How to avoid burnout in the events industry

Six steps to help meeting planners achieve work-life balance


NEW YORK - Event coordinator is regularly listed as one of the most stressful careers in America - recently landing at number six on CareerCast's 2019 roundup. While stress can sometimes be a positive motivator, too much of it left unchecked can lead to burnout, resulting in low energy and reduced professional productivity. 

An overwhelming 44% of employees reported feeling burnout sometimes, according to a 2018 Gallup poll. An additional 23% said they experienced burnout at work very often or always.

Luckily, there are ways to prevent the crash from overwork. Below are a few steps from to help event coordinators nip burnout in the bud.


To combat burnout, you first need to assess your physical and mental states. Physical symptoms include exhaustion, insomnia, headaches, and a change in food or alcohol consumption, according to the Mayo Clinic. Emotional signs to look out for are irritability, depression and an inability to concentrate. If you display any of the signs above, then you may be experiencing burnout.


Burnout is likely to manifest in people who struggle with work-life balance, so it's important to set professional boundaries. As an event draws near, you might need to work longer hours and answer a few late-night calls, but this doesn't mean you have to be available 24/7.

Create an availability plan for regular days and crunch time that you can stick to, such as not answering any emails after 5pm on a normal day and after 9pm during high season. Make sure to communicate these guidelines to team members and clients, so they know when and how to reach you.

Taking some time to unplug from work - even for just an hour or two before bed - is crucial to help you mentally recharge and prepare for the next day.


Take advantage of your time off to get a workout in and meet up with friends or family -both of which have been proven to reduce stress, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

You can also take advantage of this time to pursue passions, such as signing up for a cooking class, taking on a reading challenge or learning to play an instrument. Whatever it is you enjoy, work it into your calendar on a regular basis.


Meeting planners wear many hats, and while it's tempting to do everything yourself to ensure it's all done correctly, you'll quickly wear yourself down doing so. A successful conference takes a team. Don't be afraid to delegate tasks and rely on your colleagues to keep things running smoothly.


Still, delegating will only get you so far. You don't want to pass too many tasks off to your staff, only to burn them out, as well. Make sure to set reasonable expectations with clients in the early stages of event planning and don't hesitate to say no to unreasonable requests.


Things move quickly in the meetings industry. An event that was months in the making can be over in the blink of an eye. But before you move on to planning the next event, take a minute to celebrate all that you and your colleagues have achieved. Acknowledge the hard work you put in, revel in the positive feedback from attendees and maybe even get a drink - you deserve it!

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