your clients? Let your clients know in your first meeting when you are available and what your office hours are (and stick to them). This sets boundaries from the get-go and allows you to have much-needed rest. We know it’s in our DNA as Event Managers to do everything possible to ensure our clients’ happiness at all times, but if you set expectations, then answering emails during office hours will be expected and accepted.
  8. Roll with the punches
    No matter how planned on paper we are, chances are something we’ll have a few hiccups along the way. When plans go a little differently than we had hoped, don’t panic! Instead, keep a clear mind and focus on how to resolve the situation best. Chances are no one will notice what went wrong, so roll with the punches and keep moving forward. Our best advice is not to sweat the small stuff; events always somehow seem to work themselves out.