• Patty Stern

13 Things That Thrill Event Planners (and No One Else)



Event planners know that work and life are all about the little details. Small luxuries like a coffee bar with the type of milk you take or a swag bag that you won’t immediately throw away are what make an event great.

Here are thirteen things in life that thrill event planners — to the bewilderment of most of your friends.

1. Sunshine on event day

We can’t control the weather, but being gifted a beautiful, sunny day is wonderful. Just think about it: No umbrellas to wrangle, no wet shoes to mop up after, and that’s just if your event is indoors.

There’s also the happy, smiling attendees who just commuted in the sunshine, the beautiful glimmer of natural light that shines into the venue, and the ability to sneak out for a five-minute break to breathe in some fresh air.

2. Comfortable shoes

Nothing wreaks havoc on your feet like walking the event floor from sun up until long after sundown. Event planners know this familiar ache well.

If you’re going to have a record-setting step count day on your fitness tracker (go you!), you want to at least make sure you’re not wearing heels, dress shoes, or worn-out flats. In the words of event planners everywhere, “Shoes, shoes. My kingdom for a comfortable pair of shoes.”

3. Accurate, high-quality venue maps

Speaking of aching feet, how great is it when you don’t have to walk the entire length of the venue floor to find what you’re looking for? Having a really detailed and accurate map is a blessing for event planners during the planning and set-up stages of an event (and your attendees will appreciate it on event day, too)

4. Coffee

Okay, your friends might why you like coffee — but no one gets as excited about it as you do.

We’re not sure if it’s really the “elixir of the gods” or if it’s the caffeine jolt that gets us into serious event planning mode, but whatever the case, event planners light up when they smell a fresh pot being brewed or hear the whoosh of the espresso machine. Seriously, would it be weird to ask for an IV drip with the stuff?

5. A foot massage

Yes, there’s another foot-related item on this list. If you’ve experienced the pain, the aches, and the stiffness in your toes, you’ll understand why. Even with comfiest of shoes, your feet will hurt after “running” an event.

Treating yourself to a foot massage the day after is not only a great example of self-care, but it’s the best bonus you’ll ever give yourself.

6. (Another) extra battery pack

Because you’ll never have enough charge to get you through the day, no matter how prepared you are. That third low-battery alert of the day can raise anxiety levels, especially if you’ve still got hours to go. That is, until you dig deep into your bag and realize that, yes – you did bring along another battery pack.

7. Detailed, color-coded everything

If only the world was as organizationally-minded as you. People might poke fun at how you like to label everything, your endless lists and spreadsheets, and your overall process, but it works. How else can you find exactly what you’re looking for when you need something from your chronological, color-coded, and categorized file cabinet?

8. Tasty leftovers from the caterers

Because who really wants to eat stale, cold pretzels or vending machine granola bars washed down with warm water for dinner again? You’ve been there, done that (way too many times), which is why it’s a real treat to enjoy the grilled vegetable panini and fresh brewed peach iced tea that your caterer set aside just for you.

9. Actually getting to eat

Then again, the ability to find a few minutes to sit and eat anything at all like a human during a busy event is a luxury in and of itself. In fact, it might be worth adding a color-coded note on your master schedule spreadsheet to allow each person on your team to take a real 20-minute meal break.

10. Clients who say thank you

It’s nice to feel appreciated when you’ve put your event planning skills to work for a successful event. It’s amazing how much a few kind words can really brighten your day. (Note to self: Take a moment to give out a few thank yous of your own.)

11. Coming in under budget

It’s a rarity to be sure, but being able to put on an amazing event, and having money left over in the budget is a win-win. People will realize that you’re the event planning genius you always knew you were.

12. No last-minute cancellations

You know that events rarely go off without a hitch, and you’ve planned accordingly. But to not have to put out the fires that result from a vendor, speaker, or (worst of all) venue canceling at the last minute? Priceless.

13. A team you love

Not everyone is lucky enough to do fun work with people who are like family. If you’ve been fortunate enough to put together such a team, you know there’s no greater feeling in the world.

It doesn’t take big sweeping gestures or miracles from above to put some pep in an event planner’s step. But when the little things work out, you’ll feel like you’re walking on air.

About the author: Rachel Grate

Rachel is a writer for Eventbrite, where she regularly interviews organizers of the country's most popular events, from massive music festivals to small food & drink gatherings. She's a live music lover, a foodie, and a big fan of smiles.


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