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The importance of wellbeing when planning an event

Event planners have plenty to consider when putting an event schedule together; aside from the obvious venue and catering, wider considerations such as CSR and sustainability are a key part of the agenda. Additionally, employee wellbeing is fast becoming an important focus for businesses, with many striving to properly address the issue to ensure employees remain happy and motivated not just at work but in everyday life. Stress is a major cause of sickness abensence in the workplace and costs businesses over £5bn per year*, therefore it makes business sense to look after employees and ensure they are healthy and happy.

Health and wellbeing at events is a relatively new concept for event organisers who themselves work long hours, often around the clock. Yet with more and more companies starting to incorporate health and wellbeing initiatives into their events to ensure they meet their primary objectives it is becoming more apparent that health and wellbeing should sit alongside sales and sustainability as a barometer of success. We carried out a recent survey** among 175 members of the event industry and 61 per cent of respondents said health and wellbeing is a high focus for internal events. With this in mind, we've put together our top tips for looking after the wellbeing of event attendees:

Take it outside

With the British climate as it is, outside events are not always practical. However, breaking up events so that some elements are in the outdoors is a great way of keeping attendees engaged by changing up their surroundings and allowing time to let off some steam in the fresh air. Increased time spent outdoors is positive for the mind and body, as the natural outdoor environment is known to reduce stress and has many physical, psychological and socio-economic benefits.

Incorporate team building elements 

Far from its reputation of awkward icebreakers and fruitless tasks, team building nowadays can easily be fun and productive, with activities ranging from high-ropes challenges and laser combat tournaments, to adrenaline-fuelled trust exercises. Using team building sessions to break up a day's conference or as an add-on to a company away stay can really help to boost attendee wellbeing as well as team morale!

Get away from the city

It's widely thought that too much time in an urban environment is detrimental to our health, from the fast-paced lifestyle to the lack of 'fresh' air. Taking delegates to a more rural setting for an event doesn't have to be tricky logistically - opting for a location with onsite accommodation and access to the great outdoors will be so welcomed by attendees.

 

*IoD, Mental Health in the Changing World of Work, March 2017

**C&IT x Center Parcs survey

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