7 Early Warning Signs of Event Planner Burnout


There is a reason that “event planning” consistently lands near top of the list of the most stressful careers.


Timelines, details and a schedule that never quits. The constant pressure of planning ahead is exhausting. To say nothing of the hours.


It’s a very consuming career.


But honestly, that's what most of us love about the job. The world of events offers untold challenges, is anything but 9 to 5 and we are adrenaline junkies for the onsite experience.


Those working in this great industry have amazing stamina and resilience.


There can however, come a time when it all catches up. When the demands of the job take a toll on our personal and physical well-being.


Here are some signs that it may be time to take a break.


How much of a break is the question.


Spot the symptoms early and it’s much more manageable. Let it go too long and it will take more than just a fun weekend away to feel refreshed.


1.  Impatience

There is naturally a little impatience in all of us in events. After all we’re on a deadline…oh and perfectionists as well. But the opposite is also true. We regularly have to exercise extreme patience when we know a reactionary position won’t serve any purpose. If you notice that your impatience is pretty much constant or flaring up at inappropriate times, don’t ignore it. It’s a sign that you need to find time to centre yourself again.


2.  Sleeplessness

If you experience the odd night when you have trouble letting go of the million or so details running around in your head that’s pretty normal. However if this goes on for too long your lack of sleep will negatively impact everything you do. Both physically and mentally. Over-tiredness can even lead to anxiety that in turn will cause more problems. Take it as a very real sign that you need a break.


3.  Obsession over mundane details

If you find yourself obsessing over things that normally roll off your back or struggling to accomplish tasks that typically require little effort it can be an indication that you need to pull back. Separate yourself from the minutia for awhile. Sometimes burnout can cause us to focus on the little things as a way to avoid dealing with more daunting tasks that feel overwhelming. Find a way to give your mind a break by engaging in something that makes you think…as long as it's not work!


4.  Inability to be happy with accomplishments or success

If you are typically happy in your work but find yourself missing the joy and satisfaction that your accomplishments have always provided, think about taking a break to help rejuvenate. The key is to empty your head of all the details and elevate your thinking back up to the bigger picture. Re-discover the passion.


5.  Constant fatigue           

This is especially noteworthy if you are getting plenty of sleep, eating and drinking well and yet still feeling tired. Could it be that you are just exhausted in your work? Try taking a good break and see if that refreshes you.


6.  Frustration

If every little thing that goes wrong leaves you feeling like screaming in frustration it could be a sign that it’s time to walk away for a bit. Our tolerance gets really weak when we are burnt out. A break will help put things back in perspective.


7.  Lack of creativity (or choosing same-old, same old)

This can be a very distinct sign that you need to find a way to revive your spirit. “New” is the lifeblood of any event and the challenge of keeping things fresh is typically what energizes most event people. If you find yourself cutting corners or lacking the enthusiasm to change things up, it's time to take a breather to reignite your imagination and boost your creativity.


Most event professionals suffer from some level of burnout during their career.


Early recognition is key. Be aware of the signs and take whatever break you can. Don't let it get the better of you and negatively impact your work.


Sometimes just an evening out during a crazy busy time or a weekend completely off the grid can be enough to keep you energized. Smaller breaks will help get you through to your vacation time...which you should be sure to take!


Be diligent around keeping balance in your life.


A consistent effort to take breaks you need will help you stay healthy, happy and thriving in the job you love.



Post by Margaret Johnston,

As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.


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