Few things bring as much joy as celebrating a special occasion with those we care about or celebrating milestones in our lives. However, one of the biggest stressors that people face when planning an event is not being able to fit everything in during the time allotted. So much to do, so little time! This can be exacerbated by all sorts of scheduling conflicts and other factors, but there are 6 simple tips you can use to make planning any event less stressful, and really enjoy yourself, even if there’s still a lot to do.
1. Cover Your Bases
One of the primary causes of stress during event planning is figuring out what to buy and where to get it. You need to find a location, plan your budget, figure out how many guests you can reasonably fit, and of course, you need to find an air cooler rental to ensure everyone is comfortable. Since these are the things that are vital to hosting any event, it’s important to figure them out as early as possible so you don’t have to worry about them later on. Once you do that, you can start hashing out other things like what kind of food and drinks you want at your event, the decorations you like, and the music that’s going to play. All of those are things that are important but you can host a great event even if the decoration isn’t as great as you might have hoped, so it’s better to leave them for later.
2. Set Clear Goals
When planning the event, you need to ask yourself what you want your guests to take away from the experience. If you’re planning a business event, do you want to celebrate the new direction the company is taking? Or do you want your guests to learn something or be inspired? If it’s a charity event, do you want to raise awareness about the different ways people can stay engaged with the cause after the event is over? The same idea applies to any happening you’re planning. Think about what the practical goal is (ai raising money for something, promoting team spirit, etc.), and what the broader goal is (ai creating further business opportunities, or building stronger bonds with the people you care for), and then find a way to achieve that. You can use this as a reminder when things get hectic and everything gets put off until the last minute – it’s not worth sacrificing your goals for those perfectly sliced croissants.
3. Use Helpful Tech
There’s no reason to do everything the old-fashioned way in this day and age. You can create spreadsheets with everything that needs to be done, use social media to promote the event, and even look into apps designed specifically to help people manage big gatherings. By having it all written down, your reminders set, and a space online where you can find everything, you’ll feel a lot more in control, which will do wonders for managing your stress levels. It may be a good idea to have one overarching plan which would focus only on the broad strokes – when the event is taking place, what the attractions are when the food is served, and how long it’s going to last approximately. You can use that as your guide, and then make a second plan that will have details of every element including the food and drinks. In this plan, you can place a clear time frame with deadlines for each task, as well as how things are supposed to happen at the event itself. That way, while you’re in the midst of everything, you can always look at where you’re at, and what you’re supposed to be doing next, so there’ll be no room for panic or stress.
Always make sure you assign people specific roles – one could be in charge of setting up the decorations, another could be where to find catering, and others still will help man the doors or work at the check-in desk. According to Carlo Parentela, you should always make sure you have adequate help, but try not to overburden anyone too much. It’s better to break down a bigger task into smaller tasks multiple people can lend a hand with than to have one person doing the brunt of the work. In that sense, it’s important to have the tools needed to establish easy coordination during the planning process and the event itself. Make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, and where they’ll be most useful at the event itself – everybody’s tasks should be clear, and there shouldn’t be any confusion as to where they’re going or who they’ll need to talk to. More importantly, if there happens to be some confusion, it should be resolved quickly and efficiently.
5. Be Realistic About What You Can Do
A lot of people get carried away when planning something like this and try to include every good idea they think of in the event. While understandable, that’s a one-way ticket to having way more stress than needed, and you’ll probably achieve less than if you focused on just a couple of things. By taking a look at how much time you’ll have to dedicate yourself to the planning, how many people will be helping you, and the size of the event, you’ll be in a better position to prioritize and work out what’s the best course for you. You could also look into how much money is needed to make the event happen, and what sort of things you’ll need to spend it on (from decorations and catering to promotional materials and venue costs). All of this should help you plan your day better, and actually, have enough energy left to enjoy yourself once the event takes place.
6. Be Flexible
No matter how important the event is, you can’t expect it to be perfect. There will always be something that’s not exactly as you’d imagined it. Whether it’s the lighting which isn’t quite right, or the table settings aren’t as elegant as they could have been – whatever it is, try and remember this: it doesn’t really matter. At worst, it’s a learning opportunity to improve your next event, but realistically – no one will probably notice these things but you. Keep a tight hold on what can really make or break the event, but be flexible when it comes to everything else. Learning how to let go of control isn’t always easy, but it’s the best way to ensure the stress levels stay within healthy bounds.
So there you have it – 6 tips to help make planning an event less stressful. It’s all about being prepared, delegating appropriately, staying flexible, and taking the time to enjoy yourself! By focusing on the overall goals and the atmosphere, and not the details that add a nice touch but aren’t the most important aspects of the event, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself as much as those who come to attend.