The Event Brew is back after a well-deserved holiday break! Inspired by their time off, the Brew Crew will talk about taking a break as an event professional. Will, Dustin, and Thuy know all about staying productive all year round and have all experienced event-industry-related burnout in the past. But as they matured, they learned their ways to work around it. In this episode, they share their tips to stay energized when the going gets tough.
They also share how they spent their time off in December and what they like to do while vacationing. Brew something up, press play, and get to know the Brew Crew on a more personal level!
Taking A Break As An Event Professional, Thuy Style
Dustin asks Thuy to tell the Event Brew listeners what does she do to get herself energized. What is she doing to get ready for yet another year of whatever the events industry has in store for us in 2022?
Experienced and therefore more confident, Thuy knows how to maintain that precious work-life balance. “Coming back from IMEX 2021, I truly feel like a veteran, doing things so I don’t burn out again. It’s inevitable that we are all working, so I force myself to do all kinds of things. For example, I live 500 feet from Venice Beach and sometimes I force myself to go and see the sunset. It might sound like I’m not grateful, but well, sometimes I’m not. Sometimes, I’m just really busy or want to be productive.”
“When I want a break from doing work, I don’t want to plan anything,” adds Will. “I don’t want to be in charge of anything. I want other people to do everything.”
Learning Can Count As A Break Too!
Meanwhile, Dustin has been traversing Canada with his car. “I’ve been on the road a ton, driving from these small communities in Northern Alberta. So I’ve spent so much time in my car, crushing a ton of audibles. I’ve been flying through them. I’m always curious and I always want to learn. I even find that when I’m learning, it still feels like a break to me. I should probably learn to turn things off completely and learn to live in a little bit of silence, though. There’s just something always in my ears and I think that that has really made it harder for me to focus. So I’m going to try meditation.”
“I found that my entire audible library was just business books, books on creativity and on finance,” he adds. “However, I stopped downloading those and I buy those in real life. What I’ve been listening to instead are a lot of books about residential schools, indigenous culture, and race issues – conversations that are going on in Canada right now and are truly important.”
Next up, the Brew Crew talks about the holiday season. Not only is it the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most stressful for many. Traveling, gift shopping, family visits … It doesn’t exactly sound like taking a break! Will and Dustin don’t have many obligations with their families, so they truly get to unwind in December.
“I don’t have a big tour of families to go see and all the pressure that comes with that. Once the last holiday party of the year is done, I can completely check out. I often think of those in our industry who have kids and traditions – it’s the end of the year, but it just never seems to stop,” explains Dustin.
Will and his family simply move Christmas celebrations to when it best suits them. “Four or five years ago, we did an event on Christmas itself,” says Will. “So I couldn’t be home for Christmas with my family. And then that forced our family to do it afterward. The next year I traveled, so I was gone for it again and we had to do it at a random time. And honestly, that was one of the best decisions we made to make the holidays less stressful.”
Tips For Taking A Break As An Event Professional
Thuy did a little research to see what other event profs do when taking a break. “I made an Instagram post about taking a break as an event professional, asking event profs what are they doing to unwind. Someone said that they set healthy boundaries. I talked about that in the last podcast: when we’re constantly exhaling, we forget to inhale. And that’s not selfish. If anything, it is selfless. And then of course staying hydrated and doing your workouts. Burnouts happen when you start thinking of your tasks as a burden. Especially with the creative ones – you can’t force creativity. Put that energy towards something else.”
As for vacationing, Thuy admits that she doesn’t do much while taking some time off. “I went to Hawaii with seven friends who are not in the event industry. They were asking ‘what are we going to do?’ and I said I’m not doing anything. I’m sitting on the beach with two drinks in my hands at all times. But at the same time, I love designing experiences for my friends so life for me doesn’t become only work. I love getting into that state of exploring because that also helps refuel you.”
As is often the case, Will chimes in with a book recommendation. “There’s a really good book called ‘Bored and Brilliant’. and they back this up with science. Right now, we’re surrounded by so many devices. Our brains are constantly occupied by something else that doesn’t allow for the boredom that creates the brilliance.”
As event professionals, we work best when we’re well-rested and inspired. “It’s one thing to just check things off a list, but it’s another thing if you want to dream big, be innovative and push our industry forward,” says Thuy. “That’s not going to happen when you are on the verge of mental breakdowns. As a client, I would love for my supplier partners to be in a great state of mind, to not be overworked. When we’re in need of a break, we’re not getting each other at our best.”
Hopefully, 2022 will be full of creativity, inspiration, and play for all event profs out there. And remember: when you feel that burnout creeping in, take a few deep breaths, go see the sunset, listen to your favorite podcast, or simply do nothing for a little while. If it works for the Brew Crew, it just might work for you too!