How to cope with burnout, work-life balance and the post-event comedown as an event professional
As awareness of mental health is growing, it’s important to look at how different aspects of our lives can impact it. The meetings and events industry is notorious for its high-pressure and deadline-focused work. What effect does this have on our mental health? What opportunities are there to improve mental well-being across the industry?
Burnout as a medical diagnosis
Burnout is defined as exhaustion brought on by prolonged exposure to stress. Post-covid, burnout has been brought into the foreground. The pandemic has left countless people exhausted by the last four years. Although labelling this condition works to destigmatize mental health, there can be pitfalls too. As mental health campaigner, James Hitchen, argues, “There’s a fine line when labelling something like burnout as a medical diagnosis. Often, it’s helpful to stick a label on it as it makes it a bit more tangible. But, once you label it, it can be weaponized.”
The post-event comedown
The meetings and events industry can work on very different cycles from other industries. For instance, stress levels peak for us at IMEX in the lead-up to our shows. When all your efforts are concentrated on one event, the post-event period can feel like falling off a cliff. It’s vital to give yourself space and time to unwind post-event. And make sure you’re implementing self-care all year round. This will help combat the comedown effect post-event.
The reality of work-life balance
Frequent travel and weekend work in our industry can make it hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The last few years have highlighted the importance of flexible working and balance. Research conducted by Aviva shows that workers valued work-life balance above salary–a noticeable change since 2019. People in all industries strive to balance work, family, hobbies, and well-being more than ever before. Getting the balance right isn’t always easy, but it can mean a happier and more productive workplace.