Launch of new workplace wellbeing event ‘The Watercooler’ in May 2022

Next May at Olympia in London, Make A Difference Events will stage ‘The Watercooler’—an in-person, free-to-attend, two-day exhibition and conference bringing together leading employers – from established industries as well as bold disruptors who are setting new benchmarks –  to champion workplace wellbeing. The Watercooler, named in recognition of those crucial moments of connection between employees, sets out to demonstrate that wellbeing IS the future of work.

The event will see over 5000 workplace wellbeing professionals in attendance, with 100 speakers—including Professor Dame Carol Black, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, and Leena Nair—across a dynamic schedule of workshops and conferences, and roundtable discussions hosted by industry experts. The programme is curated into three areas of wellbeing—Mental & Physical, Social & Inclusive, and Financial & Environmental—with content covering topics from ‘Addressing the New Type of Burnout’ to ‘Understanding and Supporting the Individual Needs of Neurodiverse Colleagues’. 

Professor Dame Carol Black, Chair of the British Library and Centre for Ageing Better and speaker, commented: “The workplace post-COVID needs to be different. It must meet the mental, physical, financial, social, and environmental needs of the workers, as well as the purposes of the organisation. The Watercooler is where you can gather, make connections, learn from colleagues’ experiences, and find the right solutions for your organisation—whatever its size or shape.”

Claire Farrow, Partner & Global Director of Content of Make A Difference Events, said: “Our ambition is to create the largest, expert-led celebration of workplace wellbeing in the UK — bringing more and more employers to the workplace wellbeing conversation.”

Organised by Make A Difference Media and the Evening Standard in partnership with AXA Health and Mercer Marsh Benefits. 


For more information and press opportunities, please contact

About The Watercooler:

    • The Watercooler launch partners include: AXA Health and Mercer 
    • Free event includes: 5,000 workplace wellbeing professionals, 150+ best-in-class suppliers, 100+ speakers, 10 keynote speakers, 100+ hours of free peer-to-peer learning on physical, mental, social, financial, and environmental wellbeing. Plus, 20 roundtable discussions, where attendees can choose a topic and join a table hosted by an industry expert, making valuable connections with wellbeing professionals
  • Speakers include: Professor Dame Carol Black, Chair of the British Library and Centre for Ageing Better (keynote), Professor Sir Cary Cooper, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, Manchester University (keynote), Leena Nair, Chief HR Officer, Unilever, Geoff McDonald, Business Transformation Advisor & Mental Health Campaigner, and Andy Holmes, Global Head of Wellbeing, Reckitt

Notes to editors:

The Watercooler is a large-scale networking event for workplace wellbeing professionals, from Make A Difference Events and the Evening Standard. Taking place at Olympia London on 23–24th February, it will feature 5000+ visitors, 150 best in class suppliers, 120+ conference speakers, 8 keynotes, and 120 hours of free learning on mental, physical, social, financial, and environmental wellbeing. Contact for commercial opportunities or register for free at  

Make A Difference Media are the organisers of the Mad World Summit, Europe’s largest solutions-focused event with a clear mission: to eradicate stigma and spark a new era of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. 

The Evening Standard, founded in 1827, is London’s most iconic news brand and the UK’s largest quality daily. Recognised as setting the agenda in politics and business, as well as being first with major news and sports stories, the brand reaches a total of 13.1 million cross-platform readers a month.

The Watercooler will be running concurrently under the same roof as sister event ‘SME XPO’ — an exhibition and conference connecting small businesses with leading CEOs and industry experts. The two-day event will see legendary business icons and founders lead a wide range of topics and free peer-to-peer learning sessions on scaling-up, sustainability, investment, and much more.