The event industry is an exciting and rewarding environment, but it can also come with high pressure, expectations and looming deadlines. EventWell has recently listed it as the 5th most stressful career.
Employee mental and physical wellbeing is becoming a core priority for companies of all sizes. It is now acknowledged that ‘happy’ employees become engaged and motivated teams which in turn helps to attract and retain talent to give a competitive advantage.
Hopefully you may already have an employee wellness program in place for your office, but what happens when your team goes out to a work event or exhibition?
Employee wellbeing at events is no longer an optional extra, but a strategic necessity to ensure your event staff remain happy, productive and perform well.
Here are 8 easy ways to introduce or improve your wellbeing program at events and exhibitions:
1) Start early
Having a good start to the day can have a significant effect on your level of productivity. Ask your staff to arrive 20 minutes early to the event so they can relax, grab a coffee and a bite to eat before the doors open. This will help their mindset and will set them for a good day ahead. If the event starts very early or requires long travel, take this opportunity to break the routine or set up a rota so those who start earlier finish earlier
2) Eat well
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why not get a quick breakfast for your staff. Fruit, nuts and oatmeal cookies are all great to snack on in the morning and throughout the day. Most coffee shops at venues now offer healthy snack and breakfast options that you can pick up for your staff if you don’t have time to organise delivery before the event.
Providing a healthy breakfast will boost your staff’s mood and brain power which will make them more energised and focused. And don’t forget to have scheduled lunch breaks in place.
3) Stay hydrated
Drinking water at events can often prove difficult. A lot of people are too busy talking to prospects and too focused on work to get a glass of water or buy something to drink even if they are thirsty. Providing bottled water, or even better, reusable, refillable bottles for each staff member, will help them drink more throughout the event. Most exhibition stands have storage areas where the bottles can be hidden while still being easily accessible. If you have enough space, consider a water container with tap for easy refills. Without proper hydration, your employees will become more fatigued and less focused quicker.
4) Keep moving
We all heard it, ‘sitting is the new smoking’. Not only it’s bad for your health and wellbeing, but when it comes to events and exhibitions it’s also bad for your brand image – it can look uninviting and sometimes even unprofessional. But, did you know that static standing can be almost as bad as sitting down? The key is to keep moving! Movement effectively pumps blood through body, improves clear thinking and keeps us healthy. Encourage your staff to practice active standing – standing with some movement – suggest they bring movement to their speech when talking to prospects, demonstrate products, walk around the stand and take short breaks for walks around the event. Your staff will look much more approachable when actively standing up.
5) Take breaks
At busy events with a lot of attendees to chat to and network with, it may be tempting to miss a lunch break. And while your staff may be saving time, lack of a 30 – 60-minute lunch break can lead to tiredness and reduced productivity. Events can be exhausting and performing at your peak all day requires breaks to recharge emotional and physical energy.
It’s also a great opportunity for your staff to take this time to explore the event or the venue area or attend seminars they may be interested in. Shorter breaks can also be easily overlooked. Each staff member should get a good amount of time for their lunch break, as well as two shorter breaks in-between.
6) Leave office work behind
Your employees should leave their laptops at the office when attending an event – ask them to get organised and leave any work from yesterday behind. This will help them start the day with a clear mind and focus on goals they need to accomplish from the event. And your staff will feel much better knowing they don’t have to worry about other projects. Mobiles might be necessary to allow your staff to answer any work-related emergency phone calls.
7) Reward good performance
Reward your staff for good performance and hitting their event targets. Everyone will be extremely tired and achy after an all-day event, even more so if it’s a multiple days event. A reward can be an effective way to encourage higher level of performance and help them stay energetic and driven throughout the day. It is also a nice way to say thank you to your staff. Some suggestions could be a day-after free lunch for the team or even a free class or yoga or pilates which is ideal for stretching out soreness, increasing energy and refocus!
8) Work as a team
Anyone in the event industry will tell you, planning an event can be demanding with long hours and late nights. There are many variables to address and obstacles to overcome. From Project Managers to Venue Contractors, there are high expectations for every individual to perform to a certain standard.
The foundations of organising an event relies heavily on teamwork. Working together to build a team culture of support will go a long way in making employees feel more confident and happier in their job. Reiterating the sense of a supportive and compassionate network will also reduce stress and help to improve efficiency.