As meeting planners navigated the Covid-19 pandemic over the past year, concerns about attendee health and well-being have dictated nearly every aspect of how face-to-face events were held — or, in most cases, not held.
In March 2020 when in-person events came to an abrupt halt, this intensified the growing importance of well-being more than ever – with a focus on the mind, body, spirit and nutrition as a way to improve the event experience, keep attendees engaged, and combat “Zoom fatigue.”
While it may be hard to disconnect from mobile devices and the outside world, in some cases it is beneficial for wellness. Offering attendees an opportunity to disconnect from technology – mobile devices, laptops, overhead projectors — and focus on the people and the moment can be powerful.
If meetings are taking place offsite, allow attendees time to enjoy time outside of the meeting to unwind and escape the meeting and workplace. Take them to a show. Engage them in local culture. Show them nature.
By taking the measures above, you can seamlessly incorporate wellness into your company’s events without breaking the bank or losing precious time. The positive feelings attendees walk away with will pay off in huge dividends for your organization’s reputation and future events.
Meeting planner Melissa Mongoven has a few simple suggestions to keep attendees healthy, happy and productive during meetings and events.
- Offer various classes first thing in the morning such as yoga, fitness and meditation. Offer a motivational company incentive to those who attend. If attendees learn an exercise onsite, then they may continue it in their daily lives.
- Use one of the breakout rooms as a meditation or quiet room and make it available throughout the entire meeting.
- Provide healthy food options at every meal. Remove sodas and replace them with fruit-infused water stations.
- Offer a fresh juice and mocktail station at evening functions. This way, people do not have to choose between alcohol and soda. They can have a healthy beverage instead, and still be able to drink something other than water.
- Implement guided movement breaks throughout the day. Attendees can stay active and recharge with movement versus with soda, caffeine and sugar.
- Break menus should consist of protein, whole foods and fruit instead of carbohydrates and sweets. That will help keep attendees alert instead of crashing in the afternoon.
Although the threat of the virus is gradually receding, its influence on our collective attitude toward wellness activities at events will likely stick around: Collaboration with venue partners, a concern with mental well-being and a preference for outdoor spaces are some of the approaches that will continue to flourish.