The crucial role of professional development in alleviating stress for event professionals

By MEA Director, Jess Glass

In the fast-paced and dynamic world of the events industry, we often find ourselves caught up in the whirlwind of tight schedules, demanding clients, and intricate logistics. The events industry is known for its high-stakes environment, where success is measured by flawless execution and client satisfaction. This pressure cooker scenario can take a toll on the mental and emotional wellbeing of event professionals right across the industry; from event planners to the venues and suppliers that are all facing the same time pressures. Recognising the importance of continuous learning and personal growth becomes essential in our industry.

Professional development can come in many different formats from structured learning focussed on acquiring new skills, staying updated on industry trends, and enhancing existing expertise, to connecting with like-minded professionals to share experiences, exchange ideas, and gain different perspectives on common challenges. This investment in oneself not only empowers event professionals to perform their roles more effectively but also serves as a crucial stress management tool. I know personally that venting over a common issue (with a glass of wine in hand) helps it to feel not so challenging and unachievable.

Stress in the events industry is multifaceted, stemming from tight timelines, intricate logistics, and the pressure to create memorable experiences. 79% of event professionals believe it is more stressful being an event prof now than before the pandemic and 61% report having additional responsibilities since the pandemic (The Culture Creators Report 2023). 

The constant need to adapt to evolving technologies and trends adds another layer of complexity. By allocating time for professional development, we can proactively address these challenges, staying ahead of the curve and reducing the stress associated with feeling unprepared for the task at hand. Knowledge is power, and in the events industry, it can be the key to unlocking innovative solutions and navigating challenges with confidence.

Moreover, professional development fosters a growth mindset, encouraging event professionals to view challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement rather than overwhelming obstacles. This shift in perspective can significantly impact stress levels, promoting resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.

Taking time out for professional development is not just a luxury but a necessity for individuals in the events industry. The investment in acquiring new skills, staying abreast of industry trends, and building a robust professional network pays dividends in stress reduction and overall job satisfaction. By recognising the importance of continuous learning, event professionals can navigate the demanding landscape with confidence, ensuring long-term success in an ever-evolving industry.

I hope to see you all in the Hunter Valley for Evolve 2024 for a mix of professional and personal development and networking. The program is shaping up to be a cracker and we can’t wait to release it to you shortly! If you’re in Victoria check out the two in-person PD sessions that are coming up in the next few months - 'Tackling difficult conversations in the workplace in April and 'Assessing event resilience; strategies and preparedness in the face of challenges and incidents in June. More details available on the MEA website.