Gone are the days when employees would meekly accept sitting in conference rooms for hour after hour listening to presentations and lectures. Now they expect their companies to incorporate a healthy work-life balance and wellness efforts into their conferences and events.
Savvy corporations are also recognizing that wellness practices can not only increase productivity, but also reduce turnover, and possibly even lower health insurance costs. And when it comes to conferences, scheduling wellness programs into the calendar can also increase buzz and help boost attendance for future events.
You don’t have to turn your business conference into a yoga retreat in order to take advantage of the wellness movement. There are smaller steps you can take to help attendees thrive during the event.
For example, just starting and ending each meeting with a brief moment of centered breathing (known as mindfulness) can provide numerous benefits.
“Actively relaxing between meetings using practices such as meditation reduces the build-up of stress by lowering beta-brainwave activity,” mindfulness coach Brad Reed told the University of Delaware Conference Services.
“This has been previously shown to improve creativity, happiness, performance, communications, empathy, and productivity!” he added.
Here are some other easy ways to integrate wellness activities into your event.
- Schedule plenty of time for breaks throughout the day. A packed schedule just increases stress, but downtime between meetings allows people to better absorb what they’ve heard or seen.
- Offer healthier choices in food and drink selections. Provide more locally sourced, healthy, seasonal, plant-based food selections and go easy on the donuts and other processed foods. Herbal teas can also provide a soothing break from coffee.
- Be sure to supply plenty of water to help attendees stay hydrated, which increases energy and alertness.
- Set up a “quiet room” where all screens are off. Playing soft, meditative music or even a gentle waterfall gives attendees a break from the conference hustle and bustle.
- Encourage walking outdoors, especially if you’ve chosen a venue like the Historic Alfred I. duPont Building, which is situated in the heart of vibrant downtown Miami.
Over the top
If you want to go all in on wellness activities at your event, you could also offer massages, meditation classes, and instruction in chair yoga, for example.
But you don’t really have to go that far. With a little thought, you can take advantage of the wellness movement and have a successful, memorable conference.