Our industry; the events industry, is high pressure and we aren’t going to be able to change the fact that we are working towards a non-moveable time/date.
Everyone that works in the industry knows it, we’ve all lived and breathed the highs and lows that the pressure can throw our way. Over the last two years, a growing number of advocates have come together to try to deal with this issue. Nearly every industry event has a wellbeing stream and initiatives such as Stress Matters and EventWell have been drumming the wellbeing drum to encourage change.
The cynics out there will say it’s a fad, it’s a fashionable thing to talk about and it’ll all blow over in the next year or so. And they may not be wrong, but only if a cultural shift in the industry occurs so that it isn’t such a big news story anymore because employers/employees have taken action.
What we can do is change how we look after our people and how we react to this pressure. There are a huge number of activities and techniques that individuals can use to manage this in a way that is more bespoke to them but employers also need to take action.
When I used to run an events agency I thought I was doing a good job looking after my team but people definitely fell through the gaps. What’s needed is a more structured approach to our team’s wellbeing and this is so far beyond offering fruit and the odd early finish on a Friday; it covers team culture, the way we resource and how we manage our stakeholders.
In 2017, Stress Matters identified 10 key issues facing our industry and created the Stress Matters Pledge for all types of events businesses to join and take action in a structured way. Employers such as BI Worldwide, The Twickenham Experience, Pico+, Montgomery and many more have pledged that Stress Matters to them and we have seen some great results where teams feel that their voices are being heard and their stress levels are less than they were before. Added to that, the Stress Matters team has taken this a step further and now offer event industry tailored Mental Health First Aider courses and a huge variety of other workshops to help tackle this issue.
So I challenge those that believe they are making positive steps to take the Stress Matters audit and for those companies that are just starting to think that they should probably move it up to their things-to-do list, check out Stress Matters.