Winter really does seem to drag on doesn’t it? There is a need to overcome our fatigue, which is hard with the cold months, long dark hours, wet and stormy weather.
After a lovely long festive break (and didn’t we all need this!), it’s no wonder so many of us struggle to get motivated in January. So how do you shake off the fatigue and get your sparkle back?
Recently we had a team chat about how we get back into the work groove when we fancy a duvet week let alone a duvet day.
We have jotted down a few thoughts here in case it helps anyone else get a sense of oomph back.
What do you think? Would any of these work for you in overcoming any fatigue? Are you doing these already?
We’d love to hear about your top fatigue-busting tips – let us know and we can add to the list!
We’re sure you’ve heard all about mental wellbeing, probably even more so in the last 18 months than ever before. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not. Is it a necessary conversation? Absolutely. Looking at this from an event perspective, wellbeing is arguably more important than it ever has been. Considerations need to be made as we continue to move forward as to how people are thinking and feeling in this new ‘norm’ and how your event can be considerate for people and their mental wellbeing, whether that is in a virtual, hybrid or live environment.
The transition back to into live events is going to be difficult for a number of attendees. We’re all having to get used to being back in a room with people again and we need to be aware that for some, this may cause anxiety and stress. The agenda needs to allow for some blank space and time for reflection. This could be the difference between an enjoyable event for one person and an unbearable event for another.
If you make the decision to keep your events online, that doesn’t let you off the hook with wellbeing. People have screen fatigue, we’ve all spent a year and a half glued to our laptops and phones and you need to be aware of that. As with a live event, your programme needs to allow for attendee ‘me’ time. It can be easy to get carried away with a jam-packed agenda when you can’t physically see your audience, but you still need to give them time to just breathe.
Here are some of our top suggestions to incorporate into your event agenda. These can be incorporated into live, hybrid or virtual events with simple tweaks.
It doesn’t have to be hard to implement a strong mental wellbeing strategy into your events, it shows you care about your attendees which ultimately should be the focus of any event you plan. The simple approach is often the most effective, and with everything that we’ve all been through in the past 18 months wellbeing has to be considered. We may have all been in the same storm, but we certainly haven’t all been in the same boat.
So, how are we doing? That’s the question everyone is asking at the moment. There are a mixture of responses: depending on the day of the week, time of day, what part of the emotional rollercoaster you can find yourself on! Overall, I would honestly say the team are coping well. We are dealing with what is thrown at us with a mainly positive outlook and determination that Covid – 19 will make us stronger together. We will live to fight on and most importantly thrive when face to face events return. Although that does seem to be a little way into the future… an unknown date, which is excruciating for event planners!! We have learnt that our industry is full of inspiring leaders. There is a huge amount of support networks available for us all to help one another.
The team have been working from home since 12th March. We made the decision to do this early as we had illness within the team. At the time, we didn’t think over two months later that we would still be in this position and that this may continue for most of 2020! We keep morale going by having coffee mornings twice a week. These include a quiz, general catch up and a small business update for those on furlough. We have found this has really helped us all feel connected. The team members on furlough have managed to keep up with any training we had, particularly in Cyber Security as this is very hot right now and college work for those completing apprenticeships.
One area we have been focusing on while we have had some time is our processes and systems. We have really fine tuned them so that they are all recorded for future use. Simplifying some of them to ensure we'll be even more efficient when the enquiries start to come flooding in again!
It’s really hard to say with any certainty when live events will happen. Or if they ever will in the same format they were before. We are closely watching government announcements and reviewing hotel and venue policies. We hope that maybe a small number of people may be able to meet for some sort of event abiding by social distancing rules by the end of 2020. This which would install some sort of confidence for 2021.
We are in conversations with our clients regularly to touch base. Speaking to them regarding their plans for the next year and guideline dependant, how we can support if the events are taken online as a conference. Discussing any adaptions to content that would need to be made or if we can plan a hybrid event – with at least some of the audience in the same place. One thing we have learnt throughout all of this is that face to face events - when they come back - will not be going anywhere. These events are sorely being missed right now, virtual just doesn’t cut it in the same way!
As event planners, we don’t often look after ourselves as well as we should . We don't always take time for ourselves due to the number of events we are working on across multiple time zones and with a lot of travelling. At the moment, the team are attending mental wellbeing seminars, back pain courses, doing lots of yoga, walking, taking time to enjoy nature and getting some lovely vitamin D! So – we will be very fit and healthy ready for 2021!!
In recent years, the awareness surrounding the importance of mental wellbeing has increased vastly across all industries, or not least within the Events Industry! People have become more aware of the significance in both work life and personal life. As a result, we have seen increasing requests from our clients for suggestions on the best ways to incorporate mental wellbeing into their events, from space on an agenda, to breakout sessions and wellbeing festivals.
There are so many different activities that can be introduced to an event that focus on mental wellbeing. We work with our preferred suppliers to offer variety of activities that can be modified to any venue, budget or time constraint. Yoga workshops are great to offer to your delegates to allow them to relax, unwind and reset for the day ahead or after closing. Other ideas such as Mindfulness and breathing workshops, reflexology sessions, Tai Chi or creative activities, also offer relaxation opportunities. Offer massages, such as Indian head massages or massage chairs. One other idea could be to introduce a bespoke colouring wall to allow everyone to participate.
Speakers are a great way to deliver an impactful message for all types of events. Ensuring the message is both informative and engaging. There are some really amazing speakers that specialise in delivering talks that can offer techniques for wellbeing and stress management and can advise and engage on topics such as mental health in the workplace, implementing wellbeing strategies, and metal health first aid.
What better way is there to start an event than with laughter? As someone once said, laughter is good for the soul. So, it is great way to kick off an event. It is important to try to elevate the energy within a room and energisers are an effective way to do so. These can include a singing workshop, a quick quiz or a highlights reel from the day before, to get your delegates engaged, laughing and the endorphins pumping. Introduce health and fitness sessions around the event, and put on activities such as cycling or running. If a venue has facilities onsite, work with them to make sure the opening times are flexible, so that everyone has the opportunity to use.
This can make a huge difference to your event. Incorporate fun and healthy food to your offerings, such as urban smoothie bikes! Being aware of food provenance and sustainable eating can be achieved by engaging local niche suppliers. Host a foraging workshop or cookery demonstrations.
The hustle and bustle of an event is great for some, and too much for others. Offering a ‘quiet area’ composed of relaxed seating, power stations and refreshments can be a simple way to promote personal time. Ensure you allow breaks within your event agenda for your delegates to be able to take a realistic amount of time out of the day for themselves. If an agenda is too full, then people will lose their attention and will not feel invested in.
Human interaction is a fundamental need and closely linked to maintaining mental wellbeing. No matter the size of your event, simply offering plenty of networking opportunities and encouraging conversations between your delegates is an effective way to promote wellbeing. You could introduce digital detox…. Doesn’t everyone need time away from screens and this again encourages conversation.