Prevue Exclusive: Burnout Prevention for Meeting Planners

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Vimari Roman, CMM, PCC, CGLC, CPQC, Founder & CEO Be Productive Coaching & Be Productive Meetings.

How can meeting and event planners manage the inevitable stresses of the job? Industry pro Vimari Roman shares insights on how to avoid burnout.

Vimari Roman, CMM, PCC, CGLC, CPQC, founded Be Productive Coaching & Be Productive Meetings after many years of industry experience—including as a meeting planner. She is also co-founder of Coaches for Conferences. Roman knows firsthand how challenging it can be to overcome burnout in a job that consistently demands doing more with less. Long-term success in the industry, she told Prevue, is ultimately about “finding a balance between meeting stakeholders’ needs and maintaining personal well-being.”

Roman will be offering complimentary coaching sessions at Prevue’s Next-Gen Engagement Strategies Summit May 8-10 at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas. Learn more here.

7 Burnout Prevention Tips

Here is Roman’s roadmap for maintaining sanity and productivity on the job.

  1. Don’t be a pleaser. “In my experience as a Certified Positive Intelligence (PQ) Coach and working with planners over the years, especially the last four years when coaching at conferences, I have found that most planners have a high pleaser rating  based on the PQ assessment , says Roman. “Being a pleaser can sabotage meeting planners in several ways. Pleasers tend to say yes to every request, even if it stretches them thin. In the context of meeting planning, this can lead to taking on too many projects, resulting in stress, burnout and compromised quality of work.”

2. Set clear boundaries. In the fast-paced world of meeting planning, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and personal life. “Define specific work hours and stick to them to prevent overworking and burnout,” Roman advises. “This includes the times that you will check and answer text and emails. Remember that we are not saving lives with events and not everything is urgent. Communicate realistic timelines and expectations with clients and stakeholders, and be transparent about what can be achieved within a given timeframe.”

3. Learn to say no. It’s essential to not overcommit, says Roman. “Many planners struggle to say no to unreasonable demands or requests. This can result in agreeing to unrealistic timelines, accommodating last-minute changes without pushback and ultimately increasing the workload beyond what is feasible.”

4. Don’t be a perfectionist.  Many planners strive for perfection in everything they do, but this mindset can lead to excessive time spent on minor details, difficulty in making decisions and heightened stress levels when things don’t go according to plan, says Roman.

5. Streamline processes. Most planners are doing more with less both in terms of  resources and team members, notes Roman. “Look for opportunities to streamline and automate repetitive tasks. Whether it’s utilizing event management software or creating standardized templates, finding ways to work more efficiently can reduce stress and prevent burnout.”

6. Delegate effectively. “Trying to handle everything on your own can quickly lead to burnout,” says Roman. “Vendors are a great resource, and they are experts in what they do. Lean in more on them for their expertise. And trust your team, distributing responsibilities according to each person’s strengths.”

7. Prioritize self-care. It may sound like a cliché, but self-care should always be a priority for meeting and event planners, stresses Roman. “Schedule regular breaks throughout the day, practice stress-relieving techniques like mindfulness or meditation, go for a walk in the middle of the day and ensure you’re getting enough sleep and exercise.” Most important, she says, schedule down time after an event. “I find so many planners that don’t do this, but not giving yourself that time to rest in between events will lead to burnout. Remember that taking care of yourself enables you to better handle the demands of your job.”

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