Keeping healthy while planning events

21 Jun

Experienced events industry folk will know the physical and mental toll that managing events can take on us. Long hours, stress and unhealthy convenience eating can all add up, get too much and cause major fatigue and even more serious ailments in the long term.

So, how can busy event professionals stay happy, healthy and energised during the planning stages, and whilst managing a live event on site?

Here’s a few of my top tips!

 

Eat well

Eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein (chicken, white fish, eggs, nuts) and slow release carbohydrates (sweet potato, oats, quinoa) can have a very positive effect on your energy levels in the office or out on site.

I know when you’ve been on site for a long day, you’re cold and tired and the last thing you want to eat is a salad! But in the long term you’ll be grateful for the extra energy from eating something healthy.

If I’m travelling I make sure I pack granola bars, porridge pots and nuts in my hold luggage. Wherever I am, I ALWAYS eat a big healthy breakfast. I go for a massive smoothie, porridge, eggs or fresh fruit and yoghurt (but beware of hotel buffet breakfast bars…. Fight the urge to go for the greasy and stodgy stuff!).

On site I make sure the crew and I have plenty of fresh fruit and healthy snacks available throughout the day and eat regularly.

Drink plenty of water

I aim to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. I usually keep a plastic bottle that I refill on my desk and on site. On site I always write my name on my bottle so I know which one is mine! It’s very hard to keep hydrated on site, but very important so keep it in mind.

Also, don’t get me wrong I LOVE my morning coffee, but drinking caffeine continuously over the day can have serious effects on your sleep patterns, your attention span and hydration levels. I tend to not drink coffee after midday, and with every cup I drink two cups of water.

Take time to rest

Sleep enough, switch your phone off, see your friends, watch a movie. There’s a number of ways you can do this but the overall aim is to let your brain and body switch off from a work project. It may seem impossible at the time, but your body needs time to recuperate.

Our industry isn’t renown for strictly abiding by rest time required by working regulations, but it’s so important for the longevity of working effectively. I’ve been there and done long working days and many days in a row without rest and I look back and don’t understand why I didn’t let myself rest properly.

Exercise

I’d say this kind of counts as ‘rest’ as it’s a great way to clear your mind. I love doing circuit training or going for long runs. Different people get hooked on different forms of exercise, but I try and do at least 3 hours a week of cardio in the gym or running along the beach (I’m lucky enough to live in beautiful Brighton right by the sea so it’s a great motivator!). Other event professionals I know love swimming, cycling, trail running and exercise classes.

Regular exercise increases your endorphin levels, boosts cardiovascular health and improves your quality of sleep! All contribute to providing greater endurance and energy levels throughout the day! Super!

Managing stress levels

There’s a few different ways I tend to do this. My first approach is getting organised. I’ll write up a detailed status report to pick apart the project, prioritise all the tasks and to think of any way I can delegate amongst the project team.

Outside of work, I try to get regular massages, or yoga and meditation sessions. There’s a few great meditation apps like Headspace or Calm that really help especially if you’re travelling a lot.

Managing your workload is important and working long hours to combat the amount of work you have may be required, but if it happens too often then resource needs to be reviewed. Don’t take on more work than you have the capacity to fulfil.

I manage events because I LOVE managing events. If our work is making us so incredibly stressed that it becomes too much and unpleasant, then what’s the point?

By looking after yourself, and taking all the above into consideration you can maintain a happy healthy lifestyle while working in the events industry.

 

If you have any tips of your own please feel free to share them by leaving a comment! 🙂

Guest blog by Lauren Bennett at drp

16 Jun

I’ve recently been talking to a few of the nice people at drp agency, a communications agency and production house with offices all over the UK. They’ve worked with a number of fantastic high profile clients on all sorts of wonderful projects.

They’ve recently brought on an Event Coordinator, Lauren Bennett, who made a brave career leap from working as a Nursery Nurse into the world of events. I absolutely loved this blog post that Lauren wrote so thought I would share it with my readers (especially those considering a career change!), for a little motivation and support.

 

 “Do you follow career paths, or carve your own?


Career paths are there to let you know where you are, remind you of where you have been, and give you a target of where you need to go next. With most sectors and industries, there is a step-by-step-process of progression. However, what if the typical career path isn’t for you? What happens when you want to change your profession completely?

Prior to working at drp I had had no previous employment or experience in events. With two young children, working as a nursery nurse for eight years fitted in with family life at the time. It was always a dream of mine to work in events, however, with my lack of industry experience I doubted that I would even be considered.


So…How can you carve a brand new career path?


Get Some Work Experience


This is essential, and highly advantageous. You must have a strong knowledge base and experience in your chosen profession. If you don’t, find ways to get as much experience as you can. Apply for work experience placements, internships, or apprenticeships for example. If companies don’t appear to have any of those, suggest working for them without a wage, and this will further emphasise how much you want to be there.


Show a Willingness to Learn

You can only get out what you put in. If you are fortunate enough to secure work experience, make sure that you get the most of out of it. Be inquisitive, ask questions, and offer to take on more tasks, participate, and keep your ears open. Nobody will expect you to know everything, but it is important to show that you are willing to learn.

Be Determined…

It’s not going to be easy, so you have to remain determined and persistent to succeed. Even if the company aren’t hiring at the time, there will come a time when they are, and your aim is to be the first person that they think of. Always see the bigger picture. You may be working for free, but you’re working… And you’re gaining the experience you need to be employed in a similar role.


Finally…


Don’t give up. If at first you don’t succeed try, try, and try again, and then try a few more times! Working as a Nursery Nurse couldn’t have been further away from being an Event Coordinator. I needed the experience, and drp were not hiring anyone, or offering work experience roles at the time. After persevering, and contacting drp on multiple occasions I was offered the opportunity to work for two months as an unpaid intern and I grabbed it! Seize your opportunities, and squeeze them for all they’re worth.”

Well done Lauren! The events industry is glad to have you. Good luck for the future!!

If you’re looking to burst your way into the events industry and want some help, tips, advice or just someone to talk to then please do feel free to get in touch with me!

Brand Activation / Experiential Marketing expected trends for the future

29 Mar

The experiential events industry is flourishing. Marketing budgets are ever increasing and focusing more on live events and experiential, whilst available technology is not only progressing but becoming more affordable and effective. These together are enabling some superbly innovative and creative ideas to surface all over the world.

So what do I think is going to trend in the future? Three key things.

  • Sustainable events
  • Immersive experiences
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

Sustainable events

It’s no secret that the events industry is not massively easy on our environment. Huge trucks carting tonnes of kit all over the world every day for a one day set up, large sets torn to shreds and discarded after short amounts of live time and anyone that works in the industry I can guarantee you is always drowning in printouts / paper….

However, the industry is waking up now and realizing the importance of delivering events with the planet in mind.

Recycled shipping containers are already a regular in the events world. But there are heaps of other ways event managers can consider the environment. Using electric cars / vans like the Nissan LEAF or the eNV200 for transporting crew and kit, printing using ink free printers, recycling every bit of paper and every empty bottle after an event, using recycled materials to print materials, solar powered kit and heaps more.

There are even sustainable events agencies appearing like The Blub London who are using industry standard ISO2012-1 as a benchmark for all their event planning.

Immersive experiences

The rise of projects like Secret Cinema and the current ‘Live Escape Game’ craze throughout the UK are perfect examples of this, as well as the rise in popularity of virtual reality headsets. Kit from a number of different tech companies (Oculus Rift, Samsung) is making it cheaper, easier and a better quality experience to create immersive experiences.

However, previously some brands have used technology for the sake of using technology. There hasn’t been enough thought put into what the end consumer would take from the experience. It has become apparent that the brand, the activity and the interaction needed to fit together seamlessly for right message to be carried away.

With this in mind, more brands this year will be thinking more creatively about how they implement these immersive experiences, whilst using the best kit available.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Probably the biggest and most exciting trend of the three, IoT has the potential to make experiential even more engaging, fun and personal to a consumer.

IoT is the network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity enabling these objects to collect and exchange data.

Imagine a city that is totally connected. Cars, roads, cameras, traffic lights, clothes, phones, bikes, fridges; everything. If a phone can talk to a fridge you can find out what you need to buy for dinner on your way home from work without physically looking in your fridge. If a street camera can talk to traffic lights or your car they can redirect you around another route from where there might be heavy traffic to make your journey quicker. If your phone can talk to your jacket while you’re riding your bike you can receive phone calls, emails and texts – still riding with both hands….

It’s remarkable how this technology can be used. There are already projects like The Things Network where technologists are testing out city wide networks in places like Manchester that are totally free to use. So not only amazingly forward thinking but incredibly cheap to run and create. 

Absolut are already ahead of the game, you can see some of the ideas they’ve been looking at with a number of agencies in this article in Marketing Magazine

I found this infographic very helpful in understanding the basics of IoT! The possibilities of how you can transpose this type of technology into an event space or activity is incredibly exciting and infinite!

I Love Events Top Suppliers

8 Jul

Every now and then I’ll write a short post plugging top suppliers I’ve have had the pleasure of working with over the previous months. I really cannot tell you how useful it is to have a supplier recommended to me from other event planners, so I just keep on writing recommendations in the hope that I’m in some way helping my peers.

So, the last few months I’ve been doing quite a bit of on site work which means really seeing which suppliers pull out all the stops for you and which ones don’t.

The first supplier on my list has dealt with SO many phone calls from me with the most ridiculous requests at crazy times of the day or night and has always pulled it off no questions asked….

  1. Liquorice – Lyn Taylor has been my personal saviour on various projects. Essentially, Lyn comes from a lengthy background in procurement agency side (so totally understands the challenges we go through), and has incredible contacts all over the country and worldwide that provide event planners with anything that their project needs. Whether it’s last minute print you need sending half way across Europe, or it’s 200 bespoke acrylic badges made in 24 hours for a special client event, or making something completely new and bespoke – Lyn can help. Lyn knows all her contacts inside out, and negotiates great prices for her clients and can get excellent turn around times for those last minute requirements (or classic client changes to print just a few hours before going live!). Lyn has excellent production knowledge too – she knows how things are made and who makes them best; which helps; big time – Lyn works with you to deliver exactly what you want. Her company is called Liquorice because they do allsorts…. (geddit??!). All hail Lyn – the lifesaver. Email: lyn@liquorice-consulting.com Phone: 01206 736155
  1. Brentwood Radios – Brentwood supply event planners with robust, reliable and tested 2 way radios for live events. You can either hire or buy directly from them and they have a great selection of makes and models available, as well as high quality audio accessories, such as headsets and earpieces – and above all their prices are really good too.
  1. Crucial FX – Wowee these guys do some cool stuff. Crucial FX use the latest technology to create bespoke event experiences. They can provide special effects, 4D & 3D projection mapping, prototyping, and bespoke integration of social media into event technology and loads more. What I’ve found fantastic about CFX is that I went to them with a crazy idea and they provided a robust, clear, simply explained and above all, a cost effective solution for what we wanted to happen. Their work is beautifully executed, their team are all helpful and creative and they’re super helpful turning round proposals and costs in very short time scales. You can see some videos of their work here and here.

So thats my supplier round up for now! Enjoy 🙂

In other news, I Love Events featured in Leighman’s top 12 Information Event Management Blogs! Thanks Leighman’s! You can read the article here.

Google Project Tango

27 Jun

Just heard the fantastic news that Google’s Project Tango will be available for purchase next year! If you haven’t heard of Project Tango and you work in the event industry, this device is set to revolutionise and completely change the level detail we obtain when conducting site visits.

Essentially, Project Tango is a hand held device created by the awesome Google Advanced Technology Lab. The device uses two cameras and infrared depth sensors to track its surroundings and to create a 3D navigable model of the environment it is in.  It’s used by pointing the camera at what you see, so the sensors in the phone can take 250,000 measurements of its surroundings every second. Google have announced their partner for Project Tango will be LG!

So, as an Event Manager with one of these handsets, I (or anyone at all) could go to a venue, 3D track every room I am planning to use for an event, and build an exact scale 3D image of every nook and cranny of the spaces I plan to use.

Ever been asked by your production team the exact measurements of a wall/stage/door you never thought to check on your site visit? No problem! This device will track every measurement for you. Too busy to go on a site visit, because you’re actually planning your project? No worries! Just send your Account Exec over with the device to track everything on your behalf!

There’s plenty of other uses for the device other than within the events industry of course. The video game industry are planning to use it for replicating specific locations and building entirely new games, NASA have even cottoned on to the technology and are using to assist with space exploration, Oculus Rift are trialling using it to create incredible virtual reality experiences or even builders or architects or interior designers could use it…. that’s just to name a few!

Here’s a little video to demonstrate it in its full glory!

Johnny Lee and the ATAP-Project Tango Team says “The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.”

I am so excited to see what this incredible handset can do. It would save our industry the money, time and even contribute to helping the environment (by less people having to fly/travel all over the world on site visits)! The future is here!

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