Treat it like your day job

The hardest thing about planning a corporate event isn’t the endless to-do list, the suppliers who don’t call you back or having to put Colin from sales into a chokehold because he can’t decide between chicken and beef for his mains on the menu choice.

(You’re not really selling me on this whole event planning thing, Mr Magician…)

The hardest thing is having to deal with all these things – at the same time… while still doing all of your other duties (you know, the stuff you’re paid for!).

If your boss came along and said, “you know what? This isn’t fair. Planning this event is going to be hard work. Why don’t I pass all your other work to someone else, so you can focus on the party? And here, take my private plane to Hawaii, so you can have a bit of peace”, it would be different.

Sadly though, this rarely happens (especially the plane thing). This means you’re stuck on hold with the caterer while you’re photocopying that report. You’re visiting venues while driving home (in whose definition does a 75-mile roundtrip equate to “on your way home”…?) and you’re skipping lunch to meet with a handsome magician from Cheshire who can wow your guests.

(I’m creating a new rule – one shameless plug per post)

Event planning is one of the most stressful jobs out there – and that’s people who do this full-time!

No wonder you’re stressed.

The key to not getting stressed and going on a killing spree while planning a corporate event lies in maximising your time. Treat your temporary event planning tasks the same as meetings and deadlines for your usual duties:

Put them on your calendar.

Most of the stress of corporate event planning comes from not having a firm handle on what needs doing, and by when. You have a to-do list messing up your head (or if you’re lucky a collection of weirdly shaped and brightly coloured post-it notes).

You’ll get round to it when you have a free moment.

Take the stress out of your head and get it down on paper. Work out what you need to do, and by when, and then block out some time on your calendar to get it done.

Getting it down on paper ensures you know exactly what you need to do and when you’re going to do it.

It allows you to prioritise tasks and gives you everything you need to know in one glance.

Writing it down on paper takes the stress out of your head, allows you to relax and, more importantly…

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