Event Planning In 2021 Is About Overcoming Fear
I don’t want to assume things about you, but let me try to relate for a second. I talk to clients and planning professionals like you every day.
Last year you were pretty confident. Although always open to learning and tweaking your approach, you had this set of tools and procedures that you relied on to take some of the anxiety and unknown factors out of event planning. We all know that on its best day, this career is like holding water in your cupped hands – things flow and change and we have to be ready!
Then a pandemic happened. Suddenly it felt a lot more like jamming your finger into a dam about to burst. It was scary and there was more uncertainty than ever before.
Event Planning In 2021 Pivots Hard – Are You Ready?
Will there even BE event planners in the new, post-pandemic era? If events go virtual, am I left without any skillset? Do I have to learn how to use complicated software and spend hours researching the safest, most cost effective, and easiest platform to stream events through?
At this point we’re several months into this thing and we know that the event planning field is still alive. In fact, many guests enjoy the flexibility that virtual attendance offers them and businesses can appreciate the incredible amount of content they have to play with later. That should take some of the pressure off, right?
Instead, I know some of you feel a dull dread settling in. Now it’s time to really get to work and try to figure out how to do your job with a completely different set of conditions. In today’s post, I’m going to talk to you about the psychological aspect of excelling at event planning in 2021. That’s your very first hurdle to overcome and you can do it!
I’ll also tell you the number 1 actionable, procedural tip I give all planners and clients I speak with.
So take a deep breath and let’s get into your head.
Event Planning In 2021 Leaves No Room For Fear
The truth is, fear stunts creativity. You might not feel that your job is very creative but the truth is you’re thinking on your feet all the time as an event planner. If you are paralyzed by fear you will be unable to meet the challenges ahead of you. In fact, being able to overcome fear could be your “edge” in The New Normal.
That’s why I’ve decided to write this blog. It’s not motivational mumbo-jumbo. It’s actually about overcoming the very first hurdle that stands in your way. That hurdle is fear.
When fear or anxiety wells up in us, it becomes difficult to focus on anything else. We feel self-conscious and unsure. It’s difficult to know which step to take first. We lack a big picture vision.
You can attempt to change your perspective by rejecting the idea that the current world events jeopardizes your career. Instead, see all of this as an opportunity.
I can picture your eyes rolling as I type this. However, it’s true that one of the main factors that separates successful people from people who just get by is the ability to adapt and rise to the occasion. Sometimes we have to get uncomfortable in order to grow. We didn’t ask for this- we didn’t want to see our industry shaken and turned upside down, but it happened.
It’s what you do next that matters.
You’re Better Off Than You Realize – Known Your Value And Worth
One way to reduce the fear you’re experiencing is to remember your worth.
Remind yourself as often as necessary that you are a competent person who is able to learn and accept guidance. All you have to do is find the right person to learn from.
But before we get into that I want to talk about what you still bring to the table. By reminding yourself of all these things you’ll be able to keep the fear at bay when it does start to creep up on you. You’re awesome! Don’t forget it.
Remember that at one point in your past you were a new event planner. You didn’t know all the tips and tricks that you relied on several months ago to put on amazing events for clients.
In many ways you’re back there today. However, you have an edge over your beginner self. You do know a tremendous amount about this industry. That hasn’t changed. You understand the importance of cultivating relationships with your vendors. You know that delivering value to guests is something that pays real returns.
You also know that planning is the most important asset on your side and something that will help you anticipate and eliminate problems as you get closer to your launch date.
Remember that you already know how to market your event. You still have a list a guests who attended prior events or donors who have always been loyal and happy to give. You’re not starting from scratch.
So although there are many unknowns and you have to learn many new skills and learn about new technology in order to do your job, you are in a great position to learn. It’s impossible to replace or devalue the real world experience you have as an event planner. Don’t forget that.
My Number 1 Tip For Event Planning In 2021: Find Your Mentor
Now here’s my true tip and the real takeaway in terms of an actionable step I want you to walk away from this article with. Don’t forget that everything I said up until now is extremely important for your mindset and your overall success. But what I’m about to tell you next is what is truly going to dissolve your fear because it will put a strategy in place instead.
Find a mentor.
Sure, an intern who is super tech savvy could help, but it’s not the same as working with a professional event planner who has been holding digital in hybrid events for years. That’s why my real recommendation is to find a professional mentor or coach who can help guide you by giving you a framework, to-do lists, and bringing you up to speed on the aspects of digital events that you don’t even know you don’t know.
As you may know, my business Eventistry by Alecia has undergone recent changes well. I’m changing directions lately because I see a real need for my fellow industry professionals and I know I’m in a position to meet that need. I’ill never stop putting on six-figure events for clients of all sizes and famous brands including Google, but we’re adding a whole secondary part of our business and becoming consultants as well.
I’ve been drawn to this role because I have ample experience in holding virtual in hybrid events. I’ve been doing this since 2015. I was able to learn at my own pace and practice gaining experience over the course of a normal event planning career. I know you have to come up to speed in a pressure cooker. And the truth is I want to help. I don’t see my fellow event planners this competition, I see them it’s part of the culture it keeps this industry going.
Your mentor doesn’t have to be me. It can be anyone you know who has experience in digital events. However, if you don’t know someone or if you’re looking for a fast track strategy like the one we’ve put together that’s easy to replicate and can help event planners at all educational stages please don’t hesitate to reach out to my agency.
Event Planning In 2021 And Beyond
So before I go I just wanted some things out.
You’re going to be okay. In fact, even if you aren’t okay you’re going to find a career that suits you because you’re open to that and you’re focused on that. So if it turns out that virtual event planning is not your thing you’re going to find your groove.
I believe in you though. I think you’re going to meet these challenges and excel at them. I think you’re going to face these opportunities and grow because you’re going to remember that you’re still valuable, that fear isn’t going to help you, and that all that stands between you and your next successful virtual event is education. You learned how to throw advanced in the first place and you can learn how to throw digital events in this new set of circumstances we call the new normal.
But the best thing you can do for yourself is to find a coach or mentor who can guide you through this transition. When you have someone like that to lean on, someone you trust because their results are proven, you can truly let go of a lot of the fear that could stifle your growth.
It’s time to go back to school. Choose your teachers wisely.