Planning an event takes countless hours and an eye for detail. As you plan, you’re considering your attendee experience at every step, from the venue you select to the speakers you book. But even with a perfectly planned event, one of the best attendee perks may not come from the “official schedule” at all. Instead, you can take your event to the next level by giving attendees time to care for themselves and connect with those around them.
Why Health and Wellness Matters at Events
According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is a 4.4 billion dollar industry these days, moving far beyond physical fitness to encompass body, mind, and heart! Based on those numbers, chances are your event audience cares about wellness in a holistic way, too. Events can ramp up attendee satisfaction by providing health and wellness activities throughout the schedule. From connecting well with others to moving their bodies, to changing their environment, there are countless perks attendees will love.
6 Ways to Incorporate Health and Wellness
We all agree that health and wellness matters, but how can you bring it into your corporate retreat, conference, or social event? As it turns out, incorporating wellness at events might not be as challenging as you might think.
Take it outside.
Fresh air is always a good idea, especially during all-day events! Choosing the right venue will help you provide attendees with easy access to the outdoors. Some venues offer wellness activities right on site, like walking paths or seating for outdoor sessions. Others are conveniently located next to walkable areas, beaches, or trails. Whether you choose to offer scheduled sessions outside or just create breaks for fresh air in the schedule, it’s a great way to let your guests enjoy their time.
Fuel through food.
Attending an event means temporarily waving goodbye to many parts of life’s “regular routine.” Give your guests an easy way to choose healthy meal and beverage options. (While you’re at it, provide local choices if you can – it’s a great way to build partnerships with small businesses in town!) Grab-and-go snacks are helpful between sessions, but consider a juice cart instead of a soda machine, or provide fruit, cheeses, and nuts along with sugary sweets. It’s also a great idea to offer attendees healthy meal options at every sitting! Eating well changes our productivity, creativity, and even happiness levels — so provide the kinds of snacks and drinks that will make your attendees happy.
Step away from screens.
Technology is an important part of nearly every event, but it’s also important for attendees to get a break. Create a screen-free space by providing meditation breaks in a relaxation room, or host a screen-free networking session for attendees to meet one another without their phones. Pressed for space? Use one corner as a “screen-free zone” — you may be surprised by how many people use it!
There are countless ways to promote movement and activity at your event! You can host a yoga or fitness class for guests, offer access to walking trails or rentable bikes, or even throw a 5k for a good cause! Want to get attendees moving without a direct “fitness” approach? Plan a fun dance party or participate in a service project together. Moving our bodies is incredibly beneficial for our brains, which means attendees will likely enjoy their event experience even more!
Create sip stations.
Water is essential, and it’s way too easy not to get enough hydration at events! Make sure to keep plenty of water stations around and stocked so that guests can grab a sip whenever they need one. Even better, combine marketing with hydration and pass out branded reusable water bottles for attendees to refill throughout the event as needed.
Slow the pace.
We all want to pack everything in during an event, but burned-out and exhausted attendees won’t have a meaningful experience. When you choose to pace your event schedule well, you’ll help your attendees soak it all in rather than rushing around the entire time. Put some breathing room into your schedule — and if your event’s overnight, make sure everyone gets the opportunity for enough sleep.
Crafting Events with Wellness in Mind
Want to create fantastic health and wellness opportunities at your next event, no matter the location? Consider partnering with a Destination Management Company (DMC)! These experts can come alongside you in your event planning to find the right venue, healthy local food and beverage options, and activities that are perfectly suited for your intended audience. Creating an event that caters to mind, body, and heart will have your guests ready to return again and again!