Re-entry, by technical definition, is a second entry or a return into the earth’s atmosphere. Meeting planners might relate to the latter definition, because that’s often how it feels returning to the office after planning and executing a large event. Re-entry is never easy and often leaves feelings of withdrawal from the intense pre-event workload and chaotic on-site schedule. The life of a meeting planner is a roller coaster with the highs and lows of the event calendar. Maintaining a balance before and after events is challenging yet crucial to avoiding burnout. Meeting planning ranked No. 6 on a recent list of the 10 most stressful jobs in America. A few simple disciplines may help ease the stress of the job and re-entry.
1. Anticipate re-entry. A roller coaster feeling is inevitable in the event industry and post-program blues can be avoided with proactive disciplines. Mentally prepare yourself for your return, says Carine Clark, chief marketing office and senior vice president of Symantec. “On your return flight home, put some structure to the list of things you need to accomplish when you get back,” she suggests. Prioritize this list and do not force yourself to tackle all of it in one day. Pace yourself back into a normal routine.
2. Look to your friends and family to facilitate the transition back to daily life. Often family and friends are neglected when planner schedules get busy, and it is important to devote some time to them upon a large event’s completion. “Make sure you have personal relationships outside of work—people who do not know what F&B means,” says Clark. They can help you focus on things other than work. And, don’t forget to bring home some fun swag in return. “People who have never been to a trade show love the stuff you bring home,” she says.
3. Don’t forget: It’s OK to feel excited and pleased with an event’s success. Take the time to reward yourself for a job well done. You have worked long hours pre-event and on-site, and it’s important to give yourself some attention to stay healthy. Tahira Endean, CMP, director of creative and production at Cantrav, says “[Take] a little time, even if you only have one evening, to be kind yourself.” Indulge in a relaxing activity, whether that’s an afternoon at the spa or movie theater or going on a long bike ride.