5 ways to incorporate wellness and create mindful meetings
In the world of event planning, the times they are a-changing and attendees expect more from conferences and meetings than ever before. From top to bottom, the focus is on an overall unforgettable experience (something we’ve written about before), and an important aspect of modern meetings is the incorporation of health and wellness. A recent study by the Incentive Research Foundation found that 87 percent of planners consider wellness a vital part of meeting prep – and attendees are just as enthusiastic. (Read their full report here.)
The process doesn’t need to be a daunting one. We’ve compiled these five pointers to make sure your attendees are satisfied while elevating your event to the status of a mindful meeting.
Location, location, location
An inspiring environment prompts physical activity, so the choice of host venue is more than just selecting a room. A great example is Montréal’s main convention centre the Palais des congrès de Montréal, located at the crossroads between modern downtown and the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal. There’s a wealth of culture to explore within the area, and it’s a prime starting point for exploring the city on foot. Keeping attendees active and interested during downtime just adds to their overall experience, keeping them both refreshed and recharged for the next presentation.
Food, glorious food!
Healthier meal choices are proven to increase concentration, and options like a superfoods smoothie over a pastry snack will keep attendees energized throughout the day. Ditch the sodas and offer coconut water! Pick a catering company that’s sure to impress – guests love locally produced products, and this also gives you a chance to spotlight your host city. And following a long meeting day is also the perfect time to splurge a little with a gourmet group meal they won’t soon forget.
Wellness on site
We were blown away by this year’s C2 conference here in Montréal, a major event that paid careful attention to incorporating wellness throughout its busy location. A hidden speakeasy tucked in the back of a flower shop (another nice touch) gave attendees a chance for a bit of quiet over a drink. Comfy yurts surrounded by lush greenery, free barbering and makeup sessions, free electric pollution-free boat rides down the historic Lachine Canal and even carefully-curated music and poetry to soundtrack the washrooms all offered attendees with precious moments to recharge and remember.
Weave wellness into the fabric of your event
Travel can be stressful and it’s easy for attendees to take on a stuffed schedule with little time to themselves to take a breath, so it’s important to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to partake in the wellness options available. Try offering morning yoga or meditation sessions before the presentations start, and make sure your attendees know what’s on-hand before filling their schedules. If you build it – and they have time – they will come.
From the tiniest acorns the biggest trees grow
Wellness can also be found in the details, taking such considerations into account as on-site recycling and composting to the lighting and temperature of meeting rooms. When planning presentations, stick with the Goldilocks rule: not too hot, not too cold, not too dark, and not too bright. It’s also important to keep duration to a tolerable period – try scheduling your presentations for 50 minutes followed by a 10-minute window allowing attendees to get up and moving – all fine point touches that will add to your attendees’ experience.