Have you ever considered what the return on the investment is on the events and meetings you host? As a twenty-year events industry veteran, this is one of the questions that has plagued me. Actually, this is the one question that was a catalyst for me to start my own company that fosters well-being in events.
We gather together to create change. Businesses and organizations know the importance of hosting meetings and events. They are vital to create movements, celebrate, make decisions, exchange ideas, educate and learn, spark creativity, innovate, solve problems, and make connections.
But how do events impact the bottom line? I challenge our current thinking to include how the well-being of the participants at our events impact the bottom line.
From a business perspective, two questions should be asked at every stage during the event planning. The first question is, what is the return on the investment? To simplify it, it’s the difference after you subtract the time and money invested from the gain. There are many opportunities for a company to look for a return on their event investment. To name a few, the return may be through increased sales, the creation of brand advocacy (you know that person who tells their friends about their amazing experience), repeat business, and customer satisfaction.
In order for our events to thrive, we need to include the human experience into event design. The chances of increasing the probability of higher return occurs when you consider the well-being of the person attending your event.
A pivotal moment in my career occurred at an event I was responsible for. A panel of five individuals were asked to take the stage. I did not know that one of the panelists lived in a larger body. When that individual got to the chair on stage, in front of 150 guests, they were unable to sit in it. What was heartbreaking was the other panelists decided to sit, leaving this person to stand during the presentation. I’ll ask you, do you think that was a good experience for that individual? Did they walk away feeling included and equal? Let me help you – NO!
My heart was broken then and continues to do so today. It is the driver for me to design and work with others to create inclusive and equitable events that incorporate well-being into events.
When we incorporate the pillars of well-being into their experience, (e.g. social, mental, physical, environmental, and values) we bridge the gap between business and the human, resulting in a fusion experience that benefits both.
When you plan an event, throw out the checklist and begin to look for opportunities to incorporate well-being into your event. When you do, their engagement is boosted, you increase the probability of brand loyalty and advocacy, you’ll find people who are glad to do business with you again and again, and they’re satisfaction increases.
Now to the second question and one that only you can answer…what is the cost if you don’t incorporate well-being into your events?