Events planning has long been considered one of the most stressful careers in the world, even before the pandemic. According to research, the event professional is ranked among the top five most stressful jobs.
As per Brand Brewery, event professionals suffer from mental ill-health at a rate of 1 in 3, with the national average being 1 in 4. They only rate their overall wellbeing as 6 out of 10 on a 10-point scale.
After Covid dealt a particularly severe and long-lasting blow to the meetings industry, wellness experts are concerned that event professionals’ mental health has reached crisis levels. It is no secret that the Events industry is one of the most diverse industries, with its people’s most valuable assets. As a result, ensuring their wellbeing is a priority in ensuring productivity, profitability, and growth.
10times asked Helen Moon, CEO of, EventWell, to share her valuable insights about the state of mental health and wellness in the event industry and how event profs can deal with strains on mental, emotional, and physical wellness.
Helen Moon is an Event & Marketing Director with over 20 years of experience in the hotels and events industry and is presently the Marketing & Communications Manager for the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust. Helen is also CEO of EventWell and Cofounder of U.K. Event Wellbeing Week.
Founded in 2017, EventWell provides mental health and wellbeing services to event professionals in the U.K. It provides financial assistance and training for implementing wellbeing programs at workplaces and events. Additionally, it offers certification in Mental Health First Aid, which teaches how to recognize and assist people experiencing mental crises.
* Could you please walk us through your professional journey? What is EventWell and how did it start?
I have spent 20+ years working in our amazing industry, I am a real operations nut, it’s my first love, although I have also worked in sales and marketing. My background is venues, and I have been a freelance event planner since 2015. I have worked on a huge variety of events, from exhibitions to weddings, and that has given me quite a unique and diverse perspective on our industry and the event world.
I also live with a mental health condition, Bipolar, and I’m neurodivergent, ADHD/Autistic, which inspired to me to found EventWell, a not for profit and charitable social enterprise that is dedicated to educating, campaigning and supporting better mental wellbeing in events.
Our expertise and specialism is creating quiet and sensory spaces in events, that provide a place to go for anyone at risk of becoming triggered or overwhelmed, a essential accessibility and inclusion element for any event, because supporting inclusion supports mental wellbeing.
* Do you think event industry professionals have a harder time dealing with their mental health than individuals in other industries?
No I don’t think event professionals have a harder time dealing with their mental health, absolutely not. I do think that we face unique pressures in the events industry that other industries may not experience on the same kind of level, and we are responsible for creating environments that are busy and always switched on.
I think that makes it incredibly hard to switch off and self-care incredibly challenging, and I think as a collective industry we need to get better at creating supportive and positive cultures and event environments that support mental wellbeing.
* Can you suggest any advice on how to handle stressful situations during an event?
There are too many to mention here and it very much depends on the individual. What is a pressure and stress for one person may not be for another, and the best thing you can do to manage your stress is learn what stresses and triggers you personally, and then plan how you can manage those.
Learning to breathe your way through a situation so that you are able to respond and not react is my go to piece of advice, but really get to know yourself and what makes you tick or not tick!
* What is the biggest life lesson you have learned during the pandemic?
That there is nothing more important than balance, and that no job in the world is worth sacrificing yourself for. Nobody lies on their death bed wishing that they had worked more, and it’s important to keep a perspective on what really matters, and that work is a channel to help you to do all of the things that matter to you.
* What is the one piece of advice you would give to event planners?
There is no such thing as a perfect event! Perfection is a standard that we too often try and aspire to in our industry, and it sets us up straight away for failure.
Strive for excellence and remember that something will always happen that is off the plan, it is how you respond to this that will define you as an event professional, not trying to achieve the perfect event.
Are you interested in sharing your insights or viewpoints with the events industry? Join the Eva Talk.