When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action, Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. This is one of the definitions online when you Google stress.
Why would a job be called stressful, I bet everyone considers his job stressful and it is in fact so, it works exactly as “beauty in the eye of the beholder”… right?, But in fact every job has a level of stress.
Stress is always associated with reaching a target, when you are studying for an exam and the date is getting closer, when you are training for a competition and it is getting closer. Exactly when you are working on some important reports or even meeting an important client or meeting your boss, stress level accumulates, something is coming towards you and you are afraid of the end result.
Will it kill you? That is the question to rate your stress, if it is 100% yes that is a stressful job on all counts. In an annual study by Forbes ” The 10 Most Stressful Jobs In 2016″ the military comes as the most stressful job, that is a person whom will not lose a pay cheq if he misses up, no he will lose his life or lives of others. And so on, the scale goes, firefighter as the second, airline pilot, police officer and here comes at fifth “the event coordinator”.
What is an event coordinator doing in such high-risk list? He will not die… right? Well no he won’t but it the closest… why you ask?
And before I continue let me clear something, Event Coordinators, Event Managers, Event Planners, are all the same job, titles vary based on event business size.
Let us take this scenario: When you are planning an event, simple as family meeting, the simplest would be calling the relatives, inviting them and asking each to bring something to the party… right? What if every one of those relatives counted on the others on bringing their assigned stuff and he forgot his because he was very busy in his stressful job! And ops, we all counted on each other and none brought anything? What if all brought everything and they came to an outdoor party and starts to rain, or indoor party and it is a blackout, or none even showed up, scenarios of failure are a lot, and ah yes, all might go fine but what happens if a fail scenario becomes reality, the family gathering would fail. How bad can it be? All invitees will have a bad memory and they keep taking about it every good event they gather… “this is a lot better that what happened at John’s last year” and you go in history as the failed story.
Let us take it up a notch, you are planning your wedding and everyone important in your life will be present, your family, friends and collogues, and the caterer you chose did not show up on time or did a bad job or the decoration did not finish on time or even… Again… a blackout!. working on a meeting of important clients and departments heads, and something goes wrong. What is the worst can be? The result will be in history, your own history and you fail it, it will be there forever till you are one of those lucky people gets a second chance.
The event planning is a massive job, I always look at it as when you hire someone to build a multistory building with all services functional in all rooms and apartments, electricity, water, fire alarm systems, staffing, cleaners… etc, all to be ready in a specific day, specific time, for a specific duration and then you have dismantled all back to ground level, this is what they do, and it is all about precision and time and all done usually by one person who acts like a hub connecting all together, you will never accept a late service at your wedding and the failure here is catastrophic at all levels, if a supplier has a car accident, it is the event manager fault not the supplier and he is blamed for every mistake.
A failed job means:
1- Reputation, imagine a failure in a wedding, all invitees whom are possible clients or source of clients, become a negative effect on your reputation, or worse if you fail on organizing an Olympics grand opening, it becomes CNN news.
2- Finances, fees will be negotiated if not waived, talking about a pending payment. If the client does not pay or pay less, either the event manager will pay suppliers less or will have to pay in full from his own money and if not paid, he losses reputation with suppliers as well. It might be bankruptcy for event managers
3- Career changer, event managers, grow at their work, they start with 1 dollar jobs at first, then 100 dollars jobs then jobs of thousands then millions, and any one failed event, it is the higher you go, the louder the fall, it will mark and draw the line of your maximum growth or you might have to change your career and start all over again. Remember, events are usually public in their nature, even private events, when it fails it becomes public talk to the attendees.
What most people do not get is that, there is no event management company that has on its storage or on its payroll everything that is required to run an event, most of the time the event manager is acting like a middle man, with style… in some sort. So venue, decorations, furniture, lights, sound, catering, shows, staffing, director and every aspect of the event I forgot to mention, most of the time, one or two or even three item are under the full control and payroll of the event manager and the others are not, so those others have mind of their own and operations of their own and they do one mistake, it comes to the event manager.
Event manager is an underpaid person, with CEO responsibility on an event execution and the power of a zero personnel managed department manager whose job depends on others executions whom has their own managers and own priorities.
BUT… But, this article yes is about the job stress but I do not want to end this article on sadness J. This job has one characteristic that makes it one of the best jobs when we talk about the success, as an event manager, you will see the success direct in the face of your clients at the end of the event, when they come to thank you and when you get a call from a new client who is calling because he heard or saw that success.
The purpose of writing this article is just a tribute to event managers, whom are working behind every single good event you have participated in or even saw. after all they are the best stress managers.