Every year, rankings of the most stressful jobs include meeting and event planners. Right up there with firefighters and police.
In anticipation of 2019 surveys once again naming meeting planning as one of the most stressful jobs, we asked some of our favorite planners what stresses them out the most.
The Change Effect
“When someone makes one change, it changes 1-10000 other aspects of the event, and there’s nothing more stressful than last-minute changes to your event plans when working against critical deadlines.”—Remy Gordon, Univision
“Having to constantly educate clients on best practices in working with meetings management professionals and helping them understand that we are strategic partners in creating and executing meetings and events; not order takers, administrative assistants or just there to ensure logistics are covered.”—Koleen Roach, Securian
“I think just the sheer desire to make everything flawless can create a tremendous amount of stress…and knowing that despite all your planning, things can happen that you have no control over. Add in some pretty crazy deadlines/turnaround times, and that’s a lot of pressure! We often make the impossible happen, but unfortunately it can take a toll.”—Heather Herrig, Every Last Detail
Wow for Less
“The workload and managing multiple events simultaneously, hence all of them being at different stages of the planning phase. There are unrealistic and uneducated requests surrounding some meetings. Also, delivering the wow factor when budgets have been dramatically cut but having to manage the same high expectations.”—Anonymous Planner, Insurance Company
“An analogy I’ve used before the launch of my 4,000 person conference is that it’s like walking down the wedding aisle and meeting your new spouse for the first time. You hope he’s all he is supposed to be and more but time will tell!
I’ve found that despite all the efficiencies planning and forecasting, a stressful component is trusting your third-party vendor partners to deliver on your expectations as you conceived and agreed upon. And, when they don’t, how easily and quickly a resolution can be implemented.”—Andrea Reno, YMCA of the USA
Don’t Get Sick!
The most stressful part of my job is timelines. That is a basic answer, but a very valid one. We live by timelines and deadlines. There is no chance to get an ‘extension’ on a deadline, when the event day comes, it comes. And you can’t call in sick during an event. I was in India in bed with a fever, but we were having our event the next morning, and I had to get up and manage the event. You can’t call in sick from your hotel room!—Belinda Lucero, Inventures
Need For a Plan D
“Changes to the plan…even though there is a plan B & C in place. Also sometimes communicating and translating one to two languages other than English for a project…and having clear understanding.” —Virginia Mampre, Meetings & Incentive Travel