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Conversations in Lockdown: How Motivation in Isolation has kept the events and hospitality industry engaged

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Zest Managing Director Purusha Gordon

Motivation in Isolation

When lockdown was implemented by the UK Government, the events and hospitality industry responded by coming together as one. A number of associations, including the HBAA and IACC, launched a series of webinars and information to support members, while Zest Global Meetings introduced its Motivation in Isolation series.

Feeling the industry needed a place to engage and chat, Purusha set up the free series. She comments:

“I felt there was an opportunity for people to come and engage in two-way conversations. If we look at our everyday lives, we are used to going to so many places and two-way dialogue.

“All of a sudden we have been restricted to immediate friends, family and work colleagues and there’s not a place for you to go out and extend beyond that community. We wanted to create a place where people can come and learn and engage, and simply have something to look forward to.”

How will lockdown impact mental health in events and hospitality?

Motivation in Isolation has seen a combination of events, insights, exercises and coffee mornings take place. Running on a daily basis, Purusha explains that industry professionals were showing signs they wanted to look after their own wellbeing and so adapted the content to provide both her team and the industry with support.

“People are looking at what they could do on a daily basis that will help improve overall wellbeing,” says Purusha. “We have had personal wellbeing coaches leading sessions on anxiety and stress, which are all the symptoms we are experiencing.”

Mental health and wellbeing issues have continued to be covered more regularly in the industry over the last 12 months. However, how will the experiences the industry is currently facing impact the way the market views mental ill health moving forwards?

For Lisa, the impact of COVID-19 will see awareness of mental health improve in the long-term. She says:

“I think we will all hold more value of our physical and mental health. Employers need to make sure colleagues are provided with appropriate support.”

Purusha agrees, and has used the Motivation in Isolation platform to support this messaging. “Our overall wellbeing can be impacted by many factors and this platform is designed to be a place to give, where everyone is welcome to come to access and learn from a range of experts in their fields offering support.

“Now is the time to takes these things seriously,” she adds. “I do hope we see a shift when we go back and that it’s not always about the commerciality of organisations that makes working for them great."

“It’s not always about the profit and how well they financially perform, it’s how people are treated. Do they feel part of a community? How do we invest in that in training and supporting through events and ambassadors?”

Staying motivated during lockdown

For many of us experiencing working from home for the first time, new challenges have been created. Whether that’s becoming a new teacher, entertaining a toddler, or simply working with your partner or housemates, getting the balance right is important.

For Lisa, she has been looking after her young son, while getting used to working alongside her husband. She comments:

“I knew it was important for not only me but also my son to have a daily routine and we keep a plan of action to keep us focused for what is happening every day. On a work day, we have an hour-by-hour plan and my other half and I literally compare diaries and work out pressure points.

Routine, and having something to keep your mind focused has been essential. When I first saw Motivation in Isolation, I just thought how wonderful that people can pick from a menu of educational based courses and wellbeing support. It has been a fantastic programme to focus on in the background.”

As everybody is experiencing lockdown together, individuals are learning new characteristics and passions about themselves that they didn’t know before. Staying motivated during these times is difficult, but for Purusha, she feels that the motivation from being in a service industry will support professionals and their experiences.

Purusha comments:

“I like to help people and when faced with this global pandemic, my first reaction was finding ways to help people. That’s where my motivation comes from, it’s just something built within me.”

Final Thoughts

Compassion and togetherness are messages that both Lisa and Purusha hope remain once the restrictions are lifted.

“It is interesting how everyone is dealing with this differently,” says Lisa. “The industry won’t be the same and there will be new ways of working. I have enjoyed setting up video calls and find it much more interactive when compared to a phone. I hope this continues once we start to get back to normal.”

Purusha adds:

“Everyone has seen that we all react to this situation in a very different way and it is important to show compassion, kindness and understanding. What is important is that one person’s pressure is not another person’s pressure. I have seen an increase in tolerance and understanding and compassion during this time and that’s really positive.”

If you or a colleague would like to speak to someone, please get in touch with a member of the team today. While Warwick Conferences is closed, our door remains open to have a chat and remember it really is OK, not to be OK.


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