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How to Calm Your Planner Brain

Expert tips for managing stress on the road

When the World Health Organization (WHO) re-categorized burnout as a specific medical diagnosis, it was, in effect, putting event professionals—a job classification consistently rated as one of the most stressful on the Department of Labor's (DOL) Standard Occupational Classification System, right behind emergency responder and attorney—on notice that the challenges they face are dangerous and the solutions need to be just as serious.

We cannot control whether speakers will show up on time or attendees will tell us in advance if they have severe carpet allergies, but we can control how we react. “Event professionals wear their stress like a badge," said Lee Papa, who facilitates mindfulness lounges at meetings across the country. "That is not a requirement of the job.”

Everyone reacts to stress differently. An understanding of the causes, symptoms and costs of burnout is the first step in finding the solution—even if that relief is unique to each person.

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