How to: Keep Your Head on Event Day

While we may not be out there saving people’s lives, being an event planner is trumped only by military personnel, police, firefighters and airline pilots in terms of job stress level (according to US-based job agency CareerCast). With demands, deadlines and difficult customers flying at you left right and centre, it takes an unflappable professional to handle the job with poise and grace. If you’re an event planner, but not quite at the stage of constant composure yet, follow our tips on how you can keep your head the day of your big event.

What to implement from the start

Thinking ahead will save yourself some headaches down the event planning road. Whether you’re hosting a corporate function or a celebratory cocktail party, a few things you can do as contingencies are setting expectations for any last minute changes with clients and sponsors. Add penalties into contracts for any vendors who don’t deliver on time or to the standard you expect, and be transparent with your team, clients and vendors every step of the way so you aren’t met with any last minute surprises.


How to plan more efficiently

Lists! Everyone loves a list! And they’re key to helping you stay organised. Break down your master to do list into smaller or daily ones so you can cross off more tasks and feel like you’ve accomplished something rather than getting overwhelmed. Remember to order these depending on what needs to be done first. Prioritise! And another key thing - don’t procrastinate. You have no idea what’s going to go wrong when it comes to events, so if you have the time, do what needs to be done now, don’t put it off, because that little window of free time you have tomorrow may end up getting filled with any unpredictable disaster…


The week before the event

Check in with your team, vendors and speakers three days before the event to make sure everyone is on track with their delegated tasks and re-confirm speakers’ attendance. Do a walkthrough of your function at the venue to make sure any creases are ironed out by the big day.


Maintaining a PMA

That’s right, a positive mental attitude is key to not losing your head as event day approaches. This will be reliant on practising self-care, so no more all-nighters or meal-skipping in a deadline driven panic. No one ever got more productive from sleep-deprivation or low blood sugar. If you do find yourself running short of time - delegate. Not absolutely everything has to be overseen by you, so trust your team and you’ll be able to tick a few more things off the to do list.


The day of the event

You’ve had a good night’s rest, calmed your soul with some morning meditation, had a good meal, and it’s time to get this show on the road. Make sure you arrive nice and early to handle any last minute mishaps, ensure your team are well briefed and know all the running times on the call sheet, and remain calm and in control even if you don’t totally feel it. Your team and your clients will be looking to you to keep your head, so stay cool, you got this, you planned to a T! And if you do feel yourself getting into a panic, just thank your lucky stars you don’t have to fly a plane or rescue people from a burning house…


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Kiran Bains