Event Managers: is the event industry affecting your mental health?

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Autumn 2019

We all know that mental health has become a hot topic, but do you feel supported as an event manager? The effects that mental health is having on event managers is becoming a high priority, with event management being rated the 3rd most stressful job in the UK. 38% of event professionals experience a period of mental illness in their career (Eventwell, 2019).

It has been stated that more working days across Britain are lost due to mental health issues. This could be because mental health has an influence on our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, changing how you think, feel and act. How we handle stress, relate to others and make choices can all be affected by our mental state (Mental Health, 2019). As awareness of mental health continues to grow, more people are now willing to open up about their struggles. There has been an increase in media awareness around mental health showing people, it is ok, not to be ok.  As an event manager do you feel you are able to open up and talk freely about your issues?  

How do you know if you’re suffering? 

The three main triggers of mental health disorders within the industry are:

Stress – are you aware of the amount of pressure being placed on you? This could be causing you chronic stress and have an impact on your physical wellbeing. 

Anxiety – do you have a good work life balance? Taking on too much could lead to unreasonable levels of anxiety which increases the risk of panic attacks. 

Depression – do you find yourself increasingly absent from work?  Depression is complex and we can all find ourselves being bogged down from everyday life, leading to more time off work or in extreme cases suicidal thoughts. 

These three main triggers were identified by RightAngle who also found that over one-third of event professionals say that they have had time off due to these effects. 65% of people say that mental health issues have increased in the events industry within the past five years (Hookings, 2019). Are you one of the 33% suffering?

Do you need to seek help?

RightAngle recently conducted a survey around the support offered within the events industry. They found that the most common issue was the lack of industry education provided, they now offer support for those who work in the event industry. A lack of educational knowledge on mental health shows that managers have little to no experience in dealing with these issues. Offering coaching and training to all line managers can provide greater support for everyone. 

If you find yourself experiencing stress, anxiety or depression, there are charities out there to help, such as:

How can you be sure you’re taking care of your well-being? 

Mental health is an issue which should be addressed in every place of work. This blog highlights that many event professionals suffer with mental health illness and the majority feel that they are unable to seek help. Many organisations are now realising they need to do more, and they are now offering confidential helplines for their employees to use. RightAngle have also made the recommendation to the industry that every workplace has a fully trained Mental Health First Aider. 

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you are not overloading yourselves with the pressure of the industry:

 Take the time to rest– we all know that life as an event manager could mean some series hours however, having a work life balance will ensure you are reducing your risk to mental health issues. 

Be aware of your workload– many event professionals overload themselves, taking on too much work especially during peak times but be careful not to burn yourself out. 

A healthy body is a healthy mind– we all know working 70-hour weeks on some occasions might be needed however, it is important to keep your body healthy for your mind to follow.

Times are changing and so is the way people are looking at mental health. Speaking about mental health should be accepted. If you’re struggling with mental health, please seek help via:

Mind – 0300 124 339 or visit them via www.mind.org.uk
Samaritans – 116 123 www.samaritans.org
NHS Every Mind Matters  – www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters

Are you taking care of your mental health and that of your employees? Please let us know in the comments below.


Jade Ocean says:

Having worked in the events management industry for the past 4 years, it is without a doubt that this is a high-pressure and high-stress environment. With event seasons becoming increasingly longer in duration as their popularity grows, the time spent at high capacity continues to grow to exponential levels.
Even at junior levels, pressure is piled on to deliver. Weeks on end are spent away from the comforts of home, and 18 hour days become more familiar than sleep. This working pattern is hideously unsustainable and every professional I have come across within the event management industry has at one point reached their mental capacity.
The lack of work-life balance is so apparent in this industry that it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify putting oneself through the demands that it entails. At what point do you decide that your mental well-being is more important than an event that will go ahead regardless of your participation? Is standing in a muddy field for 6 weeks repeatedly over the course of a field worth your mental breakdown?
The events world will always keep turning, your stress levels have a peak and it is the duty of those within the industry to recognise the instability of this environment.

s1506243 says:

Hi Jade, thanks for taking the time to read our blog. It is great to hear your thoughts and feedback on the topic. It seems that you have a wealth of experience with this particular issue and we hope that the blog has provided an insight into the growing awareness of mental health in the events industry. Please do make use of any of the links provided and we hope that you find a way of reducing the stress that the industry brings you.

LisaMarie McLane says:

This blog is so true.
The events industry is one of the hardest out there.
The hours are bonkers, the pressure is insane.
The rewards are fabulous but short lived at times.
This industry isn’t for the faint hearted, and you need to be strong to succeed.

Make sure you have your down time, make sure you enjoy life and look after your mental health.

s1506243 says:

Hi LisaMarie, thanks for taking the time to read and comment on our blog. We hope that people read your comment and take on board your feedback. If you work in the industry yourself, please do also take the time to look after your own well-being.

Nina Wilde says:

It is amazing that awareness for event staff and organisers with mental health is starting to come into effect. Hopefully with well researched and thought-inspiring blogs like this, the stigma surrounding this issue will continue to dissipate. Truly interesting blog!

s1506243 says:

Hi Nina, thank you very much for your positive feedback on the issue. We agree, we hope the stigma surrounding mental health will be minimised in the future.

Sarah says:

Really enjoyed reading your well-written and well-researched blog on a very contemporary issue. This will probably be contemporary for a long time yet due to the increase in mental health illnesses. I agree that the events industry is very stressful and the work-life balance can be non-existent, further piling on stress for employees and managers alike. I think more needs to be done- e.g. employers attending courses to help with mental health and being seen as more approachable by their employees.

s1506243 says:

Hi Sarah, thank you for your comment. We also hope that those in charge begin to take on board how important it is to be fully trained in order to understand and support those suffering.

Laura says:

Working in events management is extremely stressful at points, I could totally understand why it gets the better of people but steps have to be taken to ensure that it doesn’t get out of hand! The steps noted in the blog give the perfect example of balance. The need to take time out – we are all still human beings. And after all if we are constantly burnt out then how are we supposed to do our jobs properly?
Mental health within the workplace is such a big topic and this blog touches on some really important points. Hopefully discussions like these will help people to overcome issues with their mental health whilst working in events management, hospitality and other career paths.

s1506243 says:

Thank you very much for your comment Laura! We agree, the events industry is extremely stressful and human beings need time out! We hope people follow the steps we have provided to overcome issues associated with mental health.

Dani says:

I think it’s really clear, easy to read. The first paragraph kept me hooked and I like the background, layout and use of italics with the depression, anxiety etc. Its dyslexia friendly with the right amount of text to images and not too much going on. The information opens our eyes to what others are going through and makes us as readers think about what others are going through. The contact numbers are brilliant as like you said 80% of people are too nervous to speak up, so it will provide support to those who need it.

s1506243 says:

Hi Dani, we appreciate your positive feedback on the layout of our blog! We are glad that you feel the contact links are useful and we hope that by promoting them, it will encourage people to use them!

Elena says:

Extremely important topic touched on here. It helps show those who are going through something like this that they are not the only ones. It highlights the importance of opening up about mental health.
It is very clearly set out and an interesting read.

s1506243 says:

Thanks for your feedback Elena! We agree, it is an extremely important topic and those suffering need to realise that they are not alone and it is ok not to be ok!!

UoG Noise Blog says:

This is a really interesting read, such an relevant topic. This blog is so helpful for people who are currently effected by mental health in the events industry, and to show them that they aren’t alone and that it is important for us to be more open about mental health.

s1506243 says:

Hi there, thank you very much for your feedback on the blog! Comments such as yours will help boost recognition on the importance of opening up and talking about mental health in the events industry.

Kathryn says:

SUCH a relevant topic!

I work in a very high-paced BUSY events agency. What I find most difficult is the expectancy of keeping a high standard, whilst managing several different events at once. I find that the operations department (delivery and communication between clients) is most stressful as you have to please EVERYONE and your time efficiency skills have to be on point 24/7.

I find juggling work life and outside of work life very difficult, as I am on call most weekends if there is an issue with an event, so I am never totally relaxed.

s1506243 says:

Hi Kathryn, thank you very much for sharing. It is really beneficial to have an opinion from someone in the events industry who feels they relate to the issue. Please do make use of any links provided in the blog and we hope that you find a path that provides you with a better work-life balance!

Emma Fox says:

Really enjoyed reading this blog, very interesting and such an important topic. It’s great to see this topic being discussed so openly and honestly.
Having worked in the Events Industry for the past 5 years I can definitely understand and relate to a lot of the points you have raised.
The Events Industry is a fantastic place to work, however at times it can be extremely stressful and there are times that the work-life balance can be non-existent. I think one of the main issues is that people aren’t sure what to say or how to help somebody with mental health issues. I think having a fully trained Mental Health First Aider in every office is a fantastic idea.
Hopefully with blogs like this the stigma around mental health will start to fade and people will start to know how to get help and to know that it’s ok not to be ok…

s1506243 says:

Hi Emma, thank you very much for taking the time to comment your views on the topic of the blog. It is really great to receive the opinions of those who have worked in the events industry first-hand!

Comments are closed.