As event planners and small business owners, it’s critical to stay organized and streamline your workload. Whether you’re trying to avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings, feeling apprehensive about delegating responsibilities or working on eating your lunch away from your desk, I’m here to help. Farewell to the headless chicken impersonation. Hello cool, calm and collected event planner!
Here are our 7 top tips of mastering your work week as an event planner:
1. Dominate Your Diary
As an event planner, you’ll be attending site visits, vendor check-ins and client meetings — not forgetting the events themselves! As soon as you arrange a meeting, add it to your calendar to give yourself a clear picture of how your week, month and year are planned out.
Block out time in the calendar for ongoing projects, so you know which client you’re working on each day and for how many hours. Share your calendar with your team, so they know when you’re free for internal check-ins and when not to disturb.
⭐️ BB EVENT TIP ⭐️ I allocate time for rest too. My computer reminds me when it’s time to step away from my desk and take 5. Try setting a daily reminder for a 10min stretch and mindfulness break.
2. Balance Work and Life
Event planning comes with ever-changing hours; during busy event seasons, expect long days, late evenings and weekend work. It’s one of the top 10 most stressful jobs — up there with firefighters and military generals!
Mental health is a huge priority for my team and me, so we’re constantly checking how work is progressing and when a coffee and cookie break is required. For this reason, communication is paramount. Setting up regular meetings means everyone is on the same page and that we’re maximizing everyone’s time. If we all know our roles and responsibilities, then (fingers crossed), there’s no mad rush towards the event day.
As a general rule, I let both clients and vendors know my work schedule. It benefits them as they know when I’m contactable – something I communicate before starting new contracts. It also gives me a gentle reminder of my hours and that I don’t need to be logging on at 11pm to work on the catering menu…although sometimes I can’t resist! Enjoy the excitement of event season when you can and make the most of downtime when you have it.
3. Get Your Daily Dopamine Hit
Scheduling time in your calendar for exercise and self-care is SO important. Find something you love doing; it makes your daily goal more achievable. For me, a Reformer Pilates session builds mental and physical endurance and strength. For you, it might be walking to the office, a lunchtime run in the park or an after-work yoga class.
Exercise has been scientifically proven to decrease levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins — chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood boosters. Give yourself an energizing boost that will set you up for the days and weeks ahead.
4. Prioritize Your Tasks
The to-do list is way too scary if you look at every task at once. Remember that events take weeks or months in the making, so you don’t need to do everything right this second.
I prioritize my list by ‘Organize today’, ‘One week out’ and ‘Day of event’. I then use calendar blocking to allocate time to those tasks. They serve as a reminder for me to stop one task and move on to the next. Otherwise, I’d be totally guilty of spending a whole day down the rabbit hole of sustainable tablecloth options or creative client gift ideas.
5. Research the Industry
Stay up-to-date with the latest event trends, developments in tech and supplier news by attending events and reading blogs. A great way to engage your team and maximize time efficiency is to arrange a weekly 30-minute ‘creative club’. Take turns to share industry insights and swap ideas of how these could benefit your clients. We are so grateful for our team at ILEA-NCC that often hosts industry workshops and mixers for this reason.
Even better, we’ll do the first step for you by sharing up-to-date insights directly to your inbox in our monthly newsletter.
6. Nurture Relationships
Maintaining client relationships is a huge part of event planning. Where events may come up quarterly or annually, you want to keep your client excited and inspired by your work 365 days a year. Arrange regular phone check-ins about innovative ideas you’d love to bring to their next event.
Building rapport with trusted vendors means you can rely on them again and again. I’ve made up a core vendor list that I recommend to all of my clients. I know they can perform to the number of guests, speed of service and quality that my clients expect.
And don’t forget to ask for feedback! Ask every client what they loved and where you can make changes next time. Let them know what improvements you’re putting in place so that when it’s time for their next event, they’ll trust that you’ve been working behind the scenes to put the changes into action.
7. Did I Mention The Calendar?
Broken record, maybe. But the core to event planning success comes down to organization. Whether you’re scheduling meetings, blocking out time for projects, or remembering to eat lunch, get it all in your calendar.
And when it comes to hiring an event planner, we stay on top of your calendar for you. We’ll keep you on track to host your dream event, so you can focus on what’s important in your business. These tips work for event planners, small business owners and busy working professionals alike. You’ve got this!
If you have questions about working in the events industry, or you’re interested in collaborating with BB Events, get in touch to learn more.