Being an events and wedding planner demands a large skill set. As well as good planning skills (sounds obvious but believe me, I have seen a distinct lack of it from experienced planners) communication skills are essential, particularly when things don’t go as expected. So as an events and wedding planner I think I have done well to develop my swan-like calm – and here’s an example of when I really needed it.

The thing is, pressure is contagious. If you’re a stressed events and wedding planner, then your team around you will pick up on it. As will your guests.
If you're a stressed events and wedding planner, your team and guests pick up on it. Click to Tweet
I like the challenge of putting my planning and people skills to the test at an event or wedding with the chance everything will go to plan. Or not.

Events on a national stage

national conference organiserI was once running a major national event. Over 500 delegates had travelled to London to be wowed and well looked after at a prestigious venue. As well as our top bosses, we had major partners attending who needed to be impressed. As guests started to arrive it was clear a major IT glitch was developing at the venue that was going to be tough to fix. And we had 20 minutes until our VIP guest speaker was on stage. Everyone looked in my direction to fix the issue.

It was one of those events where I had crew comms and a mobile phone, plus a team of people to help. All the support and gadgets were great. But then came one of those moments when your mobile is ringing, messages were coming in via crew comms, and those around me needed direction. And I needed all of them to help fix the problem. Now.

I assigned each individual in front of me to take on a task that would work toward a solution. Having a mobile phone and crew comms at my disposal was really useful. It was a huge venue and I didn’t have time to physically run from one place to another. I used these to contact the venue and our own IT contractors to play their part in finding a work around that would at least mean the keynote speaker started on time. Within 2 minutes everyone was pulling in the same direction. Hopefully we were on our way to getting things fixed.

'You're like a swan!' said my colleague. Why wedding planners need swan-like calm. Click to Tweet

At that moment, the magnitude of the situation hit me. And I was shocked I was dealing with it so well – the pinnacle of swan-like calm. A single tear fell from my eye. I wiped it away, smiled and carried on. If I had dwelt on that tear, it would have turned into a torrent; the IT would not have been fixed and the conference would have turned into a disaster.

And here’s the science!

Department of Health eventIt’s a fact that humans mirror emotions due to mirror neurons. A neuron that fires both when one acts and when one sees an action performed by another. So, the neuron mirrors the behaviour of another, as though the observer was having the experience. So we become stressed when we see others stressed. We can also become emotional when we see others’ emotions too.

As an events and wedding planner we have to behave professionally and positively. Just as our guests or delegates would expect us to. We think on or feet and we’re creative with solutions.

And we do this, because we often need to, at a fast pace. And that is also why we like live events. It’s a chance to test and apply our swan-like calm.

Continual learning

So did the conference start on time? I know you’re wondering. Well yes, more or less. An 8 minute delay. But we made up the time at the day went on. Our delegates didn’t know anything of our challenges and those that needed to be impressed were pleased with the event.

The most important learning points; be calm under pressure; communicate as much as possible and know that IT will trip you up, so be prepared. And have that swan-like calm as possible when challenges arise.

Need my skills?

If you need a calm events and wedding planner then get in touch. As you can see I have the skills to cope with even the biggest challenges – and still keep smiling! That’s because I love events and know this is the career for me!

Background and reading from Psychologies here and here. Featured image via Andy Sallis.

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