Hey fabulous health professional!
Around the time this blog goes live – I’ll be 40 000 feet in the air, on my way from Sydney to San Francisco to host a 2 day masterclass for clinicians in private practice.
Yes, I am bringing vegemite snacks to torture my guests with.
Yes, I am excited.
Yes, I am also completely and utterly exhausted.
The last two weeks have been a total blur. I’ve had to liaise with 4 different companies (an event venue, a cocktail bar, a restaurant and a catering company) to make this event happen. Over 200 back and forth emails have been sent.
At least 5 very awkward international phone calls were made.
I’ve somehow managed to fit nine pre-event coaching sessions (1 hour each) into my work schedule, which includes a full client load and, oh yeah – still finalising the content and presentation for the masterclass itself.
We’ve traversed timezones and currencies, inboxes and invoices, and now, finally, the day has come.
I can’t wait to deliver what I know will be an incredible, life-changing masterclass to my guests.
But I’m not gonna lie – I am really, really excited about taking a nap on the plane.
And even though you, my dear reader, can’t be there – here’s what I’ve learned about planning an event or workshop:
1. Prepare to feel like a fraud. Big time.
Your imposter syndrome will be out in full force as the day of your event nears.
You will wonder who the heck am I to be running an event?
You will be worried that everyone is going to realise that I haven’t got it together.
And you will be terrified that this entire event (and you, by extension) are going to be one, big, massive failure.
They will point and laugh at me in the streets. They will tell fabled stories of the woman who foolishly thought she had the right to teach people what she knew.
Do it anyway.
My Practice Manager Natalie and I like to refer to our self doubt & imposter syndrome as Newman. It takes some of the edge off.
2. Everything takes 5 times longer than you think it will.
Booking venues, arranging payment, modifying numbers and reservations and finding the perfect meal plan for all your guests can become a total time suck. This is doubly-true if you’re organising something across timezones and currencies and I can promise that you WILL get lost in an email chain with an event organiser that is 56 emails long.
I gave myself a lot of margins in my calendar to allow for this, but it still wasn’t enough!
As you look to your calendar in the weeks leading up to your event, be kind to your future self. Don’t be a jerk to future you by squeezing in those back to back sessions.
The amount of time you think you’ll need? Double it. And double it again.
Breathing room is mandatory. Running yourself into the ground making this event happen is not.
3. You will be exhausted and you’ll need some help. Take the help. Please.
Those hidden costs I mentioned above? Not just money. Two more of our comrades were sacrificed for the cause: time and energy.
The amount of energy it takes to plan out your content for your event and market it to people is like a full time job in itself.
Let someone help you with the logistics. The meetings that need to be booked and confirmed, the payments that need to be made, who needs to be where and when… Get this stuff out of your head so you can focus on getting people into your event and delivering something fabulous for them on the day.
You have my formal permission to pay for someone to help you with the administrative and operational tasks that are currently zapping your time and energy.
4. Have a budget in mind and confirm whether it’s possible before you start inviting people to sign up for the event.
I was surprised by all the hidden costs involved in organising this shindig – and unfortunately I was still confirming all of these details as people began paying for their tickets.
Really set aside the time to contact venues ahead of time and nail down the quotes so that you can make sure your pricing is going to work for you.
You might find that you need to modify aspects of your event to turn it into a smart business decision – not just a “nice to have” event that laughs in the face of your well-intentioned budget.
5. Be prepared to cater for different personality types on the day (and before).
Each of your guests is going to have a preferred learning style. Some of them are going to fill the room with their thoughts and opinions, while others are going to need some more attention and time before they feel ready to speak up.
The same is true for what happens in the lead up to your event. Some people wants details YESTERDAY. Some people will lose and forget the details no matter how many times you’ve emailed them, messaged them or even delivered them via courier pigeon.
If it fits in with your event, consider a pre-event questionnaire that you can send to get to know your guests better so you can serve then on the day and in the lead up to the event. You might like to ask questions like…. how do you like to learn? How can I best support you? How do you like to be communicated with?
Phew – now comes the fun part – actually hosting the event!