Staying calm amid chaos is one of the most important job requirements for an event planner.
For some, it’s a trait that comes naturally. For others, it’s something they must cultivate through careful monitoring of their own emotions and behavior.
A recent survey by Stress Matters found that 71% of event professionals believed their colleagues are suffering from stress experienced on the job. In fact, “event coordinator” was found to be the fifth most stressful job behind fire fighters, airline pilots, police officers, and enlisted military personnel! The toll that excessive stress takes on a person’s health and quality of life is huge, yet the issue continues to be grossly underrated and overlooked by most event management employees. Demanding schedules and the significant pressure that comes with the job can lead to major health issues. But despite these alarming facts, nonprofit event coordinators continue to carry through, knowing their work plays an important part in the fundraising goals for the community they serve.
Preparing for stressful moments that inevitably occur during important events will help you to better manage those moments of anxiety, misunderstandings, and mistakes that can throw off all your careful planning. Take control of your stress with a three-pronged approach to calm event management.
Leadership + Plus Collaboration = Superior Results
A calm environment doesn’t just happen. It is developed from the top down by a leader that can remain steady under pressure, make good decisions, and support a complicated event execution. Relying on a dedicated team of collaborators— staff and volunteers— to deliver expert execution will keep the event on track.
Listening to the insights of trusted team members before, during and after the event will help you identify potential issues prior to the event and how to effectively handle unforeseen challenges as they arise. Creating an atmosphere of inclusivity can also foster confidence in your team and encourage them to handle challenges appropriately on their own.
Relying on an all-inclusive event management software package is one of the best solutions for managing the stress that comes with event night chaos. Greater Giving’s Event Management Software will streamline your event planning by automating, tracking and managing your fundraising efforts all from one dashboard. Forget the hassle of paper-based files, notes, spreadsheets, and documents and begin working more efficiently and effectively with our cloud-based fundraising event software solutions.
The Logic of Practical Processes
Nonprofits typically struggle most with the ability to establish and maintain strong processes. According to the 2018 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, only 35% of the event planners said their communications team follows clear workflow processes and uses tools that improve efficiency “very often or always.”
Improving efficiency through the use of clear workflow processes and effective tools provides you with a technical structure your entire team can rely on in times of crises. Finding the right tools will require an examination of what is going right for your team, and what is going off the rails, so take the time to investigate your needs before you begin researching solutions.
Give your guests another way to bid in your next auction with Greater Giving’s Auctionpay. This plug-and-play credit card solution is specifically designed for non-profit and school fundraisers. Guests can pre-register their card at check-in, bid at a conveniently placed terminal, then breeze through check-out and item pick up at the end of the event. The system also improves your staff and volunteers’ experience with easy to use automating registration, cashiering, and post-event reconciliation features.
When you’re looking for a customizable off-line credit card solution with features like Express Checkout, multiple terminal support, and user-friendly operation— look to Auctionpay!
For example, if communication is an issue consider an online system that can be automatically updated with data gathered anywhere, anytime. If your team finds it hard to gather the desired data from guests, look for intuitive software that will ask the questions needed to get all the important information into your records. And if paper bidding is too cumbersome, find other options for your guests, such as bidding by text or auction terminals strategically placed throughout the venue.
Going with the Flow to Your End Goal
Remaining focused on your event’s goals, while staying flexible enough to handle the many twists and turns that come with an event, is key to staying calm when things go off the rails. However, this is easier said than done when technology isn’t working; there’s a miscommunication between you and your guests; and the caterer runs out of food before everyone is served. Arm yourself against these tense moments in advance by cultivating your zen state of mind.
Just as a person experiences the benefits of medication over time, the benefits of regular meditation or yoga are strengthened the longer they are practiced. Backing your practice up with a habit of “checking in” with yourself and learning on-the-spot relaxation techniques to employ during bouts of anxiety will help you take control of your mental state so you can lead with clearly and confidently.
When the event is underway and your stress levels creep up, rely on your relationship with your team and the efficiency of a strong data collection system to maintain calm during a crisis. You may find that with the support of this three-pronged approach to prop you up during high-stress moments you’ll be able to handle any challenge that comes your way with grace and efficiency.