What the Business Events Industry is Saying About Mental Wellness

In our recent Recovery Dashboard, we asked planners and suppliers about workplace culture, the need for flexibility, social connection, and other issues facing organizations. They had a lot to say.

Author: Convene Editors       

matches with one burned out

Staffing issues, poor planning, and bad company culture were among the causes for burnout amongst the planners and suppliers taking our mental health survey. (Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels)

As Convene editors looked at the recommendations on how workplaces can support mental health published in a recent Harvard Business Review article — see our story “Workplace Mental Health: A Collective Priority” — we couldn’t help but notice the echoes in the mental health portion of Convene’s recent Business Events Recovery Dashboard.

The ongoing struggle over the last two years to meet the challenges of disruption and uncertainty at work surfaced again and again in the comments offered by meeting professionals. There also were stories about the things that created resilience in your workplaces and your personal work experience, along with insights about the positive impact of workplace flexibility and how social connection supports mental wellness. What also was clear was that although the pandemic has been a global one, the impact on individual meeting professionals — and their wellbeing — has varied greatly.

Here is a sample of what you had to say:

What Is Contributing to Burnout

“Poor company culture and lack of focus on mental health. Lack of understanding what the challenges are for employees returning to the office.” — planner

“Challenges with interactions with meeting planners who insist that the pandemic is over and everything is back to normal. They are unwilling to accept that the pandemic has forced changes and has continued impact for vendors who provide services for in-person meetings that need to be addressed and require compromise.” — supplier

“Working with suppliers that are short-staffed.” — planner

“Being short-staffed.” — supplier

“Overall, I am not doing a good job at managing stress. I have a team of 15 people and feel that I have to absorb so much of their stress because the landscape is ever-changing. There aren’t standards to the way we do work anymore.” — planner

“I am attempting to leave the planning world behind. It is no longer serving me or my mental health. I will be leaving my job as soon as I can.” — planner

Things That Help

“Talking with colleagues, but it’s been tough!” — planner

“Our workplace has had daily contact with all staff since the pandemic started. We have mental wellness breaks (paid days off for the purpose of de-stressing). We have access to a wellness app (Headspace) and have had several all-staff sessions on mental health and wellness.” — planner

“A stress counselor; setting hard limits to disconnect from work; working from home freed up commuting time for work responsibilities.” — supplier

“Close family and friends network as well as strong professional connections.” —planner

“Prior to 2020, my entire self and identity was tied to my career. Since then, I also have found value in being a good brother/uncle/son, taking on a new hobby, traveling for leisure, and turning off the cellphone on weekends. I do workout classes and run often during the week, which has contributed to my strong mental health and how to handle stress better.” — supplier

“Partnership with clients. It’s not us versus them now, it’s us against the pandemic. We are stronger when we work together.” — supplier

“Keeping connected with colleagues globally has helped in managing work expectations, as we all understand the pandemic has changed our lives forever. I join groups of events creators periodically to e-meet, discuss challenges in their continent, updates on rules/regulations, best practices for organizing events in the post-pandemic world, new events tech, etc.” — planner

“Keeping the mood light at work. We laugh a lot as a team and lean on each other when times are tough. I feel very lucky to be surrounded by such supportive, quality people!” — supplier

“Solid team and open communication, flexible work environment.” — planner