Why do we forget our social responsibility
What does social responsibility mean at events?
Stefan Lohmann - expert for sustainability in the event industry interviews Onsite Manager Sara Pamina Bartsch about social responsibility at events
The social aspects of sustainability are often forgotten. The topic is taken up in the free Sustainability Rider and checklist. What does social responsibility mean? This includes topics such as equality, barrier-free access, dealing with employees, trades and customers. But also compliance with working time laws, burn-out prevention, fair pay, observance of occupational health and safety laws and long-term cooperation are part of this. Sustainable Event Solutions is therefore very pleased about the interview with an experienced expert in the field.
About Sara Pamina Bartsch
Sara has been in the events industry for over ten years. She is committed to ensuring that this sector continues to develop economically and humanely. She also advocates that companies become aware of their social responsibility. In the course of her career, the onsite event manager noticed that really good employees or colleagues were leaving their jobs. This was partly due to changed living conditions, such as the birth of their own children or relatives in need of care. The job could no longer be reconciled with these not unusual framework conditions. However, an exit was often inevitable due to burnout, a lack of prospects or a low level of appreciation.
Sara is committed to changing social responsibility at events in the event sector!
You are an on-site manager - what exactly do you do at events?
Sara Pamina Bartsch: I take over the coordination of the trades on site and make sure that everything runs smoothly. As a contact person, I am available for my customers. In the end, my job is not much different from that of a “normal” event manager or project manager on site. On-site management is about the on-site implementation and not the organization and planning in advance. That's why I personally wouldn't differentiate between event management on-site.
My goal is for companies to become aware of their social responsibility. This means, among other things, that fair working hours at an event are created for everyone involved. For this type of implementation, companies need more skilled workers who they can access flexibly and whom they trust. My kind of on-site support is therefore not about using completely different people on-site than in the office. For employees, the event on site is the reward and the highlight for the hard work before. This motivation should not be taken away. I would like to relieve event managers with my support, because they deserve to actively participate in the event. The employer should see it as a duty and appreciation to make this possible for his employees. In order to keep the industry attractive for the next generation, a balance must be struck between leisure and work.
In terms of sustainable management, this is about the long-term corporate and social responsibility of companies.
How do you see the difficulties but also the possibilities to improve your area in terms of the implementation of events?
Sara Pamina Bartsch: If we manage to set up a shift system at an event, the disease rate after this can be significantly reduced. The rate of exhaustion drops and employees are more motivated, productive and satisfied in the long term. In order to achieve this result, however, we have to be able to build trust so that control can be given over to our own event. We event managers also have to learn to switch off and listen to our own needs.
As already mentioned at the beginning of our interview, you are strongly committed to social responsibility and topics such as equality and burnout prevention. But also for compliance with laws such as working time laws and dealing with employees. Areas that are all related to sustainability. Why are you particularly involved in this area?
Sara Pamina Bartsch: The fact that I was committed to precisely these areas of sustainability grew out of my experience. Both through my own professional career and that of my mother. I never wanted to work as much as my mother did when I was a kid. Conversely, I did exactly that. When I decided to go into the event sector, the die seemed to have been cast for the future. But from the beginning, I asked myself why do we think we have to work so much?
But my experiences have made me who I am today. You have strengthened me in my belief that we can all shape our lives what we want. It consists of many areas of life that all want to be lived.
Can you also see positive developments?
Sara Pamina Bartsch: Yes, because there are more and more companies that recognize social responsibility and seek support during peak periods and communicate openly and honestly internally. Initially still project-related, but more and more depending on the situation or in personnel planning at events.
What changes should be made and how can they be achieved?
Sara Pamina Bartsch: In my opinion, you need to become aware of yourself and your goals in life. And that applies not only to the self-employed but also to employees, managing directors and superiors. The questions that everyone should ask themselves should be: How do I want to shape my life? Which role model do I want to create? What do I wish for in life? For whom do I manage: my own good or the good of the community as a whole? With that we talk again about the duty of care and social responsibility of every employer.
What effects do you see from the Corona crisis and from the development towards online events?
Sara Pamina Bartsch: One of the greatest challenges in this fast-moving and performance-oriented industry is stagnation. Personally, however, I see the Corona crisis as a great opportunity. It gives us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, try new ways of thinking and turn everything around. We are allowed to question everything that we have done so far. Above all, we can give ourselves the space and time for it. We are currently learning how important rest times, space for reflection and relaxation are. At the same time, the industry can hardly shed its old patterns: blind activism, lightning-fast organization of online events, the associated high workload and even greater fatigue. And how do we pay for it? With your own health. But we should protect them especially because of the corona pandemic.
How does the crisis change your area of responsibility?
Sara Pamina Bartsch: A change in my areas can be observed in any case with the switch from live to virtual. I support on-site at online events as a team and participant support. I take care of the participant chat and welcome the guests. I also provide support when carrying out the technical checks with the participants and am therefore fully digitally represented at an event. From this I was able to see that digital exhaustion is even greater than the usual post-event depression. The workload that we have imposed on ourselves at live events is almost impossible to implement digitally. At least not without this again at the expense of our health.
What do event managers have to prepare for now? And how can they continue their education to meet the new requirements?
Sara Pamina Bartsch: Right now we can take the time to listen to and pay attention to ourselves. This should help us to shape our own daily routine and life afterwards. Things will always happen that come in between. But this requires free space: in the head, in the calendar and at home.
We should learn to communicate openly and honestly. In addition, we should both know and develop our strengths, which are individual for each event manager. This enables us to adapt to the new requirements.
Thank you for the interview!
Would you like to find out more about Sara and her podcast? Click here for their website: https://www.sarapamina.com/
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