Getting Through the Busy Season in Your Event Planning Career
Summer’s here, and event and wedding planners know that the weather isn’t the only thing heating up! This time of the year is known as the busiest season for event professionals, with so many weddings and celebrations taking place in the warm sunshine.
For certified event planners, this is an exciting time – and one that can prove extremely profitable! However, it can also be very chaotic and stressful. Don’t fret – we’ve put together a complete guide to help you navigate the busy season in your event planning career!
Anticipate busy months
One of the reasons why event and wedding planning is such a great career is that it’s quite predictable. That isn’t to say it’s not exciting – it absolutely is, and no two days are alike! However, the majority of certified event planners find themselves especially busy from June through October. They can prepare both themselves and their event business accordingly.
It’s important to not allow the busy season to creep up on you. If it’s the middle of January and your summer calendar is already filling up, don’t think it’s too early to start preparing. If you have events on your calendar a few months in advance, make sure you have enough planning time in between (not to mention recovery time) and avoid any overlap.
The great thing about booking events so early is that you have the luxury of planning them out with a significant cushion of time before you need to really ramp up the planning details. You can work with clients to determine the best wedding date for them (and for you and your vendors) while not being rushed or stressed.
Another benefit to anticipating a busy season is hiring seasonal staff ahead of time. The busy season for an event planner is June through October, so you can plan to hire a student or intern to help out for the duration of those months, and you don’t need to wait until things start getting busy to bring that help on board. Post a job listing in March or April to really get the ball rolling and give yourself enough time to make the best hiring choice. Again, no stress and no rush!
The most important quality of an event planner is organization. And not just the regular level of organization – we’re talking about extreme organization. As you begin your event planning career (or even during your time in an event planning course), developing an organizational system that works for you is key.
If you’ve always used spreadsheets to keep track of details and numbers in the past, then that might be the best strategy for you. Alternatively, you may prefer physical notebooks with plenty of space to jot down notes and observations, while also managing dates and events. It’s up to you! Just find some way to stay on top of what’s coming down the pipe in the next few weeks, months, and even years. This is a vital first step!
Summer may be a busy season for event and wedding planners, but again, it won’t come out of nowhere. Couples will be planning their weddings many months ahead, and this will give you time to make note of the event itself as well as all the preparatory details leading up to it. You’ll likely be planning the bridal shower, rehearsal, and any other related parties.
Staying on top of dates and not being surprised by any unexpected, last minute twists will minimize your stress load during your busiest time!
Prioritize, and then tackle
Being organized while planning event is key, but it goes hand-in-hand with prioritizing. This season will have you running off your feet – we’re not going to sugar coat it for you! Even though you’ve done your best to prepare, and you are up to your ears in spreadsheets to keep you on the ball, you’ll still be working long days and dealing with many tricky situations. In order to be successful, you’ll need to manage your time wisely and know which details take precedence.
Say, for example, that your client’s wedding cake never shows up. This is a disaster, no doubt, and one that can wreak havoc on the rest of the day. However, you are the professional, and how you handle this situation will have an effect on your event planning business. As you deal with this mess, it’s important to focus and tackle it on its own.
Don’t try to multitask when something goes horribly wrong! Take your time to ensure that you solve problems correctly rather than try and do too much (and have even more go wrong). As certified event planners, we love to do as much as we can and show our clients what we’re capable of, but during the busiest season the best you can do is prioritize, tackle, and cross that item off your list.
Take care of yourself!
The ebbs and flows of your event planning career make it easy to avoid stress and chaos, right?
Once the busy event planning season begins, it’s pretty much nonstop. As a hard working event planner, you want to be able to do it all to please each and every one of your clients. Which is great – this will definitely boost your event business. However, you need to be mindful of the toll that a busy three or four months can take on your emotional and physical health! Demanding clients, constant deadlines, and the unforeseen issues will require all of your energy. So how will you replenish it once it’s gone? Keep your health and relaxation a priority, space out events as much as possible, and take a day off for yourself to avoid burnout as an event and wedding planner.
Don’t put your health at risk for the busy event season – there’s only one of you! Although your strong work ethic makes you want to press on and do a fantastic job, you have to make sure you’re not pouring from an empty cup.