Those of you who came to our February Show will have seen and possibly met Salone Events’ Director Bernadette Palombo, the creator of the Event Professionals Journal. If you didn’t get a chance to hear Bernadette speak or read about her discovery of the power of journaling in Showboat, our Show magazine, here’s another chance.

I started journaling about three years ago as a way of looking at my life and seeing what was causing me stress.

According to a report by Forbes only 4% of us have work-life balance and this is something that I want to redress. Looking after your wellbeing makes a huge, huge difference not just personally but professionally as well.

I was in a corporate events role for years – and loved it - but the pressure got too much and I ‘burnt out’.

I then went on to start my own agency, thinking that would be the answer, but it brought stresses of a different kind. So I created a prototype of a journal and noticed that when I was journaling there was a 20.5% increase in productivity a day.

During my research I found that there were absolutely no journals on the market specific to event professionals - even though we work in one of the top five most stressful industries (as reported by Forbes). We suffer with varying factors that other professionals do not, and the exercises within the journal directly tackles those. Other journals out there are mainly focus on either personal or work (with a few combining the two) but they are very general.

The basic principle is that whatever you write is just for you, unless you decide you want to share. It is judgement free; you don’t have to feel guilty; and you can be honest with how you feel and the struggles you are facing, so that you can then make a plan to move forward.

Handwriting is shown to activate large regions in the brain responsible for thinking and healing, along with making us think in a more positive light. This is why the journal is paper copy and not on an app.

A lot of research was done in to the wellbeing of our industry in order to develop the exercises within the journal. I consulted Stress Matters and had excellent feedback from a therapist whom I showed it to. The questions chosen are ones that directly tackle the problems we face.

The uptake has been brilliant and what’s really encouraging is it’s not just individuals buying the journal but managers putting real emphasis on how important the book is by purchasing it for their entire teams.

I am an event manager so creating a physical product to sell in order to help others was a real learning curve - a much bigger one then expected! As it is used every day, the journal needs to be really high quality so this was challenging when pricing it up, but it provides so much value back, so I had to listen to others on the advice on that one.

Holding the first copy in my hands was an insanely amazing feeling. One I will never forget. To know I can now provide to others the solution that helped me so much, just makes me so happy. And it’s really so easy to do. You can do it while you’re taking a break – whilst the kettle is boiling – but it’s so important.

My friends and family noticed a huge change in me when I started journaling and all think it's amazing and are all very proud. They are inspired that I have gone from rock bottom through work stress, personal trauma and a couple of chronic illnesses, through to owning two successful businesses at the age of 27.

Moving forward my main aim is to continue focusing on improving the wellbeing within the industry - but this is not something I can do on my own! The industry needs to change and we all need to take action in order for this to happen.

I launched the Event Professionals Journal not to make money but to make a difference. I just want to make an impact on people’s lives and to make people more aware of the signs of stress.”