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RethinkFIT Travel with Coach Lisa

10 Ways to Incorporate Wellness into Events

Lisa Meller
Lisa MellerPublished on August 29, 2022

  1. NUTRITION- Food as Fuel Food quality /culinary experiences rank as top priorities for any event or travel program. Make it delicious and nutritious! You'll find that when you introduce fresh, unprocessed foods your attendees will be more energetic, more focused, and more positive. Delight them with great presentation and fantastic flavor. Ban from your breakfast empty carbs like bagels and try a fun smoothie bar or juice shots. Offer superfoods to boost energy rather than expecting caffeine loads, and keep plenty of hydration stations on hand - maybe even offering choices of freshly prepared water-fountain alternatives like coconut water or chlorophyll -infused water. Try incorporating local, sustainable and organic options that will really boost immunity, aid in digestion, and keep your attendings feeling great all day long.
  2. NATURE - Bring it Inside and Out! We feel best when we also feel centered and connected to nature. Even if your event is city-center, in a box of a venue, you can still incorporate this basic human need. Try hosting functions outdoors, and go beyond the basics. Move meals and activities outside - on terraces, on the beach, under the stars, poolside or among the trees. Get some sunshine and use natural lighting as much as possible. Rethink your breakouts and try to use outdoor space, and host chat sessions around firepits, in outdoor lounges, at poolside cabanas or similar. If you can't get outside, bring nature IN! Use plants, florals, water features, and add decor that enhances natural-looking settings. Try using earthy, refreshing and soothing colors, and use products and furnishings made of natural materials such as bamboo, teak, wood, and stone. If you can host your event in a scenic, nature-centered destination, you're already in for a win.
  3. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - Movement Creates Momentum Sitting is the new "smoking" in today's world, and we need physical activity and kinetic stimulation. Too much sitting stagnates the mind and body, and it's a downer for creative thinking and mental assimilation. Get your attendees moving by offering either time for or guided programming for the gym, yoga, pilates, or tai chi. Take breaks and try session formats that get people actively moving about the room and that keep them on their feet. Try offering a 5K Fun Run in the morning, or host a dance party in the evening for great social and physical activities. Carve out time to allow attendees to take hikes or to bike in the area, or create a social responsibility activity to support local community or environmental initiatives such as beach clean-ups, building structures, or other programs that involve physical activity in a fun way. Even guided electric bike tours are great! They open up a whole new option for people who aren't sure if they can keep up with a group. (Just about anyone can e-bike!) Keep in mind that adults learn best when it's complemented by physical activity, which is far too often overlooked.
  4. SEATING ARRANGEMENTS- Be Creative When we must sit, we need to transcend what's expected - the typical uncomfortable conference chair. Try ergonomic seating options, or get creative with standing desks, bar height tables, couches, bean bags and even yoga balls! You'll delight and surprise people! Offer seating options in a general session via creative layouts and sets; allow attendees to select the seating style that works for them. Consider incorporating lounges for relaxation, including chair massages. Help your attendees focus on posture, too, for the best mental focus, and include a standing breathwork break if you see some slumpers!
  5. TEMPO / AGENDA - Balance is Best The first principle is to avoid overschedule OVERLOAD. Our brains just can't take it, and we either tune out or tune off entirely. Allow for some downtime so that attendees can assess and apply what they've learned to their personal or professional lives. Avoid more than ninety (90) minutes of session time without a decent break, and work to balance no more than six (6) hours of heavy duty lifting for learning. (Be especially careful with virtual events, as even the most engaging programs that run too long or are far TOO stimulating will fall short of expectation.) Think about how you, yourself, feel when you are the attendee. Do you feel crunched by the timeline? Are you stressed out by feeling you'll have no time or mental space to get back to the office or to personal emails and phone calls? Do you even have any time to review your notes to get the most out of your investment? If so, make sure your events are different and are respectful of these basic needs. A 'blitz' event can be totally exhausting and may end up as a blur in memory.
  6. PRESENTATION FORMAT - Maintain Focus  How you present is as important as what you present. You can keep attendees engaged and entertained if you offer a variety of styles. Reduce the amount of broadcasting lectures, and include more interactive dialogue and attendee involvement. Try workshops as round-table discussions or in buzz groups. Offer stations for demos, educational information, and hands-on learning. Consider lengthening the timeline of content distribution to maximize focus and to allow for more time to digest the info, to make new relationships, and to take advantage of the environment and destination you've selected. For example, you can host pre-event virual sessions for introductory information and for advanced networking. Then focus on what is really best handled in-person, in a live setting, at the "event"; and wrap with post-event follow-up and take-aways in a virtual, cloud-based or other settings. You'll extend the lifetime of your event and of engagement, maximize your time on site, and you'll cater to a variety of learning styles. By focusing on format, you'll reduce attendee stress, help them retain information, and improve relationships.
  7. SOUND THERAPY - Choose Wisely Have you ever chosen hard acid-rock for your wake-up alarm in the morning? I haven't - I'd be stressed from moment ONE in my day! The point is to be mindful of how sound influences our physical and mental state. Sound energy vibrates not just in our ears, but also in every cell of our bodies. Balance musical styles and think about time of day to help your attendees wake up well, maintain energy during the day, and ultimately wind down. Try offering a "sound library" lounge in which your attendees can listen on headsets to a variety of musical styles - perhaps while relaxing in fun chairs like bean bags while they're charging their phones, or host a dance party with headsets as a "silent disco" - one of my favorite concepts of all! And consider a conference playlist created by attendee suggestions that you can use in your videos, as walk-up music, during breaks, and at other functions.
  8. MINDFULNESS - Right Brain and Relaxation Help attendees improve focus, feel better, and be more present with mindfulness activities. Include options that promote creativity by activating the right brain, and help attendees work through mental clutter in a soothing way. Have you ever tried offering more "toys" at the tables for thought sessions? Have you considered creating murals, decorating cards, or working together to build things? How about offering opportunities to practice care and kindness for others? The point is to incorporate ways to help attendees process information but also stay present, centered, and calm and at peace for the best outcomes. Stress is a death spiral. Relaxation is not laziness. Make time and space for power naps or mental breaks as important as traditional "bio" (bathroom) breaks. Actually, meditation takes quite a bit of practice and focus, but the idea is to keep mental and physical health top of mind.
  9. SPIRITUALITY - Feeling Connected Spirituality means something different to everyone, but at the core I think it's about feeling truly connected - to self, to one another, to God, to the universe, to nature . . . and/or so much more. Allow opportunities for people to either maintain or improve their spirituality as a result of your event. This may mean respecting time for religious practices, providing educational sessions as breakout options by experts on the topic, or by offering activities, tours, and social gatherings that foster connectedness outside of the traditional meeting content. Consider how social activities can boost one's sense of self and of care for communities, the environment, or other causes. Feeling good about giving back is also a great way to bring people together and to build meaningful relationships. When we open our hearts we open our minds, and that's when the magic begins. You're supporting wellness and accomplishing so much more.
  10. Gifting / Promotional Items - Personalize and Pick Well  How often have you received "gifts" that become waste before ever going in your suitcase? Choose items wisely, and if you can't come up with a GREAT reason to give it, don't. Personalized gift items go a LONG way in showing that you care about the individual; it boosts personal joy and builds longer-lasting relationships. One simple solution is to provide vouchers for gifting stations that each offer a variety of products from which one can choose. Hot items for gifting often include tech items such as Fitbits, under-water ear buds, portable speakers, and other equipment to enhance athletic, outdoor, or family-centered activities. Other gifting ideas that sizzle include sunglass fittings, athletic attire, shoes, and wellness tools such as detox boxes. Choose to purchase natural, organic local products, biodegradable sunscreens or spa goods, or consider the impact of your gifting on the local environment and community. (Even stress balls can be a good giveaway, but get creative and work with professionals who can help you make choices for wellness)

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