That’s it, it’s (almost) official, the holidays are starting! Relaxing on the beach, hiking in the mountains or drinking cocktails by the pool, your program is done. You look forward to these few days of rest to relax and take some distance from your work. But when you’re an event planner, you never really stop working. Even if the objectives are not the same, organizing is part of your life. This job is often more a passion than a choice, follow our 10 tips to keep learning during your vacation as an event planner.
1. Plan your vacation like a project
When you plan an event in the professional setting, you probably have a certain process which guides you, a checklist to follow, a schedule of conditions to respect. Why not do the same when planning your vacation? The advantage is that you are the one who sets the objectives and the deadlines. It is, therefore, a great exercise. Ask your children about the activities that interest them, establish the budget with your partner and organize your holiday like a real professional.
2. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to organize events
Your friends offer to have a barbecue or a picnic on the beach? Say yes! In addition to having a good time with your friends or family, you will be able to apply what you have learned on a small scale. Who’s buying the food? Who is in charge of bringing back enough beverages? Who is responsible for installing the volleyball court? Assign roles to make sure your lunch runs in the best possible way. But as an event planner on vacation, the key to progressing is not to take it too seriously. The goal is not to become again the bossy event planner who gives orders that you are at work, but rather to test your technique with your entourage. If everyone enjoys it, your loved ones will be the best people to tell you what to do better.
3. Keep your eyes wide open
Today, you have decided to go for a walk. You are pleasantly surprised to discover that a festival is being organized in the city you want to visit. A life-size simulation! Open your eyes, listen, taste, touch. Whether you are still in France or on the other side of the world, the way you organise an event changes according to the people in charge, according to the culture and quite simply according to the context. It is always very rewarding to see how others work and to take good ideas. Who knows? You might finally find the trick that will make your next event magical!
4. Discuss with local people
If you have chosen to become an event planner, it is because you are a sociable person who enjoys talking with the people around you. What could be better than enjoying your holiday to learn more by talking to local people? Always keep in a corner of your head that you might come across information useful for organizing your next event. You’re an event planner in vacation so stay awake! The greengrocer tells you about a spice whose perfume smells very good? Write down the name. A group of children seem to be having fun with a typical game of their region? Keep that in mind. Everything is a pretext for creativity. Some of your discoveries may not be exploitable in the end, but in any case, you will have learned something.
5. Read a good book on events
Who hasn’t complained about not having time to read because of the work and all the household chores? Holidays are the perfect time to finally take time for yourself and do what you don’t have time to do the rest of the year. When you choose your readings, why not take a book that will allow you to learn many things, while entertaining you? If you are in need of creativity, Judy Allen’s “Confessions of An Event Planner” will stimulate you! Her humour and years of experience will give you creative ideas for your next events. On the other hand, if you are looking to reassure yourself about your ability as an event planner, the experts Anthony Babkine and Adrien Rosier will know perfectly how to fulfil this role with their best-seller “Succeed in organizing an event“.
6. Go to conferences
You have always wanted to attend conferences on a specific subject that is close to your heart, but lack of time has prevented you from doing it? Take advantage of your holidays to finally do it. Whether you are looking to learn more about specific topics, such as the use of virtual reality within an event, or more generally about working life by learning, for example, methods to manage stress or techniques to gain productivity, there is no shortage of topics. If the conference you are interested in is too far from home, find out about online webcasts. More and more seminars are now being broadcast on the Internet, allowing interested parties to participate remotely from anywhere in the world. Think of the Ted Talks who deliver inspiring lectures on just about everything.
7. Take courses to develop your skills
You love your job, but you feel limited in your abilities? You could take advantage of your free vacation time to take classes and develop a skill that will be useful in your work. This can be a digital marketing course to learn how to communicate online about your events. But keep an open mind! It is possible that by taking a surf course, you will not see the link with your current projects right away. But maybe in the future, you will have to hire surfers for a seaside event. And on that day, your few hours learning the technical terms of this aquatic sport will help you select the best providers.
8. Meet other event planners
By always working with the same teams, we end up using the same codes and proposing the same ideas. Openness is perhaps one of the most important qualities of being an event planner. Without taking the risk of offending your colleagues, you could take advantage of your holidays to meet other event planners in vacation and share about your working methods. It is always interesting to have an outside perspective, especially when it comes from professionals in your sector.
9. Stimulate your mind
If you have made the choice to become an event planner, it is because creativity is part of your DNA. But just because you are naturally creative doesn’t mean you can’t continue to develop this aspect of your personality. Do manual activities with your children and try to create new decorations that are easy to make and affordable. Participate in mosaic, painting or knitting workshops to understand how to combine colors and find ideas faster. Musician? Play your instrument, compose new songs to find which musical styles are most suitable for different types of events. In short, stimulate your mind by creating, associating and exchanging.
10. Stop thinking of work
This is perhaps the most important piece of advice. The very principle of a holiday is to relieve the pressure, to think about something else and to empty your mind. Do not check your emails, do not answer the phone and enjoy this time for yourself and your loved ones. You may not think about it at the time, but the previous 9 tips will come naturally if you really want them. You will quickly realize that by letting go and taking advantage of this time to rest, you will return to work more motivated and much more efficient. And yes, it may seem paradoxical, but to maintain high productivity, you have to leave your job and respect your limits. You are afraid that your holidays will make you lose the thread of the organization of the current event? On the contrary, these few days of break will be for the greatest good and a good investment for the rest of the process…
Being an event planner is a job that never really leaves you. Even lying on the beach, your mind is still a little involved in your ongoing projects. However, it is essential to keep things in perspective and know how to take a break when necessary. You can take advantage of the environment around you to continue learning, to make this free time available to develop your skills. On the other hand, do not forget that you are on holiday, and above all, this time must be used to rest. Moreover, haven’t we always been told that we learn more when we are relaxed? So relax and learn, that’s how you’ll become a better event planner.