Well hello there 2018! The start of another year, fresh perspective, renewed optimism for what can be achieved over the next 12 months, and a reflection of what has been achieved.

So how was 2017 really?

What a year 2017 was for me; a return from maternity (albeit part-time) to my professional baby, EWL Club, and not wanting to make things too easy for myself, the launch of a number of new initiatives for our amazing industry.

The first half of 2017 was mainly a juggling act of nappies, sensory classes, function sheets and balance sheets, and purely due to the late nights and lack of sleep if I am perfectly honest with you (it’s a bit of a blur) I still don’t quite know how I managed to do it all! Multi-tasking at it’s finest for sure.

Here we are though and I’m delighted to say that EWL is entering what I’m positive will be our best year yet, with a new style, a new brand, and a fresh vision on what can truly be achieved from our events and more importantly attending them.

I’m excited for the direction that I’m taking EWL this year, with the support of new Chairs and Vice Chairs in London, the Midlands and the North West. As not just the Founder but as Managing Director I’m proud of how far we’ve come and very excited to see where we’ll be when I do my 2018 year in review.

The big life changer for me though last year, was the launch of UK Event Wellbeing Week and EventWell. Never in a million years did I expect when I got 4 event professionals together in April that we would kick-start the huge movement that we did in September.

Don’t get me wrong, I and the team knew that what we were doing would have resonance and meaning with everyone, and that it was incredibly important for our industry, however, the response that we encountered, the acceptance for change, the personal stories that we heard, not only made us take a step back to really evaluate what could be achieved, but also from my personal experience left me very emotional for a number of weeks after the campaign week of 18th to 22nd September.

Following this and a number of personal confessions of my own of the difficulties I’ve encountered and the battle I fight every single day, I’ve been motivated to drive on with the work that was started last year.

EventWell is now the official social enterprise and wellbeing resource for the events industry, and the team will be getting to work educating and motivating you on how you can make positive changes now, and changes for the benefit of everyone. Watch this space and please put the dates for the next Event Wellbeing Week (17th to 21st September) in your diary, no excuses!

2017 was also a year that my role in our industry changed slightly. I faced one of my biggest fears and started speaking at events. Square Meal Venues and Events Live, EventLab 2017 and also IBTM World in Barcelona.

Now if you’d said 12 months ago that people would be coming to hear thoughts and insight from me at an event, and I’d be seen as an industry thought-leader and influencer then I probably would’ve laughed, so the lesson here is your professional life and career can change in an instant, but also don’t doubt for a second that others may actually see you in a positive light.

If there is any advice I would offer on this then it’s to remain open to ideas and opportunities. Don’t blinker yourself by having too much of a one-route dream as you’ll miss the lucky chances as they come up in your blindspot – sometimes it’s good to take a detour!

2017 will go down on record as my most motivating and life changing year in events yet, and I’ll be keeping an extra eye on my blindspot this year.

What’s my vision for 2018?

In 2018 I’ll be up for much more of what’s been achieved in 2017. Being the driving force and face of EWL and EventWell, as well as the other opportunities that may come my way (I’m being open-minded remember).

You’ll also be hearing much more from me here on Diary in 2018, which will also be taking a little change in direction.

There are plenty of event blogs out there that offer great reviews on the best destinations and venues you should be holding your events in, how you can increase your event attendance and the best marketing strategies that exist, as well as much more, so it’s time to do something a little different.

Diary of an #Eventprof will be much more of as the name suggests…. a diary. I’ll share with you an update of my week as an event professional, the challenges I faced and how I got over them, the positives I encountered and dare I say a few of the negatives too.

I’ll try to be as honest, open and frank as I can (without getting sued by anyone), I’ll still give some pointers and offer tips but from an ‘on the job’ experience led angle. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, and you never know, we may even share a few laughs.

Let’s raise a glass to 2017, and raise an even bigger one to 2018!

See you next time…