Sitting here in month TWO of quarantine, my team and I had the privilege of speaking with the founder of The Event Professionals Journal.
Please welcome to DianeSchroder.com, Bernadette Palombo, founder of The Event Professionals Journal
Thank you Bernadette for joining us today.
Q) For people who are not as familiar with your company, what is the Event Professional Journal and how did you get started?
The Event Professionals Journal was created by myself, Bernadette Palombo, in November 2019. As a bit of background, I was in a corporate event role and left the company to start my own business, Salone Events.
I started journaling a few years back as my wellbeing was taking a hit due to the pressures that our epic industry comes with, so naturally the journal was focused towards events as well as personal life.
In 2019, IBTM World announced a new program, the Event Business Accelerator. I floated the idea of if my method of journaling could be a contribution towards solving the wellbeing crises we have in our industry. After carrying out research into how our industry affects our wellbeing, I submitted my idea to IBTM and I was ecstatic to get the call to say I was a finalist.
IBTM provided a mentor for all 10 finalists ready for the live “pitch” at IBTM World and this is when I launched the Event Professionals Journal. I was mentored by the most incredible lady, Ingrid Rip, of who I owe a lot to.
The Event Professionals Journal has helped my peers within the industry which makes me so happy. I have been given amazing opportunities to speak at events, host workshops and be a guest on podcasts and I will continue to do my bit to make people happier whenever I can!
To summarise, the Event Professionals Journal was organically created as a method that I used, and after the difference it made to my wellbeing as well as peers, I decided to make it available to the whole industry!
Q) How has Covid-19 affected your business?
I have been lucky enough to not be negatively impacted from COVID-19. I think because the Event Professionals Journal is a tool to help event professionals with their wellbeing, it has been more important now than ever to look after themselves, so I have had a lot of interest, especially from event companies purchasing bulk orders to “gift it” to their employees.
As time has moved on and events are not being mass planned, in the way that they were, the journal has been used by our new customers to use the section that sets out their goals and re-evaluate their core values so that when we are back to normal they can have a clear focus and goal to reach.
In terms of what we have changed, we have now created packages for companies wishing to provide the Event Professionals Journal to their teams which we can provide on request, we have hosted wellbeing and journaling webinars, been a guest on EventWell on podcasts and webinars, created a downloadable one week version, and also created a wellbeing quiz which is available on our website – so we have kept busy!
This whole situation has been devastating for our industry and I really sympathise with everyone that has been affected. Our industry has taken a massive hit and it has been devastating to see the amount of events that have had to be postponed or cancelled.
Q) Being a conference planner for over 25 years, I know my first thought when I hear about journaling is that (pre Covid) I never have a free moment, how would I find time to journal. Do you see that most planners take to the idea of journaling right away, or do we need to be shown the benefits a few times?
We get this question a lot! We carried out research with our customers, and using the journal provides an average increase in productivity of 22.5% and focus by 20% every day. So although it takes about 2 minutes each day to fill out (which is lovely to have that time to yourself!) it provides you with on average 1.5 days back per week, so it actually saves you a lot of time and helps you gain that work life balance.
In addition, handwriting is shown to activate large regions of the brain responsible for thinking and healing, so there are many benefits to using it. As well as this, the questions that are within the journal helps you to gain perspective, set out your future, recognise your achievements and helps you to track your mood.
I usually fill it out every morning while the kettle is boiling and the tea bag is brewing! Some use it on their commute to work, while others use it as soon as they wake up before picking up their phone.
Q) Do you plan on adapting your journal and what you offer post Covid?
We will continue to find new ways to help our customers. I think as an industry we will be adapting for quite a while to recover from COVID-19. I love getting feedback on what people would like to see more or less of, as well as resources they would like, so if anyone has any suggestions please get in touch!
We are currently going through the process of adding more downloadable resources, so keep your eyes peeled.
Q) What advice do you have for planners who find themselves in a very different world than they were and may be struggling with the change?
I feel a lot of us will be experiencing this. I certainly know from wearing my Salone Events hat that I have gone through many different emotions with this. From speaking with others, the main thing people are struggling with is the uncertainty of the future, and unfortunately this is something out of our control.
Once you accept that we are just going to have to go with the flow and only plan and manage tasks that are within our control you will find your head is clearer and you feel a weight off your shoulders.
Many people find change an unsettling time, which is understandable. See it as a time to reflect and refocus, think about what you might want to adapt, learn or develop.
The main thing is to know that it is okay to feel the struggle or to feel unsettled, it is perfectly normal. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or judge yourself for it – this situation was out of our control, so just grab hold of what you can control.
As I always say, take care, have fun and enjoy the journey the journal takes you on!
Thank you so much Bernadette for taking the time out to answer our questions and give us a little more insight into the industry. For everyone out there reading this blog, if you would like more information from The Event Professionals Journal please contact Bernadette links below:
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