Event-planning can cause considerable stress, particularly when everything doesn’t go smoothly.
However well-organised we are, there’s always the likelihood something unexpected will turn up at the eleventh hour to make things more chaotic than anticipated.
Event organisers are known to work long hours anyway – perhaps you’re drowning in a sea of badges or you’ve just discovered your sponsor wants you to swap around the seating plan, but by this time, you have only half-an-hour to do so, and you also want to arrive at the event cool and calm, despite the last minute hitches. So, you find yourself completing time-consuming tasks, while also trying to get ready yourself and fending off phone calls at the same time.
This is what’s known as the “invisible workload”. It comprises the tasks that every event professional has to complete, but people would only notice them if they WEREN’T done! Yet it causes the endless stress and mental exhaustion that event professionals endure behind-the-scenes.
These invisible tasks prevent planners from being more strategic and well-rested, which has a negative impact on the event and the individual. So, what can you do about it?
Managing the workload
Whether you’re planning an informal meeting for 12 delegates, or a major conference with hundreds of attendees, sourcing the venue takes a surprising amount of time. Although delegates may take the venue for granted, no-one knows the amount of time a planner has spent trying to find the ideal meeting place.
Manually finding a venue and comparing prices for meeting rooms and hotels requires many hours and it isn’t always an efficient use of your time. A better way is to let someone else do it for you.
When hiring a venue, it’s far less time-consuming to simply go online and book a venue through a specialist company, who will source an appropriate meeting place and assist you with the whole booking process. This frees you up to take care of the important task of organising the content of the meeting.
Trade-in tedious manual tasks for the latest tech tools to better manage your workload. When it comes to badges, manually making them before putting them in plastic sleeves, attaching a lanyard, sorting them out alphabetically and handing them out at the front desk can be slow and mind-numbingly boring, if we’re honest!
The modern trend when it comes to name badges is to let people do it themselves, reducing check-in queues and streamlining the registration process. Using self-service kiosks and enabling attendees to use wireless on-demand badge printing means people can register, check-in and print badges at their own convenience.
This not only saves you from sitting at the desk manually checking a table of badges and handing them out, it also lets delegates collect their badge when they wish, without having to endure a 10-minute wait before the event. It’s much more convenient for all parties.
Reduce your workload whilst simultaneously cutting down on waste paper by doing your surveys online. Even better, provide the attendees with a mobile survey solution during and after the event. When delegates can complete them during the day as part of the conference, you’ll also increase the response rate. The insights will help you to shape future events, so that everyone gains more from them.
There are plenty of digital survey tools and if you don’t have the technical knowledge to set this up yourself, delegate the task to someone who does.
Balancing your time
The golden rule: do NOT take your work home. As an example, working on last minute plans from your bed at 10pm at night isn’t the kind of thing you should be doing, even when you have a particularly heavy workload.
If you do this too often, it will seriously impair your ability to switch off and calm your mind. It may even stop you from sleeping. By the same token, try to stop talking about work issues when you’re socialising with friends and family. Endeavour to keep both areas of your life separate but running side-by-side in a harmonious manner.
You’ll feel more refreshed when you’ve achieved a good home/work balance, as your downtime will provide you with a genuine break, rather than feeling like an extension of your working day. You’ll be able to re-charge your batteries and go to work the following morning feeling genuinely refreshed and therefore able to perform better.
When you need a modern meeting room, no matter how big or small your event, &Meetings has the answers. We provide high quality, comfortable and flexible meeting rooms throughout the UK. Call us now on 0800 073 0499 for details.
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