Interview with a Planner: What The "Fittest man #EventProf" Learned from the Delos Wellness Certificate Course
ALHI has partnered with Delos, a leading wellness brand, to launch the Delos Wellness Certificate for Meetings & Events, designed to teach meeting professionals how to incorporate best practices for creating healthy, productive meetings experiences.
We spoke with David T. Stevens, Director, Global Events and Field Marketing for Alation, a data catalog company which focuses on enterprise data intelligence solutions including data search and discovery, data governance, data stewardship, analytics, and digital transformation. Stevens, who recently completed the Delos Wellness Certificate for Meetings & Events course, is a Silicon Valley native celebrating 20 years of being in events full time. He has worked in various capacities in the events world including agencies, non-profit associations, experiential marketing, incentives, and concert and tour production. He is currently the four-time "Fittest man #EventProf." He finds his workouts bring balance and higher levels of productivity to his day.
Why did you get into the meeting and event industry?
I absolutely love bringing people together and building emotional connections to brand and other people through experiences. We can literally change people’s lives through a thoughtfully planned meeting or event.
Why did you take the Delos Wellness Certificate program?
With the return to in-person events, I took it for one simple reason—I wanted my fellow ‘Alationauts’ to not just know but feel confident that their health and safety wasn't just being thought about but was at the forefront of our thinking while planning our internal meetings and events.
What was your key takeaway for the certificate program?
Think through your process. It's not a one and done thing. Everything impacts another.
How do you incorporate the values learned from the certificate program into your organization’s meeting and incentive planning?
It's about being thoughtful throughout the process. It's also not just about test results but overall wellness, like adjusting the program to ensure people have time to get to emails or workout in the morning, or keeping parties from going too late into the evening so people are ready to learn the next day because they were able to get enough sleep. Then ensuring people are well fed and have an environment fit for learning.
Talk about the importance of a program like the Delos Wellness Certificate for one’s personal and professional development.
These types of certificates build trust with our attendees, peers, and executives. They know by attending your event, you are out there doing everything you can to be on the forefront of learning to ensure their wellness is being looked out for.
What inspired you to focus on your health and fitness?
This all changed for me about 15 years ago. I had a bit of a life moment where I was laid off, a relationship ended, and I re-evaluated everything. I started working out for the typical superficial reasons, but the outcome was anything but typical. I felt better, my perspective on life shifted and I found myself just more productive and happier overall.
Share with us insight on your training regimen.
I do a functional fitness workout once a day, usually first thing in the morning for about 45 minutes. Nothing crazy. On the weekends I might do some extra stuff, but I try to balance this with actual activities like hiking, cycling, curling, golfing, whatever it is, just something that makes the movements I do in training practical.
What advice would you give to starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
I have been asked before, ‘What is the most effective workout?’ My answer every time is ‘the one that keeps you going back for more.’ Doesn’t matter what it is, if you find something you love doing, you’ll keep doing it which is better than anything else. Just remember mind and body are connected.
Ok, claiming to be the Fittest Man in Meetings and Events is bold. I like it. How do you back it up?
Four years ago, the CrossFit Open launched a new feature where you could add an occupational hashtag to your profile. It is a global competition. I was the only male on there for the first two years using #EventProf and the last two years I was able to beat the only other gentleman on the leaderboard. I put this on all of my social media very intentionally to help planners realize their potential and that "working out" doesn’t have to be on the ‘I don't have time.’ list.
From your LinkedIn profile, it looks like you trademarked your name? Is that right? What’s the story?
LOL it's amazing that LinkedIn lets you add emojis to your name, isn't it?
How much fun did you have being the escort for baseball’s Oakland A’s mascot “Stomper?”
Given the individual who was Stomper was a good friend of mine made it a total blast. I even got to go to the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Anaheim with full access to everything. Was a total blast and always fun to learn how in-game promotions happen at sporting events.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Planners need to start taking care of themselves. We spend so much time and effort thinking about everyone else, and it seems all too often at our own demise. A cracked jar can't hold water to fill others. We as planners need to put our mind and bodies at the top of our ‘to do’ lists. Oh, and offer protein rich options at breakfast.
Learn more about the Delos Wellness Certificate for Meetings & Events.