February 4, 2021
How to cope with stress when planning an event
Wondering how to cope with stress when planning an event? You’ve come to the right place. Events are exciting! But planning events can be stressful. So much so that ‘Event planner’ is regularly rated as one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Considering that these lists are also populated with job titles such as Soldier, Police officer, Healthcare worker, Air traffic controllers, Teacher and Pilot – it’s quite a claim to fame.
So, can you imagine planning a special celebration or a milestone birthday party for a close friend or family member? Can you imagine planning your own wedding day, wanting everything to be perfect, wanting to be able to relax, enjoy the experience and to create special memories for yourself and all of your guests?
It’s a big ask, and a lot of pressure! If being a professional event planner with years of experience and tens, if not hundreds of events under your belt is stressful, then imagine how tough it could be for non-professionals…
Our top five tips
Below, we offer our top five tips for making your event planning experience as stress free as possible. But firstly, take a deep breath and relax. With the right strategy, careful planning and a little help from the right people, it might actually be fun!
1. Make lists
Lists are invaluable. If the first thing that you do is sit down and list out everything that you think that you’ll need to do, you’ll be off to a great start.
Use a spreadsheet. That way you can adapt, reorder and add to your lists as you go. You can make notes, allocate tasks, add costs and tick things off as they are completed.
There are lots of different spreadsheet platforms available. Notepads and sheets of paper are fine if you need to make quick notes on the go, but spreadsheets are adaptable, interactive and can be shared with multiple users too.
Wondering how to cope with stress when planning an event? Well, one of the most important elements for a stress free event planning experience is to set a realistic budget up front. This way you’ll understand exactly how much money you’ll have available to allocate to each element.
Make a budgeting spreadsheet. It will be invaluable. We offer a useful wedding budget calculator – you can download it here for free.
Knowing your overall spend limit is going to be crucial. It will be a finite amount and it will help sharpen your thinking around the elements that are most important to you. Do you really need a flock of white doves to be released at the exact moment that the bride makes her entrance, or is the quality of the food more important to you?
Unless you are well versed in things such as marquee costs or catering costs per head you’ll need to do some initial research before fixing the spend for each element. Without doing this you could be in for some nasty surprises later on in the process.
3. Don’t try to do it all yourself
Now that you have your list of tasks, get friends, family and even professionals involved to help carry the load.
See yourself as project manager. Whilst you’ll be doing the majority of the work, it’s useful to have a few other people available to assist here and there. Your ‘assistants’ can make a phone call here and there, research suppliers and venues, gather quotes, run to the printers or even take one entire element – such as organising the floristry – off of your plate.
Events professionals are available to help too. That doesn’t mean that you have to hire a planner, there are in-between options; take a look at our Event Coordination service which offers cost effective entry level support with planning your event. A service such as this allows you to retain control but offers the support and guidance of a seasoned professional to help ensure that you stay on track.
Additionally, many of your suppliers: Caterer, Marquee company, venue, bar supplier and so on, will be able to help too. As a marquee supplier, we always make sure that we have the contact details of our clients third party suppliers so that we can contact them and coordinate their interactions with us during the marquee build and de-rig (take down) phases. I this regard, we ensue that everything runs smoothly and that your marquee build and all of its ancillary elements are completed in a stress free manner. In fact, you can read our ‘Stress Free Guarantee’ here.
4. Plan ahead and stay ahead of the game
Don’t assume that caterers, entertainers, marquee suppliers and so on will be available and desperate to win your business a few weeks or even a few months before your event. The best suppliers are always booked up well in advance.
Contact and get quotations from suppliers as early on in the process as you can. If you like a supplier then make sure that you express and register your interest in them for your preferred event date. Ask them to keep in touch regarding availability.
Things change daily for event suppliers, you’ll want them to keep you in the loop if they receive enquiries from other parties for the same day that your planning to hold your event. Form a good relationship and they may be willing to offer you first refusal on the date too.
There’s no worse feeling than thinking everything is on track and then discovering that your favourite catering company, band or venue has already accepted a booking from another client.
5. Make sure that back up plans are in place
Don’t panic. There’s not much that can’t be fixed. However, planning for the worst-case scenario is always a good idea.
Make sure that you have a list of contact numbers for each of your suppliers – more than one if possible. Ensure that your suppliers have emergency and out of hours contact numbers too. And make sure that your mobile phone is charged, just in case you need to call them!
Ask pertinent questions up before you make your bookings. What will your band do if an amp blows? Does the DJ have a back up deck in case of a problem? What if the catering equipment fails? The power to the marquee trips out? The photographer’s flash gun won’t go off? If they are true professionals, all of these suppliers will have fail safes in place. However, you need to make sure that they do before you lay down your deposit money.
Relax and enjoy your event
Okay, so it’s not an exhaustive list, we could write event planning tips all day long. But in our experience these are the most important elements to get right. Do so and you’ll be well on your way to experiencing a fantastic, memorable and stress-free event.
Remember to take time out from planning. Don’t let it become an obsession, don’t let it become all consuming. The process should be fun and the end result something that you are proud of – not something that you are glad is over.
If it’s all becoming too much then take a break. Ask friends for help, talk to your suppliers to see if they can lighten the load. Use breathwork techniques and meditation (not medication!) to help you clear your mind in times of stress.
Remind yourself that you are planning something fun, so the process should be fun too. Remember that at the end of all of the hard work you’ll have a wonderful event – and a sense of pride in everything that you’ve achieved – to look forward to.
Are you planning a marquee event?
We would love to talk to you. Our advice, quotations and site visits are all free and without obligation. We strongly believe that having the right suppliers on board is a huge tick on the ‘How to cope with stress when planning an event’ checklist.
We’ve been designing and building marquees for over 40 years and have an unrivaled reputation for excellence. Just take a read of our testimonials page to find out more.
Why not give us a call on 01373 459485 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and speak to a member of the team today?