After the past year, it’s safe to say that we all deserve a vacation! As an event professional, however, it can be hard to take time off when many are finally getting back to work after all of the cancelations and postponements that happened last year. “As vendors, we sometimes feel guilty about taking time away,” admits Holly Gray of Anything But Gray Events. “Don't! Our clients don't have guilt when they take time for their own lives, so why do we?”
In fact, all it takes is a little planning beforehand to make sure your clients are happy so you can enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation.
Schedule During a Slow Time
This could be challenging this year (and possibly next) but try to plan your time off for a week when there aren’t multiple events on your schedule. Not only would choosing a busy time make the lead-up to your vacation super stressful, but it can also interfere with your ability to relax while you’re away.
Give Plenty of Notice
Rachel Urban of Loli Events notifies her clients at least 2-3 weeks before she leaves for vacation so there is plenty of time to go over any questions or concerns beforehand.
Hand Out Assignments
Urban also discusses any pending projects and designates tasks that the couple can complete while she is away. Of course, event pros should do the same with any staff members, so everyone stays on the same page.
Go Over To-Dos
Renee Sabo of Urban Soiree suggests taking note of what needs to be done before you leave and let your clients know how you’ll be taking care of those items. By staying organized and ensuring couples that you plan on completing these tasks prior to vacation, you give them peace of mind that you have everything covered.
Set Friendly Reminders
When sending out emails to clients before your vacation, add a little note at the end of the message to serve as a gentle reminder of the dates you’ll be away, suggests Gray.
Be Honest About Availability
If you plan on being completely off the grid while away, be transparent about this with clients, says Sabo.
“You’ll avoid over-promising and under delivering’ while you're on vacation, which usually just leads to extra worry and stress at a time that you should be able to relax!”
Designate a Go-To Person While You’re Away
Whether it’s an assistant, team member, or fellow colleague, introduce your clients and vendors to them as a go-to to assist with any urgent items that come up while you are gone, recommends Sabo. This can show clients that things will still run smoothly while you’re gone.
Pad Your Timeline
As a wedding planner, Gray is accustomed to padding wedding timelines because something always comes up and extra time is never unhelpful. “When it comes to my own vacations, I do the same. I give myself an extra day when I get home before I actually get back to work, for prep,” she explains. “I pad the times I tell my clients I am out of the office on vacation on the front end and back end of my trip to ensure I am given the time I need before and after I come back.”
Set Out of Office Replies
While away, Gray leaves a friendly but direct out of office on her email stating that "emails and inquiries are welcome and safe in my inbox but will not be returning until ______ date as I am on vacation and spending some quality time with my family offline."
Schedule Social Media Posts
You’ll want to keep your social media pages up to date. You can do this by assigning it to a trusted employee, or simply use social media management tools like Buffer, Edgar, or Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance.
Enjoy! Take the time you need for yourself! “We can only be the best for our clients when we are the best to ourselves first!” says Gray. “If you don't take the time you need as an entrepreneur to recharge, refresh, and renew, you will constantly be running on empty!”