RECHARGE: Why Downtime is Important in the Events Industry

Laura Lafata and Felix Pike enjoy Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the backgroun

Why is it Important to Take Time Off?

As a business owner and subcontractor in the corporate events industry, one can tend to forget about taking time off. After all, there is no regular paycheck coming in and the self-employed are always on the hustle, trying to get that next gig.

Because our income solely depends on me, it can be hard to take the time to recharge my batteries.

But without downtime and self-care, one can get stressed, overwhelmed, and run down. And with that comes resentment and sometimes illness, which isn’t good for anyone.

Working as a Show Caller, Event Producer, and Project Manager is demanding physically and mentally.

I work in various roles within event production for The Full Pike. Depending on each event, I will work as a corporate event show caller, event producer, or project manager, or a combination of all three. Below are some of the challenges that I face in these roles every day in my industry, but they apply to almost everyone in the industry.

Felix Pike enjoys a freshwater spring near Crystal River Florida

What are he Challenges of Working in Event Production?

  • Long work days: Often when I work as a show caller or project manager, I will wake up at 5 am with a 6 am start and might not finish until 11 pm that night. Event production is not a 9-5 job.
  • Irregular hours and schedule: One day I might work a 12-hour day, and the next might be five hours! Or I’ll work ten days straight from one event to the next without a break. It can wear on the body.
  • Traveling: Sleeping in hotels, long drives, multiple flights, eating food from a hotel restaurant or buffet, or what the client provides as crew lunch is no holiday. It’s not the same as eating your wife’s cooking and sleeping in your own bed or enjoying the hotel restaurant when you’re on vacation. 
  • Logistics and organization:  Being responsible for multiple staff and crew, scheduling and logistics as well as overseeing large client budgets can tax the mind. It can be hard to destress after a busy day on site, especially when you are in charge.
  • Deadlines and tight timelines can add to the stress of any event.
  • Client demands and last-minute changes: No matter how nice and reasonable your client is, there is an expectation of service and product that must be delivered, hopefully beyond their expectations. Even the best-laid plans can come with hiccups and I have to be there to fix it, calmly and quickly. It’s why in the industry he’s known as “Fix it Felix!”

While I’m adept and experienced at what I do, all of this can take a toll on my body and mind, and it’s essential to give myself proper rest and downtime.

Felix Pike playing Paul Reed Smith Custom electric guitar

How do You Manage Self-Care Working in the Event Industry?

  • Wear comfortable and good quality shoes
  • Be organized and don’t leave anything until the last minute. From packing to run of show, I always have everything ready to go before the event so I can give my full attention to the job at hand.
  • Exercise on breaks. I will often go the gym if I’m on a break. It’s amazing how energized I can get with a few minutes on the treadmill, especially after sitting behind a com desk for hours.
  • Get as much rest as I can. Instead of heading to the bar to unwind, I’ll have a drink in my room and get to bed early.
  • Schedule vacation time and let all your clients know well ahead of time.
  • Eat as healthy as you can with the food provided and choices offered. This isn’t always easy, especially if the client only offers pizza and fried foods. But usually, it comes with salads, so I try to fill up on as many of the healthy foods as I can.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol, especially with clients. It’s polite to have one drink, even if it’s mineral water (they don’t have to know) but it’s sloppy to hang out and keep drinking. I have to balance being cordial and knowing when to call it a night so I can be on point the following day for the show.
  • Have hobbies that include a healthy lifestyle when you’re off the clock. I like to kayak, swim and ride my bike.
  • Meditating with apps is a favorite way to unwind and relax my mind. I can do this on the plane, during breaks, and before I sleep.
  • Breathing and tapping exercises quiet the mind, even for only a few minutes. Breathing deeply for even one or two minutes can reduce stress levels, especially in a tense situation.

What are your ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the events industry? Let me know in the comments!

The Full Pike will be out of the country from 29 May until 5 July with limited email and internet access. Kindly contact me on WhatsApp for any urgent inquiries. Thank you and see you in July!