Prepare for Your Event Like a Professional Athlete: The Warm Up

A professional athlete’s job revolves around ensuring that their body is prepared for the big event by sticking to their training schedule and maintaining proper nutrition and hydration. Although you may not be a professional athlete, you can relate to the time, dedication, and effort that an athlete puts into their training. After all, it’s the same commitment you put into planning an event.  Make sure you’re training the right way for the big day by following the same guidelines as professional athletes

  1. Proper Warm-Up
    1. Stretch
    2. Set an Achievable Goal
    3. Start Slow
  2. Be Consistent
    1. Set a Pace (and be consistent)
    2. Visualize Your Victory
    3. Maintain Proper Nutrition
  3. Your Team
    1. Coach
    2. Fans
    3. Training buddy
  4. Variety
    1. Take Time Off/Sleep/Recover
    2. Use a Range of Different Exercises and Training Methods

Proper Warm-Up

The first way you can (and should) prepare for your event like a professional athlete is to warm up properly. Do you think world-class athletes just roll out of bed and start racing at full speed? Of course not! They spend a lot of time preparing themselves for whatever their workout that day entails – be it a recovery run or a big game, they make sure they warm up and get their body ready. As an event planner, you need to ensure you warm up as well. Now, the warm-up of a professional soccer player peppering for the world cup and that of an event planner warming up for their next big event aren’t exactly the same, but many of the same principles apply. Read on to discover what you as an event planner can do!


Just because someone ran yesterday doesn’t mean his or her body is ready to move today. Before moving too much, athletes need to stretch in order to warm their bodies up to the idea of moving. The same goes for event planning. Just because you planned an event last year, 6 months ago, or even last month, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to organize one today. That is not to say your planning skills have degraded, it’s more the tools you’re using have evolved. Event technologies, venues, and trends change all the time. Before running full speed ahead planning, take a little time to stretch your planner muscles. You never know what’s out there until you stretch your horizons, and you may discover a new home-run idea.

Set an Achievable Goal

Do you expect someone to run a marathon on their first run or be able to slalom perfectly the first time they ski? Of course not. That would be like saying you want to magically increase attendance at your annual event from 100 to 3,000 people from one year to the next. That isn’t saying attendance won’t increase to 3,000 people eventually, but failing to set achievable goals for your event can set you up to fail. Knowing how and when to push yourself is a great skill to have and one that you should utilize.

Start Slow

You may be warm from your stretch, but you shouldn’t start with a sprint right out of the gate. Think about it. Do figure skaters leap onto the ice and immediately do a triple axel rotation? Even if you don’t know what a triple axel rotation is, you probably know the answer I’m looking for is no, they don’t do that, because if they did they would probably get hurt. Skaters get onto the ice gently and skate around, getting a feel for the ice and slowly building up to the big finale. Similarly, you need to ease into the event planning process. Starting slow and building up is the best way you can avoid an (event-related) injury.

Starting slowly can be tough. You’re mentally ready for all the work you have ahead of you and are eager to dive right in. That doesn’t mean jumping in head first is the best option. Just like a runner plans their route before moving, you should plan your event strategy before doing anything else. If you need help planning your strategy, check out our Route to ROI Infographic. After you’ve stretched and come up with potential themes or new event tech to try, you can begin to jog. This can be done in a matter of different ways – you can research the ideas you’ve come up with while stretching, you can plan out your calendar for the next few months, or any number of other steps that will get you started on the right track.

Written by Hannah Huston