Whipping Up Wellbeing

Bex Hale

17 September 2018

Well-organised events rarely make news. A well-organised event is interesting, brilliantly catered, easy to access, straight-forward to navigate, engaging, and at just the right temperature so that afternoon lulls are not exacerbated by a room that’s too warm.   

Achieving success against that backdrop represents a logistical symphony bringing together suppliers, clients, sponsors, and delegates all governed by budgets and a very hard deadline. And though planning may verge on the micro, the number of variables involved introduces a wealth of unknowns that could easily undermine success.  

For Event Profs, delivering events of any size harmoniously while managing the challenge of the unknown is where the attraction lies; it’s certainly not an industry suited to fans of tedium. But this brings with it injections of stress, long hours and exhaustion invariably masked by adrenalin highs.

The Farnborough International Airshow is a biennial behemoth which builds to a week of big business around all aspects of flight and technology. This July’s show saw $192bn worth of business carried out throughout halls and chalets filled with 1,500 exhibitors, hosting 80,000 visitors. 

Planning and coordination for the Airshow takes the full two-year cycle, with the team also delivering an Airshow in Bahrain, and working on a number of events taking place across the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre site.

The team at Farnborough International is highly experienced with at least one veteran of ten Airshows; however, the long hours and intensity that characterise build-up to any show are the same for everyone regardless of tenure. 

Staff welfare is an important aspect of life at Farnborough International, and the overriding message is clear: take care of yourself and take care of each other. There are a number of practical steps implemented year-round, such as free health checks and fresh fruit; however, in the weeks before the show, other initiatives are introduced ranging from a clocking-in system to monitor hours, through to the favourite: a daily visit from an ice cream van. Greensleeves signals the need to stop work, step away from the desk and enjoy a free-of-charge 99. Simple but highly effective.

EventWell is an opportunity to the whole industry to focus on what can be done to ensure Event Profs avoid exhausting the reserves of energy and enthusiasm which mark them out as suited to such a demand-led industry. May it stimulate discussion around the techniques all organisations can benefit from, and in return for our ice cream van contribution, we look forward to introducing a new daily highlight to the team in 2020!

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