Events are happy occasions, so why can organising an event be so stressful? This article discusses mental health in the events industry and offers tips for alleviating working pressures
In 2016, a career as an event manager was listed as the fifth most stressful job. Three years later and many events professionals would argue that the life of an event manager hasn’t changed; being an event manager is a fun and rewarding career, yet it’s one that comes with significant pressures.
On October 10, the globe will mark World Mental Health Day — it’s an opportunity for businesses to raise awareness and support mental health in the workplace. It’s a topic that has been on the radar within the events industry for some years and continues to be discussed and addressed by responsible event businesses that care about their employees’ health and wellbeing.
In 2017, the UK Government published a disturbing report — Thriving at Work — which reported that poor mental health costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion a year, with an annual cost to the UK economy of between £74 billion and £99 billion. Such alarming figures are backed by the Mental Health Foundation, which said that evidence suggests that more than 12 per cent of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
Just this month, Public Health England (PHE), in partnership with the NHS, launched Every Mind Matters to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others. That’s because a new PHE survey revealed that more than eight in ten (83 per cent) people have rather worryingly experienced early signs of poor mental health in the last 12 months. So, what can you do to manage mental health in your workplace and alleviate stress? Here are my tips:
· Break tasks down into sizable chunks and give yourself credit when you finish them.
· Turn to co-workers, friends and family for support. For example, when you take a break, instead of reaching for your phone, engage in conversation with colleagues.
· Be more active — exercise releases endorphins, can help you to clear your thoughts and can release any emotional intensity.
· Turn to tools and resources that can help you do your job more efficiently.
· Make plans — create to-do lists and plan every aspect of your day. Learn to prioritise by distinguishing between the “shoulds” and the “musts”.
Interestingly, companies can now participate in Mental Health First Aid training — it’s training that the Production Services Association (PSA) has been encouraging its members to take part in. Yet, it’s not the only industry initiative. At PLASA this September, the industry event for live entertainment technology, visitors were asked to fill in a questionnaire that will provide a snapshot of mental health and mental health awareness within the backstage entertainment industry.
Such drives within the sector build on the great work being undertaken by former industry professionals. In 2017, Laura Capell-Abra, ex-MD of Sledge, launched Stress Matters; a free industry-wide initiative that gives practical advice to companies to help them ease stress in the workplace. Furthermore, in 2018, POINT3 Wellbeing — formed by three former TRO employees — launched to help people understand the importance and benefits of movement and mindfulness.
All of this positive messaging and insight will no doubt be a focus of #EventWell20, a wellbeing and mental health campaign run by EventWell, the event industry’s official resource and charitable social enterprise for wellbeing advice and support. It helps industry professionals by providing information that can be used to make mindful decisions that impact positively on wellbeing.
Event Wellbeing Day will take place on February 26, 2020, coinciding with International Confex, and will be followed later in the year by Event Wellbeing Week (September 21–27, 2020). The events industry is invited to support the organisation’s initiatives and help steer the campaigns, which are being devised to help events professionals across the world. Events professionals are encouraged to stress less and this is particularly important, as the demands of the corporate event world continue to rise.
Rentuu will be supporting the campaign. As a global business, with strong connections in Europe, we see the pressures that event organisers face on a daily basis. Therefore, we believe that it’s important that events professionals take good care of their mental health and be aware of the stresses and issues that can contribute to anxiety in the workplace. It’s one of the reasons why we developed our platform — it is designed to take the stress out of organising events. Our easy to use Request for Proposals Form enables organisers to reach out to event equipment hire specialists. We are, therefore, best placed to assist organisers with last minute enquiries, taking the strain out of event organising, sourcing equipment suppliers, so that you don’t have to.