How to use events to create and drive a progressive staff wellbeing strategy

Sam Willoughby 11th January 2022 B2B Events

Nothing is as valuable to your business as your employees. They are your greatest asset, so doing something just for them, and to enhance their wellbeing, is a top priority for business success, bringing with it multiple rewards for all involved.

Up to this point, as a business, our employee wellbeing has taken a less strategic approach with differing levels of understanding throughout the business around what ‘wellbeing’ truly means.

With the challenges brought about by Covid-19,  and its impact on both physical and emotional wellbeing, now was the right time to start shaping a wellbeing policy based on engagement and input from the Velo Live team.

Previous internal events such as our ‘Miles of Smiles’ festival and virtual team building were a great base to build on, so just before Christmas, here at Velo Live, we ran our first truly experiential wellbeing event for our own employees.

As Head of Events for the newly formed events division at Velo Live, I was tasked with delivering an experiential event that would primarily support and help Velo’s employees in their wellbeing, whether at work or home.

Given the challenges of the last few years and how our home and work life has merged, with remote working, feelings of isolation and periods of increased stress, it was important to bring the team together, reap the benefits of a face-to-face event and some much needed in-person interaction.

Here’s how we started.

 

1. Understand the needs of your audience as well as the company

With a clear event brief, objectives and desired outcomes, your event will undoubtedly be a success.

To shape the event agenda, a pre-event survey was sent out to all employees asking them what areas of wellbeing they were keen to learn more about. Common themes emerged, providing a clear direction for the event content and ensuring it would have meaningful impact.

Recognised experts in their fields with TV/media pedigree provided information on avoiding burnout, nutrition, sleep and mindful cocktail making.

Sourced from our extensive wellbeing contacts lists, they brought their professional insight, knowledge and advice to two Q&A sessions.

Our aim was to provide talks that were interactive, actionable and easy to understand, with the key deliverable of providing the attendees with tips that they could take away and action in both their work and home lives.

 

2. Putting the experiential into your event drives engagement

Making an event, no matter the format or size, experiential is key to making it a success and achieving your original objectives.

The event experience will keep attendees engaged, interested, actively participating, and ultimately able to reap the rewards and learnings from the day in an enjoyable way.

And finding the right venue that suits your needs, brand and budget is key!

For our Velo Live event, we wanted something offsite but local, with the right space for all the activities we were doing but that was on brand and with socialising space.

With over 20 years of experience curating multiple events to different objectives, we knew the perfect venue that was priced to suit our budget.  Dressed in a Christmassy vibe, with one area for the sessions/workshops, another area for breaks and refreshments and space for the final team activity, it perfectly fit the brief!

After a series of talks and Q&A, we ended the day with a team-building, hands-on, mindful drinking session and non-alcoholic cocktail making masterclass!

Finding scaffolding tables we could hire ensured we had 25 people and all their cocktail making equipment together, watching the instructor and making their own drinks. All hosted by a TV personality and cocktail maker from Sunday Brunch!

 

3. Prepare to be flexible  

Live events are exciting, engaging, interactive, and as the name suggests…live!

Things don’t always run smoothly, but years of experience in delivering live events has taught us that there is always a solution, always a fix, and at the end of the day, the audience will never know what goes on behind the scenes and still have the same amazing experience!

In Covid times, this is certainly the case where speaker line ups change at the last minute, zoom is required rather than an in-person guest, but all things are achievable whilst still delivering on the same objectives.

Building relationships with venues, suppliers, contractors and speakers has enabled us to have a trusted network of people we can count on, and who are ready to move mountains to deliver live events…and that’s something we pride ourselves on!

 

4. Keep the outcomes in mind

Putting on an event is one thing but ensuring it actually achieves the objectives you set out to achieve is another.

Really understanding those objectives in the first place helps to curate the right type of event and content and that’s certainly what happened here at Velo Live.

Our original aims were to:

  • bring our employees together face-to-face and have time together out of the office/work-from-home environment
  • deliver a positive, fun, shared experience
  • focus on meaningful content and wellbeing topics that our employees wanted to learn about
  • provide access to experts with knowledge that could help everyone improve their wellbeing in their own unique way
  • Do something just for THEM!

Direct feedback tells us that the event delivered on all objectives, highlighting priorities to shape internal wellbeing strategy and establish new policies, raising awareness, celebrating openness and  increasing employee engagement.

As a result we’re looking forward to scheduling a series of future events and activities to ensure employees continue to ‘Live Well’ at Velo.

 

Are you looking to connect your people this year? Do you want want to talk about how you make events a big part of your customer experience again? Drop us a line here.

 

Further reading

What I learned attending “Live Well at Velo”, our latest staff well-being event

B2B events are back, but not as we knew them

Sam Willoughby

Sam Willoughby

Events Lead