10 Reasons Why Event Planners Hate Their Job
Being an Event Planner can be amazing and extremely rewarding. There is no doubt about that. Travelling to beautiful places, throwing parties and meeting celebrities are absolutely fun indeed.
On the flipside however, the job is not without its challenges and can easily turn into a nightmare. While having a career as an Event Planner can seem pretty glamorous, there are definitely reasons why you wouldn’t want to become one.
In this post, we explore the harsh truths that nobody tells you about being on this career path. Get ready to dive into some uncensored and franck insights on why Event Planners sometimes hate their job.
1) Event Planners have long & unpredictable hours
Being an Event Planner means having a work schedule that doesn’t match the standard 9-5 weekday gig. Food tastings, site visits, meetings with vendors and setups are some of the thousand things to do. They can all take place during early mornings and late nights, especially the weekend. In fact, working during weekends and holidays is a regular occurance for Event Planners and it takes time away from family and friends.
In addition to that, event days are incredibly hard work. Spending 8-10 hours on your feet and being mentally “on” is exhausting, no matter how good of shape you are in. And the older you get, the harder it becomes.
2) The buck stops with Event Planners
You are probably thinking that this sounds great. And you’re right, it does indeed. Being an Event Planner means you are in charge. How cool is that?…
Except when things go wrong. Then you become the fall guy because no one is more responsible for the outcome of an event than the planner. No one.
In other terms, you cannot blame it on the MC if the conference didn’t start on time because he came late. Or if nobody enjoyed the buffet because the caterer served some tainted food. You are in charge, so this will all be your fault and no one else’s. Sure, some of these issues can easily be solved but others are just unavoidable. You will then have to deal with the consequences. So tell me, do you still think it’s cool?…
3) The devil is in the detail
For obvious reasons, details are an Essential in the job of Event Planners. Just take a look at some of the many things that can go wrong at an event. You will immediately understand why Event Planners are constantly thinking about details.
By the way, being detail-oriented can go from reading between the lines of contracts to picking up on some cues when negotiating, etc. All of this help Event Planners predict any problems that could arise during an event.
On the other hand, a planner should also be able to include details within the event that impress guests and clients (entertainment, decoration, seating charts…).
#Tip: There is, however, a fine line between being a perfectionist and a control freak. If you believe that you have to do everything yourself and you struggle with delegation, then you have probably crossed the line.
4) Keeping a balanced budget
Balancing a budget is one the challenges Event Planners face. Whether you are new to event planning or a seasoned professional, keeping your budget on track is hard and frustrating.
What can even be more frustrating is the fact that costs are usually underestimated. This is the reason why clients often have first-class ideas on a low-cost budget.
5) Event Planners must master the art of blending
As I said earlier, Event Planners are the one in charge. But that doesn’t mean the event is about them. They are the one making the magic happen but without being the star of the show.
Event planners must therefore, perfect the art of blending and working behind the scenes in a silent and efficient way. As such, they balance the act of being seen enough for their clients to know they’re there, while creating for the guests the illusion that the event is running smoothly on its own.
Nobody needs to see a frazzled Event Planner running around frantically so get yourself together and disappear.
6) Event Planners must constantly innovate
In any industry, innovation is hard and event planning makes no exception. In order to find new and creative ways to impress clients and attendees, Event Planners must always keep up with trends. This may sound like an easy task to do but think about the money and time a planner must sacrifice in other to stay ahead of the competition. In fact, staying up-to-date on the latest trends and innovations requires continuous research and education.
So rather than enjoying some time alone during the weekend, planners must sometimes attend seminars to learn about the newest features to include in events.
7) Poor social recognition for Event Planners
A lot of people underestimate the amount of time, effort and stress that go into planning an event. According to me, this is probably the most annoying trait about Event Planners’ job. Everybody thinks it’s easy to get things done.
But the truth is, professionnal Event planners are a tremendous asset to both your corporate and social events. So maybe people should think twice before underestimating their job.
8) Dealing with difficult people
It would be wonderful if we worked in a world where everyone gets along and does what they are supposed to do, when they are supposed to do it and in the way WE want it done. Unfortunately, that is rarely a reality, especially in Event Planning.
As a matter of fact, the most difficult people to deal with in this industry are the clients. From know-it-alls to last-minute-changers and never-happys, all experienced Event Planners have had their share.
Clients are not the only source of annoyance though. Let’s not forget colleagues that don’t follow through and won’t return phone calls, or vendors who over-promise and under-deliver. Dealing with all these difficult people can leave even the most patient Event Planner disappointed and frustrated.
9) Once an Event Planner, always an Event Planner
When attending other events, Planners don’t switch off and enjoy not being in the driving seat for once. They just don’t know how to do that. Actually, Event Planners hardly look past the flaws of the events they attend to. They are quick to judge and even quicker to share that feedback with anyone that will listen.
Not enough participants at a conference? Well, it was probably poorly or incorrectly promoted. Or maybe, the speaker’s microphone isn’t working or the video presentation won’t play? Well, the planner probably didn’t check the materials prior to the event (laptops, A/V systems, projectors, etc.).
In addition to that, Event Planners usually find themselves getting involved in the conduct of the event. If they are not opening doors, you’ll see them directing people or trying to solve problems. This can be quite annoying because at the end of the day, they sometimes just want to enjoy themselves like the rest of the guests.
10) High level of stress for Event Planners
The last but clearly not the least: STRESS. Based on a study Forbes made in 2017, Event planner is the 5th most stressful job.
As a matter of fact, there is a lot of pressure for things to go right within budget and under a strict time frame. When you combine that with the fact that an event is a live experience which you only get one shot at, that makes for a very stressful work. Not everyone can handle that sort of pressure. But hey, you got this!
There’s a lot of Event Planners who are amazing at what they do and all of them agree that it is a great profession with wonderful opportunities. However, event management is hard, time consuming and detailed work. While there are many positive aspects and benefits to the industry, it is definitely not a fantasy job.
That doesn’t mean you should not embrace this career if you want to. Just keep in mind that it is a serious job. It takes patience, hard work and a lot of dedication for event planners to be successful.