event planner burning out

From the Experts, Your Event Career

Event Planners: Are You Burning Out?

QC tutor Regina Osgood is the owner and creative director of Meant2Be events, a top Arizona wedding planning firm that manages over 250 weddings a year.

Let’s face it. The event industry is tough. There is a reason year after year that event planners are said to have one of the most stressful careers, right up there with military generals and police. What we do is not life and death—that’s not what’s at stake. But for many of our clients, this is the biggest moment in their lives to date and with the 9-12 months of anticipation, it can seem like the biggest moment they will ever have.

So with fate of the future in our hands, how do we avoid the feeling of burnout? Well, it’s hard to avoid the feeling entirely and that’s the key. Your best bet is to address it as it happens and do everything you can to prevent it in the first place.

Even after a decade in the business, there are 3 key things I do to make sure that every wedding gets the attention and enthusiasm it deserves.

Time Management

cell phone

I’m not talking about how long you dance around looking at recipes on Pinterest or watching cat videos on Facebook (although that is certainly something to address!). I am talking about the balance between being “on” and turning “off”. I grade lesson after lesson from students at QC making mention of their intention to be available 24/7 to their clients. Good luck with that!

You need to set boundaries about when you are working and when you can shut your phone and communication off. Honoring those hours is just as important. If you make yourself available in your “off” time, then you are not “training” your clients to respect your space. And trust me, they care much less about your space than you do. So set your times and be consistent. You will need that “off” time to recharge your batteries.

I am mindful that different regions have different event seasons. For example, in Arizona, our primary headquarters, we have almost a 9 month event season! From Monday to Friday we are working for future events, and Saturdays are event days. That means for 9 months we work 6 days a week! You can bet for sure we take the summer for vacations and a 4 day work week to make up for it!

Rituals

ritual tea drinking relax

Honor yourself first thing and every day with a ritual. It’s a great way to start your day and feel like you have made yourself a priority even just for a little while. For me, it was a yoga class 3 days a week in the late morning. That was my time. Now with a kid, one on the way and a husband, it’s my weekly brunch with the girls, dinner prep mid day and a late afternoon swim. The choice is yours, but take care of you so you can take care of your clients’ needs.

Device Detox

Last but not least, device detox. That phone you have glued to your hand—put it down. Better yet, put it on do not disturb for at least for an hour. Checking emails, Facebook and other social media is an addiction, and not a healthy one. By eliminating the temptation, who knows what connections you will make, what hobbies you can start or what projects you can finish.

Every planner needs her own system for avoiding burnout. What are your tricks? Share in the comments!

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