Skip to main content

Beating the burnout

Burnout or wellbeing? Charlotte Gentry of Pure Events asks: are eventprofs aware of themselves?


According to CBS News, being an events coordinator is at number five of the most stressful jobs; we are pipped to the post by military officers, fire fighters, airline pilots and police officers. Perhaps Theresa May doesn’t have such a stressful life after all.

This begs the question as to how we are actually looking after the people who work for us in the industry when they are travelling at terrible hours, working until the early hours of the morning and often dealing with incredibly demanding clients. Having been on the receiving end of this myself, it was my job to insert the wellbeing element into my life and actually at one stage I recruited a life coach to help me deal with working through the work life balance challenges.

I look now in admiration at the delivery staff that now work for me, as I have been there and got the T-shirt, and I am now on a pathway to creating better well being within our work place and asking them what they need to feel better about their every day work lives.

It has been an interesting door to open in order to get the required feedback, but suffice to say we have had a few instances of highly stressed individuals, which left me enormously alarmed and clearly was a call for action. It is not that we operate in a more stressful environment than any other agency or industry supplier, it is just that work can pile on top of you combined with the personal responsibilities at home, and I for one definitely don’t want any member of my team to soldier on without having someone to speak to, in order to address these issues.

Mental health in the work place is such a big issue these days, and its important that we don’t sweep it under the carpet but rather tackle it head on.

How are we looking after our staff then? How many agency leaders, senior events professionals and mentors out there in the sector are really talking to their teams and helping them to navigate their ways through their career journeys? How do industry professionals view being valued in the work place?

You can always judge how happy an events professional is in his/her role, by the way he or she appears to perform their duties on-site. Do they look calm and relaxed or are they looking somewhat harassed? Do they have adequate support on site or are they left to produce the event solo with limited resources?

Another question is whether team leaders are putting strategies in place to track the volume of work that delivery peeps have at one time? Do they really know the kind of pressures that members of their teams are under?

We have had a bit of a wake up call here, to really look at wellness strategies, creating some downtime, reducing the working hours and incentivising the team financially. It is important to me to take the entire team away on a surprise team trip every year, which proves enormously rewarding when you see how the team bond, the reaction you get when they find out where they are going and how they behave when they are there.

I personally think it is the best money spent annually. It builds commitment, drive and a family atmosphere which harnesses itself throughout the year. So far we have been to Dubrovnik, Bodrum, Florence, Verbier and Madeira to name a few, and have created some wonderful memories together.

Empathy and strong communication skills are, I believe, the key to building a happy team.