When I Grow Up, I Want to Be an Event Planner

Skift Take

The event planner's job comes with a lot of stress but also with great rewards. So why do we always focus on the negative side?

This is not your usual EventMB’s post. Let’s call it an editorial, a divertissement or a digression. Off topic, but not so much.

I need to start by making a confession. A few years ago, I bumped into the ranking of the most stressful jobs on the planet. When I noticed event coordinator was in the top 10, I did not think about it twice, this was great blog material.

I mentioned it in several articles and arguments I made to justify how stressful our job is. I used it to the fullest at the first viable opportunity.

Then Something Changed

As usual a number of outlets started to push the same news and argument every year this ranking was updated. At that stage something hit me.

I talked to my team and I asked everyone to stop writing about it. I did not say why. I kept thinking about the ranking and I started to look at the top 5 as outlined by CareerCast:

1. Military Personnel

2. Firefighter

3. Airline Pilot

4. Police Officer

5. Event Coordinator

All of a sudden I understood the problem with highlighting stress.

Look at the ranking. Do you see something?

I do

The four jobs before event coordinator are jobs kids dream about. We deeply respect those jobs.

If you think about the people doing them, they look anything but stressed. They are strong-willed, brave and incredibly proud individuals who play crucial roles in all modern societies.

Then it gets to event coordinator and all we can think about is stress. Oh no my lovelies, this has to stop!

I believe this is the time to take back the pride of being event professionals. Of course we can’t and don’t want to be compared to the jobs above us, but we should look at the positive side of being listed with such respected figures.

It’s time to be proud of being event professionals and not look at how stressed we may be. Don’t get me wrong, we take stress very seriously around here. I believe we were among the first to give you wellness and lifestyle tips, alas this has nothing to do with how we perceive our job.

Let Me Tell You How I See #Eventprofs

When I attend an event I look at two things, attendees reactions and event planner(s) demeanour. I’ve rarely seen erratic people running around rooms in distress. This is what I see.

I see professionals who know their s*&t. Event professionals are, well, professionals. They keep composure and positive demeanour in all situations, no matter how bad it’s turning. I’ve rarely seen event coordinators or planners break down in panic, they always know what to do next. They have a plan b and c. They know everything about the room, who is there and what needs to happen.

Have you ever walked onto a plane only to see the first officer erratically manoeuvring controls? Have you ever seen a firefighter scared of fire?

Event professionals eat pressure for breakfast, tension for lunch and skip dinner, while keeping themselves composed.

I see professionals that save lives. People want to get together. 100,000 attendees love to gather to watch a concert. Event professionals have security plans in place that save lives.

At the recent horrible events in Paris, the only failed attempts to kill were at the one venue with a planned event in place and top notch security measures.

Event professionals create contingency plans that have repeatedly saved thousands of lives. Of course there are exceptions and we love to talk about that one time when things go wrong, but today let’s talk about that 99% of times when we saved lives. Because we did it!

I see professionals who love to see people happy. Do you think police officers do their job because they love stress? Do you think firefighters throw themselves into danger because they like the feeling? Loving and protecting others is what motivates these people. Loving how others feel at events is what motivates us.

Look at the face of a wedding planner when the groom and bride have a 64 tooth smile and all the guests are happy.

Look at the face of a corporate event planner when the top management of the firm are enjoying their innovative team building exercises.

Look at the face of the conference planner whose attendees are loving that mini burger canapé it took hours to source.

We take care of the smallest detail to make sure sponsors, clients, attendees and performers leave with a happy face. We are the firefighters of happiness.

In Conclusion

The purpose of this post is not to have a cheesy, self pleasing encompass of what being an event professional means.

It’s time to ditch the stress talk to describe our job. It is time to be proud of what we do on a daily basis. It is time to tell kids this is a job you can dream to do when you grow up. It is not something you end up doing.

Event professionals are some of the most complete and precise all rounders. They know about tech, accounting, marketing, HR, project management, decor – the list is huge.

Please use the comment section or social networks to share why you are proud to be an event professional with the hashtag #proudeventprof