Mar 13, 2017 by Tamar Stein

How to Clear Your Head on Event Day

You’ve worked for months with your team, checked off every item on the to-do list, and double and triple-checked the schedule, but you’re still trying to calm those pre-event jitters. Sound familiar?

You’re not alone.

Event profs have shared some of the things that get them jittery, from problems with catering, electronics failing, to literal torrential flooding on event day. It’s the game-day of the industry, and like professional athletes, a good pre-game ritual helps prepare you for anything the big day decides to throw your way.

It’s often the little things, all added up, that make the biggest difference to your prep. Here’s how to get yourself on the path to day-of serenity:

Set clear objectives for a successful day

Make the shift from “task-based” thinking to “goal-based” thinking. Instead of writing a regular to-do list, make a list of what you will have needed to accomplish by the end of the day in order to call it a success.

Here it’s better to think big picture, and envision the perfect experience you want to deliver. What’s success for this event, and what do you need to make it happen? Limit yourself to one sentence per goal to make it memorable.

If you want guests who can’t stop talking about the big reveal, you know that you need to focus on flawless execution. If there’s a VIP group of sponsors weighing future investments into your events, you’d best be sure they’re wowed from start to finish.

With your goals succinctly defined, you’ll have an equally clear guidepost for clear decision-making during the event.

Pick your clothes the night before

You might chuckle, but there’s science behind it. Research shows that the more decisions we’re forced to make, the less decisive we become and the poorer our choices become – otherwise known as decision fatigue.


Don’t waste a valuable decision on what to wear when you can decide in advance. That’s one less thing to think about in the morning, keeping you sharp for when you need your wits about you the most.

Veteran decision-makers from Mark Zuckerberg to Karl Lagerfeld to Barack Obama have done the same by streamlining their wardrobes on a daily basis.

And if you find this approach works well for you, it’s easy to build it up into a full regimen. Plan your breakfast the night before, pick the music you want to listen to on the way to on your drive or commute, and remove all the little decision moments that can wear you down in advance.

Build up a reserve of inner calm

Good leadership takes patience, which can be hard to achieve when a flurry of people are coming to you with questions during a hectic event.

While all of your planning prepares you to have the right answers, what helps you put them to good use is your ability to be an unflappable leader for your team and your guests.

Meditating for a few minutes to start the day-of can help you focus on agility, clear space for mindfulness, and set the tone for the day. The app headspace is great for meditating on the go – choose your meditation style and duration, and it will guide you through the whole session.


So with that in mind, take a few minutes to put aside the day-to-day worries that can nag at you straight through event day. It’s not your front-of-house’s fault that you noticed a leak under your dishwasher right before you left, so don’t accidentally vent your frustration on them.

Looking for some more support before go time? See what other event planners told us about what they feel on event day.