Getting the party started

Catie Owen talks to Jacques Martiquet (pictured below), the Party Scientist, about the value of joy and wellness at events, and about his sessions at October’s IMEX America.

JaquesAs the Party Scientist, what’s your motivation behind what you do?

I love using the word ‘purpose’ to describe my motivation, as I feel very lucky that I discovered what it is I love to do so early on.

Through my talks and workshops, I promote joyful human connection as a natural antidepressant. I also equip leaders with tools to harness and benefit from it – through improved productivity, mental health, and the social dynamics of their team.


Why is wellbeing in the workplace so important for you?

I used to work at live events as a medic and witnessed how many young people rely on drugs and alcohol to access joy and belonging. I felt there must be a healthier and less damaging way to achieve this; when our physiology is healthier, life is easier and more enjoyable. If we see being happy and achieving success as the highest goals of most humans, the less stressed we are, the easier those things are to access.


How do you think events can better promote wellness for both their delegates and their teams?

It can be hard to incorporate healthier habits into our behaviours on a day-to-day basis – especially in industries like events and exhibitions that keep us busy and away from home. That’s why workplaces and events need to create those invitations for people to maintain their wellness. We saw this executed well at IMEX America this year. The show offered delegates some peace and quiet in dedicated wellness spaces such as the Resilience Room – with the support of Google XI and Marriott Bonvoy Events.

It’s also very important to incorporate wellness ‘snacks’ into an agenda: small wellness-focused breaks in the itinerary. These can get delegates up and moving (which reduces stress), or they can give them a moment of quiet. Including these in the itinerary offers a formal invitation to all attendees to participate, as everyone will already be there!

Often, when we as humans participate in something as a group and enjoy it together, it creates connections – when we do group wellness experiences it also leads to a feeling of belonging.


Coming back to your time at IMEX America, how were you encouraging wellness?

IMEX America inaugurated my new focus as the Party Scientist, giving show attendees as many skills as possible to cultivate interpersonal, personal, and communal joy. To do this, I held some wellness-focused sessions discussing ways to improve belonging, trust, and team dynamics, and build community through joy. The skills we covered are designed for the attendees to use at the show or take to their workplaces – such as appreciative listening, regulating our nervous systems, and practising social risks with others.

Overall, my hope is for attendees and event teams to think of joy more strategically as a productivity amplifier, mental and physical health amplifier, and a psychology safety tool for themselves and others with the skills that they’ve learned at the show.