Energize your event planning: Strategies for overcoming creative burnout.

Time to start planning your next event?

There’s nothing quite like sitting down at your desk, a hot cup of coffee in hand and a lot of determination to create an out-of-this-world event and…nothing. Your brain is totally zapped of any creativity. 

If you’ve ever felt like this, don’t feel guilty! There’s a reason that we praise creative genius. It can be difficult to access our creative minds. No worries – here are a few ideas on how you can refresh your thought process and come up with some amazing ideas during event planning.

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Take a break.

Our creativity can be seriously stifled when we’re burnt out from work or a stale environment. Do you ever come up with a brilliant idea at random times – before falling asleep at night, showering, or out for a stroll? 

That’s probably because so many of us go through the day overstimulated and focused on a million different tasks. Sound like you? Then it’s time to relax and give your mind a chance to wander. You could decide to go on that fun (long overdue) trip, or just a quick walk down the street! Life is all about balance – don’t push yourself too hard. When it’s time to get creative, be sure that you are rested, fed, and won’t be preoccupied with anything else.

Looking for more tips to beat burnout during the event planning process? Check out our article, Self-care and how event planners can beat burnout.

Stay True To Yourself Grammy Awards GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs

Stay true to your brand.

Being creative requires us to make new connections, but it’s important to stay focused on our main goal. Build on the resources you already have!

Take a moment to refocus on your “why” and the roots of your brand. What is the purpose of your event? Why should people attend? 

If you can answer these questions, then it all boils down to how you can deliver these things to your attendees.

Tip: Mood boards are a great way to get creative! They help you capture your ideal event aesthetic, stay focused, and spark new ideas. We recommend Canva or Notion – both are fantastic digital tools to build beautiful mood boards in minutes.

Movie gif. Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless holds a fluffy pen while sitting in a classroom staring pensively into general space as if lost in deep thought.

Have a brainstorm session.

There’s something magical about brainstorming. You’d be surprised by how much we tend to carry around in our heads, relying fully on our memory. It’s time to clear up that brain space! Once you clear out those random thoughts and ideas, your brain can move on to thinking about new things – like your upcoming event! This extra bandwidth is super important during the creative process.

Brainstorming is simple: Find a notebook and pen, set a timer for 5-10 minutes, and start writing down any and every thought that crosses your mind. Don’t try to filter anything – the point is to capture the thought process. You’ll go through the list later on and pull out any winning ideas. The amount of great ideas you can come up with in just a few minutes is shocking!

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Learn your location.

Creativity blooms when we make use of what we already have or know. If you have the event venue booked (or just have one in mind), take a look at the space and visualize your event. What are the physical limitations or features? Every unique feature is a chance for creativity. 

Maybe there’s something unsightly that could be hidden by a prop or sculpture. If the weather on event day looks perfect, your guests might love to sit outdoors. 

On a larger scale, find small businesses in the local area and think of ways to incorporate them into your event. Are there local restaurants or caterers that could serve food at your event? Invite any notable people from the community to speak! 

Adding elements from the surrounding community – especially if you have a lot of local attendees – makes your event feel more grounded and authentic. Here are more ways to make the local community part of your event!

Movie gif. Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, David Koechner, and Steve Carell as Brian Fantana, Ron Burgundy, Brick Tamland, and Champ Kind in the movie Anchorman jumping for joy in unison.

Talk to your team.

Don’t underestimate the power of conversation when it comes to creativity – especially with the people that you work closely with.

Your coworkers probably have some amazing ideas floating around! Take some time to chat with your team – whether one-on-one or in a meeting – and listen to creative ideas or improvements to the upcoming event. Make sure to go in with an open mind, and don’t scoff – even at their most far-fetched ideas. Judgment stifles creativity!

Let your teammates know that you are on the hunt for nuggets of creative genius, and to let you know of anything they come up with. After all teamwork makes the dreamwork! 

Bob Ross Art GIF by NETFLIX

Make it fun.

At the end of the day, the process of getting creative should be fun! When it’s time to come up with ideas for your event, don’t push yourself too hard. If you hate the process, your guests will feel it in the results. Tap into your inner Bob Ross – kick back your feet, have a meditative minute, and let the creativity flow.

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