After the post I did a couple weeks ago about a fellow event industry colleague’s struggle with her own mental health, questions were raised as to why is the mental health in the event industry is lacking so much. This week I decided to dig into this question a little bit more. Many event professionals are familiar with the fact that event coordinators have the 5th most stressful job in America as of 2014. This statistic is only outranked by the professions of enlisted military soldier, police officers, firefighters, and airline pilots. Let that soak in for a second. Those professions literally have the fate of human lives within their hands. So how come event coordinators are listed up with these professions?
Well, let’s start by looking at the work environment of event coordinators. Each event a professional takes on most likely will need to be executed to perfection, whether that be a once-in-a-lifetime event, such as a wedding, or a monthly meeting for the executives of a corporation. With that being said, you could only imagine the high stress environment that event professionals work in. Each event requires extensive preparation prior to the event as well as extensive event coordination the day of the event.
“To be a great event planner you truly have to be obsessive with the details–if you weren’t you wouldn’t be doing your job well.”
To help put the stress level in perspective, just think of every single person walking into your space being a critic of your work. Event coordinators develop events that are on high display to any person, attendee or worker of the event. This concept along with the expectations of the client foster a very high-pressure environment as well.
Outside of client and attendee criticism of events, coordinators have to take into consideration a “Plan B”, “Plan C”, and the rest of the alphabet for every logistical element to ensure nothing goes wrong. If there are contingency plans in place for almost everything, event coordinators can easily troubleshoot issues quickly, but this implies that an event coordinator would have to constantly be thinking about what could be going wrong. This element is so crucial to every single event because realistically, there is only one shot to get the event right, since no event is the same. This brings in extremely high stakes for coordinators to get the event just right. A client will always remember a poor event, therefore, reflecting an event coordinator’s continued reputation throughout the industry. Like it was stated in the article, “’If your job is stressful, that means it’s a very important job.’” If this statement is true, event coordinators’ jobs are one of the most important.