Prioritizing Mental Health and Emotional Intelligence, Building Feel-good Moments into Events at IMEX 2021

The physical distancing measures necessitated by the pandemic over the past year have resulted in a severe withdrawal from the patterns of daily life, necessitating significantly reduced contact with other people. To many, such withdrawal can be a major cause of distress. But, to some, this sort of withdrawal is an integral part of growing, a pathway to a more enriching life, well-being, and personal growth

Mental health is described by WHO as:

… a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to his or her community.

Well-being as a skill is a daily intention that can be enhanced by elements such as meditation, sleep, exercise, nutrition, community belonging, spiritual connection, and more. Forward-thinking companies will embrace well-being not as a vague concept, but as an index of learnable actions and daily behavior.

Emotions influence how people decide, think, and work toward their goals. Developing emotional intelligence and creating an emotionally intelligent ecosystem helps us more accurately identify our own and others emotions while at work. Its critical to match the emotion to the task at hand. A confident vibe might be great for encouraging creative ideas during brainstorming sessions but not so helpful for the creation of detailed, accurate product plans.

Build feel-good moments into events by following these five steps to mental well-being:

1- Make connection with other people a priority: A key component of mental well-being. Talking with those who bring us joy, particularly when it can be face to face, is a powerful tool for dealing with anxiety and depression. A support network can help make good decisions and an opportunity to give back as well.

2- Include physical activity in each event: Exercise is proven to combat depression and anxiety. It releases endorphins, a chemical produced in the brain and a vital piece of mental well-being.  Why not introduce a fun run for participants? The IMEXrun, taking place at IMEX America, offers attendees the perfect opportunity for some ‘sweatworking’ during an early morning run along the iconic Strip.

3- Learn new skills: learning is a good way to meet new people and boost self-confidence, which in turn improves mental health.  Offer education sessions in a variety of formats – such as the Campfires, Hot Topic Tables and Research Pods held at IMEX America – to appeal to different learning styles.

4- Give to others: research has found a link between doing good things and an increase in well-being. Work with a DMC and/or hotel contact to find out how you can integrate philanthropy activities into your event.  This can range from giving leftover show material to community groups to repurpose or encouraging attendees to bring a book as part of a donation scheme – IMEX America supports Spread the Word Nevada, for instance.

5- Pay attention to the present moment (Mindfulness): Making a purposeful effort to not only focus on the present but to accept whatever is going on in the moment without judgment.  Dedicated wellbeing areas off the show floor can offer attendees an opportunity to relax and recharge during a busy working day.

Look for well-being and personal growth education sessions at IMEX America 2021. Explore additional post-pandemic relevant topics, network, and re-connect with the global meeting industry over four packed days of learning and networking. IMEX America takes place November 09-11, 2021 at the Mandalay Bay.

See you in Las Vegas!


Marilyne Bouteiller, a Sales and Marketing Professional and French native, has written short stories for various publications since 2011. As a child, she traveled much of Europe and got into the hospitality industry to follow her love for food and travel. She was exposed to different cultures at an early age, and now enjoys writing about her experiences for i-Meet, the Worldwide Business Community for people who plan meetings and events. Follow her on Instagram @thefrenchinme.


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