Attendees expect more from meetings and conventions than ever before, with health and wellness becoming an essential component of any event. We’ve compiled these five pointers to elevate your event to the status of a mindful meeting.
Location, Location, Location
An inspiring environment prompts physical activity, so the choice of host venue is more than just selecting a room. A great example is Montréal’s main convention center, the Palais des Congrès de Montréal, located at the crossroads between modern downtown and the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal. There’s a wealth of culture to explore in the area, and it’s a prime starting point for exploring the city on foot. Keeping attendees active and interested during downtime just adds to their overall experience, because they’re refreshed and recharged for the next presentation.
Food, Glorious Food!
Healthier meal choices are proven to increase concentration, and options such as a superfoods smoothie instead of a pastry snack will keep attendees energized throughout the day. Ditch the sodas and offer coconut water! Pick a catering company that’s sure to impress — guests love locally produced products, and this also gives you a chance to spotlight your host city. And following a long meeting day is also the perfect time to splurge a little with a gourmet group meal they won’t soon forget.
We were blown away by this year’s C2 conference in Montréal, a major event that paid careful attention to incorporating wellness throughout its busy location. A hidden speakeasy tucked in the back of a flower shop (another nice touch) gave attendees a chance for a bit of quiet over a drink. Comfy yurts surrounded by lush greenery, free barbering and makeup sessions, free electric pollution-free boat rides down the historic Lachine Canal, and even carefully curated music and poetry to serve as a soundtrack in the washrooms all offered attendees precious moments to recharge and remember.
Weave Wellness Into the Fabric of Your Event
Travel can be stressful, and it’s easy for attendees to take on a stuffed schedule with little time to themselves to take a breath. It’s important to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to partake in the wellness options available. Try offering morning yoga or meditation sessions before the presentations start, and make sure your attendees know what’s on hand before filling their schedules. If you build it — and they have time — they will come.
From the Tiniest Acorns, the Biggest Trees Grow
Wellness can also be found in the details, taking such considerations into account as onsite recycling and composting and the lighting and temperature of meeting rooms. When planning presentations, stick with the Goldilocks rule: not too hot, not too cold, not too dark, and not too bright. It’s also important to keep duration to a tolerable period — try scheduling your presentations for 50 minutes followed by a 10-minute window, allowing attendees to get up and moving. These are all fine-point touches that will add to your attendees’ experience.