The Venetian: How the Wellness Movement Is Improving Meetings and Events

The hospitality industry is jumping on the wellness bandwagon, creating innovative programs to help meeting attendees maintain physical and mental health. It’s paying dividends for everyone involved.

Recently, Venetian Meetings partnered with Skift to produce an in-depth report titled “The Future of Wellness in Meetings and Events.” Check out this summary of some of the report’s findings. (The full report may be accessed on The Venetian’s website.)

The supercharged pace of modern life is prompting many people to put a premium on self-care and work-life balance. The pursuit of health and wellness has become a daily routine for most adults, and people are finding ways to address mental as well as physical health. In addition to workouts and spa treatments, people are practicing meditation and yoga, eating healthier foods, and spending more time in nature. The quest for health and well-being has fueled steep growth in what is now a $4.2 trillion global wellness industry.

Once consumers make fitness and wellness part of their routine, they don’t want to give it up when they’re on the road. For decades, hospitality companies have “checked the wellness box” by providing guests with access to fitness centers and spa treatments, but in today’s environment, those facilities are simply minimum requirements. Hotels and resorts are being challenged to broaden and personalize wellness offerings, and they are responding in creative ways.

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas is a prime example of how an orientation toward wellness can take hold across an entire resort, becoming integrated into decisions about all aspects of the resort’s facilities and programming. Chandra Allison, senior vice president of sales at The Venetian, has seen the wellness trend evolve in real time and has encouraged her team to evolve along with it. “Research tells us that when wellness is built into a company’s culture, the company’s employees are happier and more productive,” says Allison. “Therefore, meeting planners are wisely looking for ways to incorporate wellness-related programs into their events, and we’re eager to help.”

The Venetian now has a broad-based and ever-expanding wellness initiative, offering programs that touch on physical, mental, and environmental health.

  • Canyon Ranch Spa + Fitness is a 134,000-square-foot facility with 90 treatment rooms, a 40-foot rock-climbing wall, and dozens of classes, such as poolside yoga. Canyon Ranch offers wellness programs for groups that feature healthy snacks, fitness breaks, and customized “express” spa treatments that help meeting attendees relax and rejuvenate. Other options cover everything from meditation to bike races to hikes away from the Las Vegas Strip.
  • The resort’s Honest Food program is designed to address the latest trends in wellness and sustainability; it gives meeting planners flexible and diverse menu options that include vegetarian and vegan choices. In addition, a variety of no-alcohol or low-alcohol options are offered for evening functions.
  • The Venetian is known for its sustainability leadership, which includes major initiatives in recycling, water filtration, green energy, and more. Now, all of the resort’s bathroom products contain 0% paraben, gluten, silicone, and dyes, and none are tested on animals.
  • The resort offers meeting planners innovative programs that combine wellness, sustainability, and community service. For example, through The Venetian’s partnership with Clean the World, meeting attendees can team up to build hygiene kits from unused hotel inventory; these kits are then distributed by Clean the World to families in vulnerable communities. The Venetian gives meeting planners the opportunity to integrate these hygiene-kit-building programs into their events, giving attendees a powerful and eco-conscious way to create wellness for others.

Allison points out that these initiatives are just a few of the ways The Venetian is helping meeting attendees maintain wellness while they’re onsite. “We want to make sure our guests have plenty of options to meet their wellness needs,” she says. “Our wellness programs reinforce our uniqueness as a fully integrated resort: We always emphasize that attendees can work, play, relax, and stay fit — all under one roof.”

Early indications are that the availability of wellness programs improves event outcomes: Meeting planners are reporting increased attendee engagement and productivity, and The Venetian has also noticed the positive impact. “Meetings and events can be taxing on attendees,” says Allison. “We recommend that meeting planners schedule time for attendees to participate in wellness and mindfulness activities, because we know that it will pay off.”


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