The role of “event coordinator” shows up on a number of lists as being one of the most stressful jobs you can have. Last year, for example, CareerCast evaluated 200 occupations on such factors as travel demands, deadlines, and working with the public, and found event coordinator to be the sixth-most stressful job — right up there with airline pilots, news reporters, and firefighters. While some of those stressors — like frequent travel — are no longer part of the job thanks to COVID-19, the crisis has forced many other challenges upon planners, taking a toll on their sense of wellbeing.
That means, according to Rachael Riggs, that it’s more important than ever for members of the industry to embrace wellness. People often think wellness means “getting out, exercising, eating right,” said Riggs, WellBeing Leader for Maritz Global Events, who is also currently serving on the Event Industry Council’s (EIC) Business Recovery Task Force. But to be a fully balanced person, she said, people need to expand their focus beyond exercise and diet.
That’s why Riggs — who spent three years as a wellbeing consultant for Maritz Global Events before joining their Design Studio team full time in early March — created a comprehensive guide to wellbeing called the Maritz 5 Dimensions of WellBeing. The dimensions have recently been incorporated in the latest EIC APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force resource guide, “Resources for Workforce and Wellness,” which was developed by a number of industry leaders, including Riggs, Johnnie White, CAE, CMP, CEO and executive vice president, American Society of Appraisers; Michael Greto, founder and managing director, The Chatt Hills Company; Stephanie Harris, president, The Incentive Research Foundation; Kristin Hortsman, senior director, strategic events, Salesforce; Tony Lorenz, founder, HeadSail, LLC; and Timothy Mathy, senior partner, Speak Inc.
The Maritz 5 Dimensions of WellBeing are:
- Personal — physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual health. Caring for self.
- Financial — mindfulness, planning, and satisfaction with current and future fiscal situations. Caring for financial security.
- Career — growth, satisfaction, and enrichment from work. Caring for your career.
- Social — developing a sense of connection, caring for others, and having a well-developed support system. Caring for others.
- Environmental — being a good steward for the planet. Caring for our planet.
The EIC resource book offers questions you can ask yourself to assess how you are doing in each dimension of wellbeing, such as “Are you continuing to be active, engaging with others, interact with, and learn from others – not isolating yourself?” which falls under the personal dimension; “How do I optimize my personal financial picture in the face of uncertainty?” (financial); “What can I do to educate myself on new areas of interest?” (career); and “What are the ways I can ask my organization or network to help the industry?” (social).
“We realize that our workforce is extremely stressed right now,” Riggs said, adding that so many in the industry are finding themselves facing a variety of challenges. “People are being furloughed, people being laid off, people are struggling financially,” she said. “How are they going to reposition themselves? How are they going to rescale?” The five dimensions framework was designed to help industry professionals take stock of the full spectrum of their wellbeing in light of their own situations — and when facing so many challenges and uncertainties, to give them a tool, Riggs said, to “compartmentalize today’s world.”
Casey Gale is associate editor at Convene.