A new book, Intentional Event Design: Our Professional Opportunity, by Tahira Endean, focuses on integrating wellness into meetings to enrich the attendee experience. Here’s an excerpt.
Events are notoriously hard on humans. As a priority in event design, wellness just makes sense. We know our brains and bodies need fuel and movement for success. When you are taken care of as a participant, your ability to make connections to other humans, and to the learning you are experience is stronger. When you leave a meeting or event feeling richer for the experience, and not exhausted, you want to share your positive experiences and return the next year. This is good for all of us.
Making wellness and well-being a priority in our own businesses, well that’s just smart business. When your team is healthy, it is more productive. When it is more productive, the events you are part of will be stronger. When your team is taken care of, you have greater loyalty, and as they gain experience and longevity, this results in higher client retention.
There are many practical ways you can build wellness into your meetings, from sweat-working to smarter food choices, quiet spaces to activity choices that increase our energy and ability to connect, from increasing happiness to reducing jet lag, and more. Many ideas will cost nothing, while others may take investment. Some are easy adds anytime, while others may fit only specific events. Like any type of sustainable activity, any small steps you can take on the journey to wellness will be beneficial.
Here are some examples:
Meditation or quiet rooms offer an alternative to sleep, which refreshes and offers an opportunity for reflection. This can be a guided experience at set times, or simply be open to participants. It requires little—mats and towels, perhaps quiet music, and water or perhaps herbal tea.
Learn and burn!
Provide education while exercising, maybe explain the benefits the participants can expect during the day, or share information about an area they are walking through.
Get your walk on
In large properties, guests will inevitably walk a lot. Make it fun: Track their steps or time walking and offer prizes for goals reached, or a leaderboard for those intrinsically competitive
Breathe through the guilt
You know who you are. When you feel bad for putting yourself first. Just remind yourself if you can’t be good to yourself, it will be impossible to sustain being good for anything or anyone!