As event professionals, our ultimate aim is to meet the expectations of clients and provide a top-notch service so attendees can enjoy a seamless event. But that comes with its fair share of stress.
For starters, it can be a high-pressure environment with tight deadlines, demanding clients and unpredictable situations. We often take on multiple responsibilities which require impeccable organisation, and multitasking skills, leading to overloading our brains and causing stress.
There’s no denying that working in the events industry is full on, especially as we often work very long hours with little sleep and tend to have an irregular schedule – sometimes working evenings and weekends, other times not working at all for weeks on end – which can also lead to an irregular income.
All these factors can have a detrimental impact on our mental health. So how can we ensure we look after ourselves while still taking care of business?
The importance of speaking up
Since the pandemic I’ve noticed there’s generally much more help and support available, and a communal understanding between people in the industry. We all talk more and we talk more openly. We check in on our colleagues and we ask them if they’re okay. Then we ask them if they’re really okay.
People seem much more willing to talk these days. And if there is something wrong, they seem more willing to say so. It’s all quite subtle, but it’s a massive shift for the industry as a whole. Yet it still isn’t enough.
I know of three young men from the industry who have all taken their own lives in the past 10 years – one of them, very recently.
When we’re busy with work, we’re so focused on providing a good service and ensuring the event goes to plan that we often forget about our own health and wellbeing and we burn the candle at both ends. But this way of life inevitably catches up with us and can cause burnout.
The events industry can be emotionally taxing due to the pressure and the emotional investment in creating memorable experiences. It’s important not to ignore your feelings and to seek help if things are becoming overwhelming.
Top tips to manage your mental health in the events industry
World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October, which is about raising awareness of mental health and driving positive change. So here are 10 top tips to improve your mental health when working in the events industry:
1 Learn stress-reducing techniques – deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness techniques can help you stay calm in high-pressure situations.
2 Set realistic expectations – establish realistic timelines and goals, considering the resources and time available, and communicate clearly with clients and team members about what can and can’t be achieved to avoid spreading yourself too thinly.
3 Time management – prioritise tasks and use effective time management techniques such as to-do lists or time blocking, to prevent feeling overwhelmed by multiple responsibilities. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Instead, delegate tasks to colleagues or suppliers where you can.
4 Stay organised – use tools like calendars, project management software or event planning software to stay organised and reduce stress related to last-minute surprises.
5 Maintain work-life balance – set boundaries between work and personal life to avoid burnout. Take breaks and holidays to recharge and disconnect from work during your downtime.
6 Personal health – physical wellbeing is closely linked to mental health, so prioritise physical health through regular exercise, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep.
7 Seek social support – connect with colleagues in the industry or join professional networks to share experiences and gain support. Don’t hesitate to seek help from friends, family or a therapist if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
8 Speak up – be open about challenges and concerns and seek solutions collaboratively. Learn to say no and don’t overcommit yourself. It’s okay to say no when you have too much on your plate.
9 Check in with yourself – it’s important to monitor your mental health and regularly assess how you’re feeling. Be aware of signs of burnout, anxiety and depression. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if needed; there’s no shame in talking to a therapist or counsellor.
10 Celebrate achievements – take time to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Recognising your achievements can boost your self-esteem and motivation.
Remember that taking care of your mental health is not a one-time effort; it’s an ongoing process. Practising self-care helps recharge your mental and emotional energy.
And making this a priority can help ensure a fulfilling and sustainable career in the events industry.