As event organisers how much do we really understand about the health impact attending events has on our visitors, attendees, exhibitors and stakeholders?
Do we recognise that the impact can be significant not just anyone living with mental or physical health conditions, and/or neurodiversity, but for all attendees?
In today’s technological age we have a host of personal device data and info at our fingers tips, and we wanted to share some with you today that shows first hand that impact.
We have left out the name of the attendee and the event, as this is about drawing attention to something that we view is important to the future planning and design of events, and that we know influences the decision making process of anyone looking to attend them.
The attendee in question was wearing a Garmin watch device which collected the below health data consistently over the period of attendance.
The event in question took place from the 8th – 12th September and involved international travel.
The data we are sharing below shows health levels over the final three days of attendance (10th, 11th, 12th), and then the post event period to show the amount of time it took to return to a normal healthy balance, or homeostasis.
The images will show you four key health areas:
> heart rate
> body battery
> sleep quality
Here resting heart rate (blue) is the one to take notice of, and this has increased (indicating stress) and taken four days to come back down and return to homeostasis post event. It is also worth noting the top heart rate (red) for the period of the event and the days following, which are without exercise, as this is high at around 125, the last two days are with a return to exercise (hence the increase to 160).
Here we can see that this has significantly reduced and taken at least 48 hours to return to homeostasis post event. Can you see how the data indicates depleted levels for the entire latter half of the event days?
Here we can see that stress is elevated and taken at least 48 hours to slowly start to reduce and return to homeostasis post event.
Here we can see that quality and length has been impacted. We can see more time spent awake and less REM sleep, which is the crucial stage during which we process the information that we receive during the day, and move this from our short to long term memory. It has also taken at least 48 hours for sleep quality and length to return to homeostasis post event.
Remember this is the health data, not of an event organiser, but of an attendee/exhibitor. An event that this attendee has been returning to for 20 years and knows well, so not a first time visit.
They are a healthy and active individual with no current diagnosed health conditions, physical or mental. Imagine the impact for anyone without this privilege?
Is it not now time for us to really sit up and take notice, and to start thinking about the human experience of the events that we design and put in place.
Can we safely put our hands on our hearts and say we are doing all we can to ensure we put in place measures and support that can make a difference?
We think this data is a game changer in terms of what we understand. We have talked about this impact for many years, and can now see data and science that supports our words.
What do you think, and will it make you think differently about the design of your next event?