Since the onset of COVID-19 and the damage in its wake, the Events Industry Council (EIC) has released a series of accepted practices guides for meetings and events professionals, under its APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force.
Its third addition to the series, Resources for Workforce and Wellness, released in September, aggregates a bevy of helpful resources to support the wellbeing of planners in all phases of employment during this crisis.
According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.8 million hospitality and leisure jobs have been lost since February. And Tourism Economics reported this month that the hospitality and leisure industry account for 36% of all job losses in the U.S. from February to September 2020.
“A lot of our colleagues are either losing a job, getting furloughed or just inundated with a lot of work because of the number of employees leaving,” said Johnnie White, CMP and CEO/executive vice president of the American Society of Appraisers, and Wellness and Workforce working group co-chair. “We needed to figure out something that was going to help everyone.”
(Photo: Johnnie White, CMP and CEO/executive vice president of the American Society of Appraisers)
The workforce and wellness guide is a one-stop shop for links to job boards, how to file for unemployment and how to get health care—but it also touches on bolstering skills as a planner.
There are links to guides about putting on virtual events; how to improve your resume; and other links for career development, education and certification.
“I was so overwhelmed,” said Rachael Riggs, Wellness and Workforce working group co-chair, of when she was furloughed from her position as wellbeing leader at Maritz Global Events. “I didn’t know what to do, and it was just like a blank stare at the computer screen.”
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Amy Calvert, CEO of EIC, says that’s one of the reasons why the task force created this particular guide.
(Photo: Amy Calvert, CEO of EIC)
“If you’re faced with a setback right now, which so many people are, it’s almost a relief to know that you can go to one place to begin this journey and maybe learn about a new career opportunity or a potential way to upskill or learn a new skill,” she said.
A Focus on Wellbeing
The other half of the new guide focuses on wellbeing. The working group co-chairs found that the topic paired naturally with dealing with career setbacks, diving into career development or just coping with the many changes brought on during 2020.
“It was just a natural fit to bring the two together, because once your career is shaken up, that starts playing in all different aspects of your life,” Riggs said, adding, “The resource guide has several different frameworks specifically designed for meetings and events. It includes dimensions of personal wellbeing and taking good care of yourself. Mental wellbeing is really important right now, and I think that’s how this all came together, because people were lost and so overwhelmed.”
The other four wellbeing frameworks outlined in the guide include financial, career, social and environmental. Expect such resources as key questions to ask yourself about your wellbeing and links to expert guides on coping with depression during unemployment.
[Related Webinar: Managing Emotions—and Your Career—in a Time of Crisis]
Riggs, Calvert and White all hope that this new guide also lets planners facing career setbacks see that they’re not alone.
“I think one of the successes of this [guide] is just humanizing it,” Riggs said. “It's not just a resource guide—we've put ourselves out there.”
(Photo: Rachael Riggs, Wellness and Workforce working group co-chair)
The members of the working group for this guide, including Riggs and White, dedicate a page to their personal recommendations (books, podcasts, apps and more) for inspiration and stress relief.
“The hospitality industry is a very large industry, but we are an industry that likes to get together,” Calvert said. “And that’s part of the reason why we do what we do. I think this guide allows everybody to understand how we can come together to overcome what’s happening right now.”
See EIC’s full Resources for Workforce and Wellness guide here. Other accepted practices guides from EIC’s APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force include:
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