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Production Value Matters Podcast

Finding the Balance: Mental Health and the Events Sector with Deanna Vollmer 

February 6, 2024

Finding the Balance: Mental Health and the Events Sector with Deanna Vollmer 

February 6, 2024
Host(s): Matthew Byrne
Guest(s): Deanna Vollmer



Welcome back to another episode of Production Value Matters with Matthew Byrne! This time, he’s joined by Deanna Vollmer, the current Director of Events and Customer Experience at Quest X.


Join them as they:


  • Discuss the impact of cultural differences on events 
  • Outline how to bridge the technological gap 
  • Advocate for mental health for event professionals 
  • Find the work life balance 
  • Highlight how to create to a safe space in the events industry 


Dianna Vollmer is the current Director of Events and Customer Experience at Quest X, where she’s been leading the way in content rich experiences for nearly 2.5 years. She started out by planning meetings and slowly but surely worked her way to the tippy top of the events world. In her recent work she has been a firm advocate for event professionals’ mental health.


[03:01] Events Across the World: Understanding Different Cultures – Despite living in an increasingly globalised world, cultural differences still remain. Such differences need to be considered when it comes to events because different things are custom in different places. Deanna talks about her experience studying in Europe and Australia being a formative experience, giving her the cultural awareness necessary to go on to plan events all over the world. Despite now only working in the north American market, Deanna mentions that having this multi-cultural experience is still so vital due to the international workforces and rise in cross-national virtual events after the pandemic. 


[08:43] Adaptability and Getting Tech Savy – Technology is advancing at an incredibly fast rate, and the events industry is feeling this more than most. Deanna says it is important to be open to new technologies and platforms, but flags that there are still some people in the industry that want to stick to ‘pen and paper’. She suggests we can bridge this gap and address outdated attitudes towards  adopting more technology through overcommunication which can often eliminate any apprehension and aversion.


[12:36] Finding the Balance: Advocating for Mental Health in the Events Sector – Sharing her own personal experience of how juggling life and work during covid time, Deanna divulges how this combination of factors led to a loss of routine which negatively impacted her mental health. Once the pandemic was over, despite being an extrovert, ,Deanna explains how she started experience social anxiety when back at live events. By remaining herself that there is no such thing as perfection and mistakes are normal she was able to eliminate some of this external pressure and help herself find the balance. 


[23:27] The Separation of Church and State: Work Life Balance – While talking about the importance of boundaries when it comes to preventing burnout, Matthew and Deanna discuss this idea of ‘the separation of church and state’. They implore others to separate work from life and ensuring this separation is actualised through your physical space. While WFH has become more common and often lots of practical benefits, it’s important to not work in a space you associate with work to ensure some mental distance. Deanne acknowledges that this is a luxury not everyone can afford, so highlights the importance of talking breaks, going for walks, signing off at the correct time and getting out of your own space in order to find the balance. 


[27:00] How to Create Safe Space within the Events Sector – Often people can be struggling and colleagues may not notice. This is truer ever in the events industry when everyone is often moving a million miles an hour. But despite that, it’s important to foster the right kind of environment so colleagues feel like they can share if they are struggling. Deanne mentions the importance of sharing the sentiment that you aren’t alone can offer an immense amount of confront. She adds that the basics such as eating right, prioritising sleep and exercise all contribute to creating the foundations for a safe space within yourself.