Planning an event can take a toll on your emotional well-being. This post might be surprising to some people but I actually do work on mindset when I do event coaching and I believe it's one of the most critical aspects of having a stress-free planning journey!
Here's 3 mindset shifts that can help you tap into ease.
1. Every No is as Much as a Blessing as a Yes
When creating an event and finding sponsors, speakers and partners, chances are you might get tons of "No". I've learnt how to reduce the number of "No's" but truth be told, rejections are a very normal part of event planning and you simply can’t avoid it!
What I know for sure is that every No is as much a blessing as a Yes so don't take heart or feel too dejected when you get a rejection. Maybe they are not a right fit for your event, maybe you are meant to get a better speaker/sponsors/partner, maybe working with them might be a pain in the ass or cost you more money. Who knows? I know I used to take days to get over getting rejections, especially when I believed the partnership was a good fit. And then I realised I always got something better. Always, no exceptions.
Throwback to the time that I felt gutted when a supposed easy yes from a venue sponsor - an open-air venue that are known for supporting community causes said 'No' to support my women empowerment event. It was a huge blow for me especially since I had zero budget for a back-up venue and I only had 3 weeks to plan the event from start to execution (a long story for another day!)
Here's the venue sponsor that said No to me:
Venue: Hong Lim Park, Speaker's Corner
And here's the venue sponsor that said HELL YES to my event:
Venue: The Arts House, Singapore
Few days later, I got a call back from another sponsor who is thrilled to be part of event - a beautiful museum with classy wood floorings in a gorgeous architectural space. Here's the best part - what I didn't know at that time was that Singapore was having a huge haze problem from the forest fires in Indonesia and the air quality was really poor. This means that the if the outdoor venue said yes, it would be really bad for my attendees to stay outdoors for an extended period of time.
2. Work With Allies instead of Business Partners
The number 1 reason why I have such an easy and peaceful event planning journey is because I choose to work with allies instead of business partners. This is something that I ALWAYS encourage all of my clients to do.
Business partners want to be part of your event because you help to advance their business goals - marketing, visibility, authority, outreach and the list goes on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and partnerships are definitely meant to be a win-win collaboration.
But working with allies, people who believed in YOU, your impact, your event, your vision is when the partnership is taken to another level of trust. They are the kind of sponsors that choose to support my event because they believe that my event creates change and is important to the industry, these are the kind of speakers that are excited to share what they know and be involved in my movement.
What working with allies look like:
- speakers goes above and beyond to not only promote my event but encourage others to promote it
- speakers who tap on their contacts to refer me to more people that can help support my event whether it's sponsors or other speakers without me asking
- sponsors that goes above and beyond to give more items that what was agreed
What happens when you work with allies is when your one person team (or three!) just expanded to even more people who's there to support you! Here's the mindset shift - view the way you actively seek out to work with people who are thrilled to your ally instead of just business partners.
3. Don't look at what you don't have, look at what you do have
Don't have enough time?
Reformat the event programme to make it easier for you.
Don't have enough money?
Find sponsors, cut the budget or increase your money streams.
Don't have enough manpower?
Outsource or cut unimportant tasks.
The truth is, it's never about having limited resources but about how you are using them AND having the right event format, strategies and timeline in place that supports you instead of overwhelm you.
This is where having a solid foundation and proper event planning will serve you - like having a timeline that includes Plan B if things don't work out or having a budget that include miscellaneous costs. The perfect event roadmap looks different for everyone.