Helen Moon founded London-based EventWell not long after hearing a report in 2016 that organizing events was the fifth most stressful job that there is.
“That promoted quite a few conversations in the industry,” particularly here in the U.K., in terms of mental health and wellbeing,” says Moon, founder of EventWell, in a just-released podcast interview with Prevue Editor Barbara Scofidio—the fifth in a series of podcasts created by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE)’s Women IN Leadership Committee. “For me, it’s always been a part of my conversation. But this pushed me to do something I always wanted to do around wellbeing and mental health, which is to bring it out of the closet.”
Moon has had her own personal struggles, being diagnosed as bipolar in 2009 and then recently being diagnosed as neurodivergent/ADHD/autistic as a 50-year-old woman. “I’ve always struggled with mental wellbeing as a direct result of that misdiagnosis and my neurodivergence being missed.”
EventWell is not about her, she emphasizes, it’s really about helping future generations. as she refers to the Chinese proverb: “One generation plants a tree, the next generation benefits from its shade.”
In addition to offering planner support via a dedicated Infoline, creating industry campaigns (EventWell actually started as a campaign) and offering education, EventWell creates supervised mental wellbeing hubs and quiet rooms for events, conferences, exhibitions, offices, work spaces and in the community—all designed to offer essential support and a “safe place to go” for anyone who needs it.
In the podcast, produced by Wayne Wallgren, Helen refers to what she calls the “rubberband effect” of COVID, and how we’ve been propelled forward, like a rubber band, into even more stressful conditions than before. “We still haven’t found our balance yet, as an industry,” she says.
Listen to her strategies for designing more balanced meetings as well as controlling your own stress response when you are on site running a meeting. You can find the podcast here.
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