Last Updated on October 7, 2021
Hey there, folks! Today we’re going to talk about creative burnout, and its role in event management. As you well know, creativity is one of the many traits shared by the word’s most successful events professionals – and it’s something you’ll need to have in droves if you’re ever to succeed. But what happens when the well runs dry?
It’s bound to happen eventually – and a big part of being a creative thinker lies in recognizing it for what it is, and taking action to deal with it.
See, even the most creative people in the world find themselves in the occasional rut. Ideas and concepts that once came easily to them have to be forced out of their mind kicking and screaming, and work that was once enjoyable becomes exhausting. Left unchecked, creative burnout can be more than just an inconvenience; it can be career-ending.
So what can you do about it?
Stop, Rest, And Seek Inspiration
There’s this unfortunately common misconception that creative inspiration isn’t something that can be generated or controlled; that “Eureka!” moments are something that occur randomly and without cause. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth, explains Explore Create Repeat’s David Burkus.
“While insights can feel sudden, they do in fact generate from deep within our own mind – psychologists have discovered that the feeling of a flash of insight is often the result of a period of incubation,” he writes. “When we’re working hard on a creative problem, our minds can get stuck on repeat coming up with the same ineffective solutions.”
The best thing to do in such a situation, he continues, is to take a step back. Take a break, and let your ideas stew for a while before you revisit your creative quandary. But don’t just sit around doing nothing – you can’t simply wait for inspiration to find you.
You need to actively seek it yourself. Ask yourself who or what first drove you to be an event management professional. Was there a blog you read? An article you saw? An event planner you were friends with?
Revisit these factors – or find other, similar stuff – and you’ll be back to work in no time.
Study Other Event Planners
Another great piece of advice – and one that I can’t stress enough – is to look at a few of the world’s top event management professionals or firms. Examine what makes them unique, attend their events, and read their blogs. Learn everything you can from them…
Then copy some of their ideas.
Note that I’m not recommending outright plagiarism here. Instead, what I suggest you do is to look at something a colleague or competitor of yours has done that set one of their events apart, and put your own personal spin on it. Take an awesome concept for an event, and make it yours.
After all, writers, artists, and musicians don’t work in a vacuum – why should event planners?
Revisit Your Old Events To See If Something Can Be Reworked
A great idea isn’t a one-shot thing. It can be revisited and reworked into something new (and awesome). What’s more, it could even provide just the spark you need to get yourself back on track.
If you ever find yourself running out of event ideas, look back at some of the best conferences, trade-shows, and meet-ups you ever hosted. What did you do to make them great – and how can that be applied to what you’re doing now? Could any of the ideas you used back then be reused now?
If nothing else, doing this could help you recharge your mind a bit.
Talk Things Over With Your Colleagues And Peers
One of the best things you can do if you’re running into a creative wall is to find someone else in your field – either event management or the industry for which you’re running an event – and talk to them. Sit down for a chat, and start bouncing ideas back and forth. You’d be surprised how often simply talking to someone else who’s in the same profession as you can help you overcome a mental block.
I’ve turned to friends of mine in the past when my mental reserves were running low, and it almost always helped me come up with something.
Change Your Lifestyle
One thing I quickly learned during my career as a freelance writer – and this is something that definitely applies to event management – is that your lifestyle has a huge impact on your frame of mind. When I’m not sleeping properly, eating right, and exercising regularly, my creativity drops through the floor. For that reason, I’d suggest taking a look at how you’re living. Is there anything you do that could be considered unhealthy?
If so, what are you going to do about it?
Knock Down Your Creative Roadblocks
Everyone, no matter how good they are at their job, will likely find themselves in a rut sooner or later. That includes event planners. What separates successful creatives from all the rest is how they deal with a lack of inspiration – whether they tackle it head on or let it drag them down and burn them out.
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