Overbooked: How To Manage Too Many Jobs

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

As a general rule, I’ve one piece of advice when it comes to overbooking as an event planner – don’t.

That’s not very helpful, though. No matter how good you are at your job, you’re only human. Eventually, you’re bound to make a mistake – everyone does at one time or another. How can you avoid losing your mind and keep everyone happy – clients and teammates alike?

Let’s talk about that.

Don’t Try To Do Everything At Once

So you’re overbooked – so what? You can handle all of your clients at once, right? I mean, it’s not like it’s a lot of work…right?

Yeah, don’t.

You might be tempted to try tackling all of your jobs at once – and maybe you might actually pull it off, to some degree. But I can all but guarantee that the quality of your work will suffer if you attempt this. That, in turn, will adversely impact your reputation –which is something you definitely don’t want.

Keep People Apprised Of What’s Going On

First things first – and this is the most important piece of advice I’m going to give you today – you need to let people know what’s happening. Don’t ever keep people in the dark about what’s going on.  That doesn’t just apply to your clients, either – in all cases, members of your events team need to know they can approach you with any questions or concerns they may have (and that they’ll receive an honest answer when they do).


Next, you’re going to need to decide which of the events you’ve booked is most important to your reputation – and to your budget. Do you want to give priority to the international business firm whose conference you promised to run or the small business you’re planning a charity fundraiser for? This is something you’re going to have to decide on your own – I can’t really offer any advice except that you need to weigh the pros and cons of working with each client.

Ask For Help

Here’s where you’re going to draw on the networking you’ve done over the years. Do you know of any other event managers or management firms in your area? If your schedule is looking too full, why not bring one of them in to assist you – or hand the client off to them entirely? Granted, this should be more of a ‘last resort’ sort of thing, since you could potentially wind up losing a client to a competitor by doing so. 

Compensate Clients For The Inconvenience

Alright, so you’ve decided which of your clients you’re going to run things for – which means anyone else is going to have to be re-scheduled, cast to the wayside, or shifted to a different firm. You need to make sure you offer the people you’re subjecting to this some form of compensation – a considerable discount on their next event, free catering, access to a few exclusive benefits or venues; use your imagination here.

Reputation Management

When improperly managed, overbooking can wreak havoc on your reputation as an event planner. You need to make sure you stay on top of things, even when you end up booking too many clients. If you don’t, people are going to remember – and they’ll be far less likely to work with you in the future.