EventWell Digital Summit Addresses Mental Health and Wellbeing of Event Professionals
Held July 14-15, EventWell Digital Summit 2020 — the first mental health and wellbeing summit designed specifically for the event industry — went really well, according to Helen Moon, CEO and founder of London-based EventWell, which organized the event. Moon says feedback from attendees and speakers has been wonderful, and that she saw consistent engagement through the Q&A portions of the event.
“People stayed with us right to the end,” says Moon. “That’s a great marker in terms of how well an event has gone, especially digitally as it is much easier for people to switch off.”
The two-day summit featured keynotes and panel discussions on topics such as the science of stress, eating for better mental health, unlocking your potential, diversity in mental health, impact of digital habits on wellbeing, the importance of balance in the events industry, and weaving wellness into virtual and hybrid event strategies.
Also included were activities such as yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises, plus a number of digital networking opportunities. “The networking aspects were popular with attendees coming to have more informal chats with the speakers,” says Moon. Speakers like mindfulness coach Alex La Via, wellbeing trainer Sharon Critchlow and Eventure founder Charli Briggs participated in networking events.
An event professional herself, Moon founded EventWell a few years ago based on her own experiences in an industry that she found exciting and creative but also filled with pressure — and with no resources available to help address it. “Nobody taught about the importance of self care and building resilience as an event professional,” says Moon.
At the end of 2015, when Moon saw that CareerCast had listed event coordination as the fifth most stressful career, she created a team of industry peers she calls the “EventWell’ers.”
“We formed the first-ever wellbeing week in September of 2017 and #EventWell17 was born,” says Moon. “This year, we are in #EventWell20, and September will become Event Wellbeing Month to provide some much-needed support for the industry right now.”
Originally planned as a hybrid event, the inaugural EventWell Digital Summit pivoted to digital due to the pandemic. Although Moon says they missed the live element of gathering together in one venue, the digital event “worked incredibly well as it allowed us to reach a U.S. audience as well for the first time.”
Growing their audience of event professionals is something Moon looks to continue with the addition of a new U.S. Ambassador, Rachael Riggs of Maritz Global Travel. “It’s a very exciting time for us as a relatively new start-up social enterprise in the U.K. but with a very global focus,” says Moon.
Looking ahead to next year’s Digital Summit, Moon says they again hope to try a hybrid format. “We still want to reach international audiences as that is important for the community,” says Moon, “but the buzz and feeling of connection you get from a live event can’t be replaced, and is important to mental health and wellbeing.”
Get more information on upcoming EventWell education, training and events here.