Wedding experts – sometimes we feel like we have to do it all, am I right? From client meetings, emails where we try to be that FIRST person to respond back, team meetings, networking receptions and more – we have a busy schedule on our hands at all times year round! From a venue’s eye, at the start of the New Year other wedding industry experts might have a few weeks to take a breather and get ready for the upcoming season. For us - busy time is right now and can sometimes feel never-ending.
As November and then December creep up, we are jam packed with the finalities of our year-end - from financials, upcoming end of the year weddings and other events, not to mention our personal lives which take on a second life of their own. With daily holiday parties we are expected to attend, cookie baking, gift shopping and wrapping, it can be overwhelming! Come January 1st we are partied out and ready for a nap on the beach but instead the stream of emails, Wedding Wire & The Knot inquiries, phone calls and client pop-ins begin. It’s a great problem to have, but a problem for our workloads, personal lives and our spirit nonetheless.
So how can we do it all? Unfortunately we don’t have perfect answers. Of course that is not what you are expecting, but every individual works differently and what works for some will not work for all. Personally, to-do lists are the start of each day to get my head on straight and then one step at a time I try to claw through each obstacle, each project – because isn’t each email a project in itself?! Shutting the office door, or saying ‘no’ to an obligation here or there or an ‘I’ll have to get back to you later’ can give you time for your next prioritized project and a breath of relief all at the same time, but then maybe not.
Sometimes the end of the day brings a feeling of accomplishment and others it ends with mixed feelings and the dread of what’s to come tomorrow - ‘I might’ve sent out 4 contracts totaling over $50K in revenue and followed up with 20 prospective clients, but what about all those other emails that I haven’t even looked at yet – how is it 6pm already?’ Aside from drinking about it – a common after-work habit for many of us in the sales & event industry - what more is there to do?
The best answer that one could ever offer is NACE. Within our New England membership we are lucky to have a wealth of knowledge, expertise and ever forming friendships. Our NACE members are people who we can truly lean on because they are understanding and empathetic in a way that is beyond what others in our daily lives can grasp – because we at NACE have all walked in each other’s shoes in one way or another. A sales & planning manager working at a large corporate Hotel can find solace in speaking with not just another venue manager, but also a photographer or an owner of a rental company. Why is that? We all share the same clients and have the same goals in mind, and although we have different ebbs and flows of our year and our busy seasons, it all comes together on wedding day – the day where the hard work and stress pay off, and where we can all take a big sigh of relief as we tick off another success at the end of the night, job well done. We all see how hard each other work from day to day and especially on those big days, and sometimes it is great to hear from another person how they manage to get through it all.
Yes, we have amazing monthly events where we learn a great deal from experts and then socialize with the best of the best, but it just starts there. Whether it be inviting an industry friend for a private venting session or a laugh at the latest photo booth, our NACE friends are the people that we can partner with to ensure our own personal internal success. Inviting new friends to lunch can not only bring the two of you closer together in connections, but you can learn best practices and have a laugh and a vent all at once!
Booking and planning seasons can be something that turns into a race – a race to finish each day feeling accomplished and successful. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out the way we have planned. So we need a backup plan – and that is support from our NACE community. Every success bounces to the rest of us. NACE is strong because we are a team of industry experts who collaborate together to ensure that success that we strive for. And in the end, our work will all get done, our clients will be happy, and we will have formed bonds with our NACE friends that are set up to last a lifetime.
Any member who may be feeling overwhelmed - reach out to someone at NACE. Ask them if they have been in the same position of having too many balls in the air, how they felt during that time and then ask them how they conquered it. And at the end of the event or the end of the interaction, you’ll be able to walk away smiling knowing that you are not alone – you’re hand in hand with your friends, with your NACE family.
We at NACE would love to hear from you. In the comments below, let us know if you have any ideas on how to get through busy season, and ways that our NACE members can help. Thank you for sharing!
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Ashley Kirouac has been an Event Sales Manager at Hyatt Regency Cambridge for three years, primarily selling and planning weddings along with other social events. She won Manager of the Year and was one of 100 Hyatt Hyachievers in Event Sales & Planning for 2016. A NACE member for 1 year, Ashley is now a proud Social Media Committee Member for NACE and enjoys blogging by uncovering knowledge and experiences from other NACE members. When not working she enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends and family. Contact Ashley with ideas for upcoming blog posts!