Whether you’re planning an ambitious business conference or a glitzy awards evening, every event planner wants to put on a show that represents their brand in the best possible way. As the big day approaches, it is easy for the logistics to catch up with you and for stress to take over.
When event fright strikes, there are ways to lessen the load. Read these insider tips to declutter your mind in the run-up to a big event.
Use visualisation to mentally prepare
Visualisation is closely related to meditation – so it’s great as a de-stressing tool. Unlike its zen sibling, though, visualisation can help you to overcome challenges and understand the nuances of the event. Plus, visualising success can help steer you towards an attractive outcome.
If you aren’t creatively-minded, ask a third party to create a selection of 3D plans to draw inspiration from. Then, visualise the minute-to-minute practicalities of your event to figure out what the line-up could be lacking.
Hit ‘delete’ on speaker stress and stage fright
If you’re playing host as well as managing the event, the stress can feel many times stronger. On the day, you won’t be free to mingle with guests, service staff and backstage workers – you’ll need to remain in one place for a set time, naturally delegating the oversight to other team members.
It’s possible to overcome public speaking stress with an intensive training course, but it can be easier to remove the need altogether. It’s possible to book an after-dinner speaker from an expert bureau that will take the speech writing, responsibility and additional stresses off your plate - and add a centrepoint to the whole event in the process.
Draft a careful budget
From the very early stages of event planning, it is important to make your budget realistic. Once you think you’ve arrived at a figure, add 10 per cent to account for the unforeseeable. After all, there are few nightmares worse than returning to the drawing board weeks before the conference because the pennies simply won’t stretch.
Event planners are master organisers, so it can be difficult to let go. You want to know the ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘why’ of every element – and that’s understandable. If you’re struggling to maintain that important work-life balance, it may be time to pass responsibilities down the hierarchy.
Passing weight from your shoulders also safeguards the event in case illness or other circumstances mean you cannot attend.
If you don’t have the resources in-house, consider hiring an agency to help with your exhibition designs, staffing needs or installation and dismantling (I&D) of your tech. If you’re lacking inspiration, consider consulting with one of Britain’s best party planners.
Set deadlines – and stick to them
No matter how generous your budget is, time will always be an event planner’s second currency. You can either work with time or against it – setting deadlines is a great way to get ahead and stay there.
Work with your delegates to set realistic goals, then make punctual delivery your key priority. After all, several lengthy setbacks can spell disaster down the line.
Map out venue logistics
All too many event planners think securing a top venue is the end when actually it’s just the beginning. From seating arrangements to washroom facilities and entry and exit flow – you need to ensure every detail leaves the right impression.
Apps like Zapier can help to lessen the administrative load, so you can be free to look at the bigger picture.
Back everything up – including your plan
Making copies of important documents can reduce the risk of encountering stress further down the line. From contracts to receipts and floor plans, you should always save another copy of documents you cannot afford to lose. Ensure the platform you’re working on is GDPR compliant and secure to prevent data breaches and fines from scuppering your event efforts.
It is just as important to back up your plan of action in case of last-minute changes or cancellations. If your catering company cancels, who do you call? One of several other local suppliers you have already reached out to, of course! Great organisation is the lifeblood of event planning, so triple-check every element to mitigate stresses before they arrive.