TEAMWORK EVENTS BLOG
Breathe in. Breathe out.
It’s simple—we do it without thinking. But sometimes a few hectic days can really throw us off, so we thought you could use a reminder. Event professionals know that this job isn’t an easy one, but it’s always worth it. When attending an event, it’s important to remember that your attendees could be feeling the same way. Maybe they’re an introvert breaking out of their comfort zone by networking, maybe they’re speaking at a session, or maybe they’ve been working at an expo booth non-stop. Whatever the case may be, making wellness a priority at your event is something that everyone will appreciate–from attendees, to planners to suppliers.
Not everyone can plan events at spas and resorts alone. If you’re used to setting up shop at expo halls, convention centers or hotel event spaces, this post is for you. Wellness has a place at your event, no matter the location. These five ideas will inspire you to make mindfulness a part of your next event:
Set up a track around the showroom floor
Encourage your event attendees to get active by making it as easy as possible. Peer pressure, while at times negative, can actually be a good thing at events. If time is set aside for people to get up and get moving (or alternatively, to relax) as a group, you’re bound to have higher participation rates.
We set up a track around the showroom floor at one event and saw huge success. Event participants appreciated the gesture, too (maybe because it made slipping out of dress shoes into sneakers the norm!).
Alternatively, you could…
Take it outside
If you’re planning a destination event, you’re seen as the expert on what to see and do in the event’s host city, no matter how familiar you are with the location. Help your attendees take advantage of the city and its wellness opportunities by creating a one-pager with information on any nearby trails or parks, fitness studios and bike share options. Yes, they could research this on their own, but why not save them the trouble?
Encourage your attendees to get out and about by reserving free, individual wellness time. Set aside 20-40 minutes in the agenda for people to explore what lies beyond the expo hall.
Create a relaxation room
Use one of the breakout rooms as a meditation or quiet room, and make it available throughout the entire meeting. Make it a truly zen zone—you could incorporate low lighting, comfortable seating, aromatherapy, or any number of relaxing options. Ban cell phone usage, encourage quiet time, and share a short list of techniques that stressed out attendees can use to relax (like deep breathing).
Partner with wellness brands
We all know the daily meeting agenda is usually jam-packed. Even traveling to and from event venues can be exhausting (think airport security, traffic jams and more). Not to mention your diet and workout routine become that much more difficult to maintain.
Counteract these stressful elements by offering classes first thing in the morning such as yoga, fitness and meditation. Are there local exercise studios or caterers you could partner with to give attendees a taste of the city your event is in? If you think your attendee demographic would be interested, consider offering exercise breaks throughout the day. Provide healthy food options at every meal. Instead of serving soda, set up water stations—you can even get creative with infused waters.
Certain attendee types will resonate with activities like yoga and some won’t. So, as any good event planner knows, you must cater to the demographic of that particular group.
A great way to get attendees to engage with wellness initiatives is to incorporate a competitive element. In today’s tech-savvy world, chances are the people at your event have fitness trackers, smart watches with trackers or even old-school pedometers. Use those to your advantage by creating mini challenges.
One event used RFID badges to scan attendees into healthy activities they had attended, including yoga, dietitian workshops and runs. Each activity was worth points, and more points meant that attendees were put on a leaderboard for a prize. Encourage your guests to sync their Fitbits to keep the challenge going, or create a hashtag so guests can share their healthy choices online.
Have you been to an event recently that took wellness to the next level? Tweet us at @Teamwork_Events and share your favorite ways to incorporate wellness at events. We’d love to hear from you!