How to create a calm environment for your delegates

In partnership with Cvent, we take a look at ways to remove the core stress triggers of certain delegates.

In 2017, Forbes listed event management as the fifth most stressful job, coming in just below the military, police and firefighters.   

Speaking with C&IT, Judy Elvey, director of marketing for Europe at Cvent, says: "No matter which research you read, event management is widely recognised as one of the most stressful jobs around." 

Short lead times, tight budgets and pressure from multiple stakeholders can all play their part. But it’s not only the organisers who are feeling the impact from events according to recent research commissioned by Cvent of 3,000 attendees from the UK, Germany and USA. The research showed that there are some core stress triggers that are also impacting event attendees.

"Event-related stress affects millennials nearly 20% more than their Generation X and baby boomer counterparts," says Elvey. "Given that millennials already make up two-thirds of the global workforce, and by 2025 this will rise to 75%, there’s a strong call to action for event organisers to address these stressful situations in order to enhance the attendee experience."

Stressful situations  

The research revealed that a top stressor for millennials is not knowing anyone at an event.

"Of course, this isn’t something merely affecting this age demographic," says Elvey. "Some of us may be naturally outgoing and are comfortable approaching a new group or person without trepidation. Some of us would rather stay within our comfort zone talking only to the people we already know and would never dream of approaching a new contact or group of people."

28% of millennials find it stressful to navigate an event space or venue compared to 18% of Generation X-ers and 9% of baby boomers, according to the research. And more than a quarter of millennials (26%) worry about what to wear at events compared to just 4% of baby boomers.

"It’s one thing to identify the problems, but as an industry, we should look at new and different ways to solve the challenges," Elvey adds.

What’s the solution?

"Let’s create more manageable and personalised event programmes and provide the tools that facilitate networking," says Elvey.

Elvey suggested speed networking, break-out groups or connecting people through mobile apps and their specific interests ahead of the event so that attendees can embrace all the opportunities to learn from others. 

"The use of gamification at events undoubtedly helps to put the ‘fun’ in the event experience and can be a great ice-breaker. This can be done with a game on a mobile app, or by incorporating new and interesting technologies like virtual reality to create a series of fun challenges, which will encourage attendees to engage and interact with each other," says Elvey.

"By making a concerted effort to shake up old processes and formats, event organisers  and the industry at large can ensure attendees have the best experience and, crucially, whenever possible, a ‘stress-free’ and enjoyable one."

Stressful situations  

The research revealed that a top stressor for millennials is not knowing anyone at an event.

"Of course, this isn’t something merely affecting this age demographic," says Elvey. "Some of us may be naturally outgoing and are comfortable approaching a new group or person without trepidation. Some of us would rather stay within our comfort zone talking only to the people we already know and would never dream of approaching a new contact or group of people."

28% of millennials find it stressful to navigate an event space or venue compared to 18% of Generation X-ers and 9% of baby boomers, according to the research. And more than a quarter of millennials (26%) worry about what to wear at events compared to just 4% of baby boomers.

"It’s one thing to identify the problems, but as an industry, we should look at new and different ways to solve the challenges," Elvey adds.

What’s the solution?

"Let’s create more manageable and personalised event programmes and provide the tools that facilitate networking," says Elvey.

Elvey suggested speed networking, break-out groups or connecting people through mobile apps and their specific interests ahead of the event so that attendees can embrace all the opportunities to learn from others. 

"The use of gamification at events undoubtedly helps to put the ‘fun’ in the event experience and can be a great ice-breaker. This can be done with a game on a mobile app, or by incorporating new and interesting technologies like virtual reality to create a series of fun challenges, which will encourage attendees to engage and interact with each other," says Elvey.

"By making a concerted effort to shake up old processes and formats, event organisers  and the industry at large can ensure attendees have the best experience and, crucially, whenever possible, a ‘stress-free’ and enjoyable one."

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