A Mindful Welcome to Spring

20 Mar, 2024
Community | Insightful Blogs

Today marks the start of the spring season, an opportunity for brighter beginnings and fresh outlooks. Coincidentally, this year Spring arrives on the same day as the 13th year of the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness Campaign. A campaign that focuses on “a more inclusive, equitable, and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples,”.

When we all moved back into the familiar pattern of in-person events, it was easy to overlook some of the fundamental lessons we learnt during our period of inactivity, prompting important questions regarding the priority of mental health, wellness, and mindfulness within the events industry.  No matter the background or individual circumstance, large-scale events are by their very nature both exciting and stressful. Over the years many reports have shown that the role of the event planner is among the most stressful jobs out there. Take the recent MWC 2024 in Barcelona – an event that hosted over 100,000 – or the forthcoming Hanover Messe expecting to break last year’s record of 130,000. Each event individual faces a challenging visit packed with deadlines, meetings, targets, and expectations – that most certainly will cause some stress.

Whilst breaking the stigma on mental health and well-being in events is an ongoing challenge, some things like the addition of mental health first aiders and promotion of individual self-care have already begun to influence the way events operate – venues close at a specific time to encourage rest and there is more consideration for work-life balance with workloads being effectively managed and shared.

To be frank, it’s all about agencies, freelancers and companies welcoming an open mindset to mental health and not discouraging or discriminating against its existence. Not only will this avoid team burnout and boost morale and productivity instead, but it will also allow the delivery of more exceptional experiences.

However, whilst personal mental health considerations are paramount, For creative teams working to build event environments, there are fundamental criteria that feature in the mood board for creating the all-important brand spaces.  Our job is to design the right environments to stimulate networking and decision-building, against a welcoming and all-embracing background that takes the holistic wellbeing of visitors into account.

Space – that all important element in a hectic and overcrowded event environment. When we feel calm, we welcome the opportunity to engage.  We seek that moment of calm, a haven where we can recoup and regroup – it’s an element that many companies now consider essential in planning their event space.  Whether it’s a question of providing mindful spaces or wellness activities by the event organisers or on-stand areas that cater to relaxation and destressing – this attention to detail can make the difference in assisting engaged and relaxed attendees’ mindsets.

Whilst functionality and brand goals come first, we are increasingly including destressing elements into the core design. Biophilic design influences, calming colours, natural materials, and lighting subtly create a sense of mindfulness and well-being within your brand space. Even carefully constructed VR technology engagement can be honed and crafted into spaces offering relaxation techniques.  People matter and if we design to promote wellbeing, we also contribute to creating a memorable interaction.

These principles were evident for Qatar Airways at the world’s biggest and most influential global aviation event, Paris Airshow. Every detail needed to count – from the concept and layout, down to the careful selection of materials, exotic and luxurious furnishings, gorgeous natural plant walls and floral decorations, exquisite finishing touches, and – above all – the complete customer experience.

As we welcome the start of Spring with open arms alongside the International Day of Happiness – let’s also embrace the true spirit of wellbeing and mindfulness when it comes to our event planning.  We owe it to ourselves at every level.