On 2 May, the inaugural De-Stress Fest was attended by nearly 200 eager event professionals, from agencies, the government, business, the NHS and charities including names such as Barclays, Google, the FT, Imagination, the London Stock Exchange and the Royal Collection Trust.
A flowing environment was created in The Lindley Hall at Royal Horticultural Halls with low lighting and informal seating areas to create a welcoming atmosphere for guests to decompress having arrived from work. Keen to learn new methods for de-stressing, guests were invited to chill in the Spa Pool area for a selection of drinks including a botanical ginger and elderflower cocktail and to sample new non-alcoholic brand Three Spirit Drinks. Thai gin and tonics and lavender and rosemary prosecco were also circulated and appreciated for their botanical infusions.
Lorraine Thorne, venue sales manager of the Royal Horticultural Halls said “We’ve had some wonderful feedback from De-Stress Fest. Guests were amazed at the relaxed nature of the venue, and enjoyed learning from the experts and trying different treatments. People loved the flowing nature of the festival and many commented it was unlike anything they’d ever been to with a garden, pool area, treatment rooms and presentation area all in one space.”
Different therapies were introduced with talks from each therapist and 140 treatment sessions made available for attendees to try such as Access Consciousness, The Bars which ‘de-frags’ the brain by touching 32 points on the head and a number of grounding and brain calming techniques which were practised and taught by Holistic Practitioner and teacher Amanda Weller. Neck and shoulder massages were also available.
Caroline Richardson from Google said “De-Stress Fest has been beautifully relaxing from the moment I arrived. I’ve never experienced these kinds of treatments and after a stressful day I now feel amazing, lighter and chilled. The vibe in the venue has been open and nurturing and I’ve found lots of things I can use in life and at work. Thank you!”
Laura Capell-Abra, from agency Stress Matters, ran a Stress Clinic advising how events businesses can reduce stress in the workplace and gave advice to individuals. The do Terra Aromatherapy Lounge created a calming area scented with a peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus and laurel for respiratory health and taught organisers how essential oils can reduce stress, boost the immune system and how they can be best used in the workplace and at events.
Sophia Reed from Regis Mutual Management said “it’s been a beautiful event with an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. I’ve had a wonderful treatment and my body feels amazing! Although I arrived on my own, I’ve met lots of nice people and learned a lot. I really hope you do it next year!”
FoodByDish created a bespoke menu of vegetarian and vegan canapés and bowl food with wacky superfood pairings such as a kale doughnut with broccoli puree and pickled shallot, cured & flamed mackerel with peppermint tea gel, plus bowls filled with aromatic turmeric spiced lentils, roasted paneer and mango & coriander chutney. All were created for their healing and soothing properties for the event.
The Herbal Wellbeing Garden opened at 7pm where puddings such as dark chocolate & avocado mousse with rapeseed oil and Maldon sea salt and coconut yoghurt & chia seed pot with blueberries were set amongst the medicinal herbs.
Light Motif provided all the production including the projection mapped spa pool, screens, bars and seating, up lighting around the hall and background soundtrack in the spa area and wellbeing garden. TUFF, The Urban Flower Firm along with trees from RHS Wisley Garden and Twilight Trees, brought the Herbal Wellbeing Garden to life.
De-Stress Fest was created and curated by the team at the Royal Horticultural Halls, Big Wednesday PR, FoodByDish and Light Motif.