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I want to start this post by answering that question – yes and no. An irritating-sit-on-the-fence kind of answer you might be thinking but hear me out. As a younger person when I started in the event industry I had boundless energy, enthusiasm and stamina. Running back-to-back events was quite an adrenalin rush and at one stage I topped out at 300 events in one year. As I am now more mature just the thought of running that volume of events makes me want to have a little lie down! And yet, while there is a lot to be said for young energy and we definitely want to attract the next generation into our amazing world, there is something to be said for the slightly older event managers. They have experience (and you do really only learn on the job in this industry), they have industry knowledge (whether that is of destinations, hotels or suppliers) and often clients like the reassurance of the older, expert guide.

However, as an older event manager I realise that nowadays I need to manage my energy and stamina in a way that I did not need to before. The two years of pandemic has meant that my event ‘fitness’ has been affected. I believe that this is one of the positives from those years though as it has forced me (and many people I talk to) to re-assess how they work and what they do to keep their energy levels up. Perhaps we will be less affected long-term by burn out or adrenalin crashes after large projects or years of work. During the pandemic I took a health and wellbeing course. My motivation was to arm my toolbox with tips and tricks that I could use when live events came back. Well, they are definitely back so here are my top 5 tips:

  • Drink water – I know this one is something that you here all the time but research shows that your consumption of water is directly linked to your energy levels

  • Limit caffeine – Pre-2020 I would not have considered running an event without a flask of coffee by my side but now I try and use it tactically during the day to give me a pep up when I need it and not to limit my sleep onsite

  • Get sleep – we all know that onsite getting lots of hours sleep is not always possible but if you can make sure that the quality of sleep is good then at least the little you do get will put energy in your tank for the next day. Sleep quality is influenced by many things but try and think about limiting alcohol and caffeine 5 hours before you sleep, removing screen time at least 30 minutes before you sleep and taking a eye mask, sleep spray and sleepy tea can also help.

  • Movement – how many steps do you do when onsite? My betting is that you hit 10,000 before lunch. But they are not always great steps – often on hard, unforgiving floors, indoors and in fits and starts. If you can get an outside 20 minute walk in during the day when you get your fresh air and heart rate up a little you will find you are less stiff after the event.

  • Food – it would be wrong to miss this off the list. We are far better these days at ensuring that we eat on site but sometimes the best laid plans are scuppered and you go 6 or more hours without any kind of food. Packing small bags of nuts or cereal bars means that you can always keep hunger at bay. Not only will this stop you getting hangry but it will also keep your energy levels balanced and stop the highs and lows of the blood sugar rollercoaster.

Keeping our energy levels balanced with such simple steps is something that we can all do – younger or older – and everyone benefits. Hopefully this means we can all keep doing what we love for many years to come!

Our final week of pulling back the curtain on Potting Shed Events. And this week we cover what we enjoy. Enjoying what we do is a real privilege and one that we aim to never take for granted. This wonderful world of events has given us all amazing opportunities to travel, visit special places, meet incredible people and, in my case, meet my husband. So there are many things that we enjoy about the industry but there are also some perks that we enjoy as a company. Here is our list of five:

  • We thrive on finding solutions. We love the tricky brief, the one that makes you wonder if this is the one that you cannot solve – not happened so far!

  • We enjoy 2 duvet half-days each quarter. These random half days are designed to keep us as healthy and rested as possible in this relentless industry. They are not to be used to tick off life admin tasks but rather to be spent snuggled up with a book or in front of the TV so a real break.

  • We take our birthdays off so that we can properly enjoy them with our family – of course there is always birthday cake the day before or after!

  • We share the perks and benefits of our industry. All too often these are directed solely at the business owner or senior members of the team but all of our team deserve to be immersed in the industry – the tough bits and the nice perks. So all offers are extended to the whole team.

  • We enjoy each other’s company. We are incredibly fortunate to all get on as a team but we also work at it to make sure that we can enjoy our days together and not resent being part of a busy team.

This is the one area that when we were pulling together our list of five, we could have gone on for double or even triple that time. It is so important that we enjoy what we do, how we do it and who we do it with. We spend so much time at work and it is such a large part of our lives that it should be rewarding and enjoyable. I hope you have enjoyed our little behind the scenes tour of our business this month. It has been a pleasure showing you around and we hope that over the coming months more team members will join us and be able to see that these are not just words, they are very much who we are, what we believe, how we work and what we enjoy.

This week in the ‘behind the scenes tour’ of Potting Shed Events I want to focus on how we work. These five areas are another foundation of how we operate as a business and, as such, they are broad in meaning. Firstly we are an outcome not an hours driven business. Given that who we are (see part 1) references the fact that we are all grownups, we believe that dictating people’s hours in our industry is not the most effective way to work. Some weeks when we are on live projects, we need to work longer hours and others we can take shorter hours. Rather than dictate this, it makes sense to allow the team to focus on their outcomes for that particular time. Our second point is that we operate a 24/48 hour communication rule. This was something I learnt a few years ago and it is an effective way of dealing with the rare moments of discord. We do work in a stressful industry and therefore occasional disagreements are likely. The 24/48 hour rule is simple – if you are uncomfortable with something you need to take 24 hours to reflect on whether you feel you need to address the issue. If you still feel that it needs to be dealt with you have 48 hours to bring it to the other person (or your manager’s attention). It is so simple and yet means that everyone is able to discuss any issues openly while ensuring that any emotion has been kept in check.

Our third area is that we ask for and receive help and support from those around us. As event experts people are not always great at asking for help but we work as a team and so it is our collective responsibility to help and support each other. Running events an event is the best kind of team building exercise and I believe that event agency teams are some of the strongest teams around for that reason. Our fourth point relates back to being an outcome driven business: we communicate our flexibility with our team. It is fine for any of us to take a longer lunch hour, start a little later, finish a little earlier if your projects allow. However, we keep each other informed about those choices so that we can manage our internal and external communications. And finally, we use social media responsibly. Many of us like to use social media and update with photos and comments about what we are up to. Of course for some clients this is not permissible and so we make sure that everyone understands where the boundaries and what is appropriate. That way we can all relax and use social media as we choose.