Health and wellbeing at events
How to bring a focus on health and wellbeing to events to increase productivity and engagement from delegates...
Every year we tend to have the goal of eating and exercising healthily. Mostly this is achievable if you can manage the food that you eat and schedule your time to allow for exercise. But, when it comes to business travel, attending meetings, conferences or award dinners (where the catering is out of your own control) this can cause setbacks to your new year, new me ambitions. Here are several tips on how you can bring a health and wellbeing focus to any event…
Choose a wellness friendly venue
The venue should offer plenty of natural daylight so ensure there’s plenty of windows and ample space outside for fresh air breaks, this will help keep the audience engaged.
When choosing a venue make sure there is complimentary gym access for guests. It’s also worth thinking about additional relaxation space, perhaps set aside for a quiet room where attendees can relax or unwind, which includes comfortable seating, soft lighting, meditation cushions, relaxed music and refreshments.
Another way to make the event healthy would be to get a local bike company to sponsor the event and provide rental bikes for free outside the venue for delegates.
Choose healthy marketing collateral
Include a number of healthy options in the registration bags that you hand out upon arrival by encouraging sponsors and exhibitors to provide wellness-themed freebies that can all be individually branded. Examples may include…
- Branded reusable water bottles
- Branded sunscreen, lip balm
- Hand sanitiser
- Sleeping mask
- Walk/bike route map
- Green tea, dark chocolate, nuts
Have you thought about engaging with your delegates by offering a fitness watch as a prize for the most steps walked during the event and this can further promote wellness and engagement from delegates at the event?
Provide healthy menu options
Delegates are becoming increasingly health conscious and dietary requirements and choices requested are on the increase for example; vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten free, to name a few. To achieve a healthy balance, it’s important to avoid food that is fried and opt for baked, poached, grilled, roasted or steamed instead.
‘Make your own’ stations can be an effective way of offering healthy food; such as a salad station to accompany poached or grilled meats and vegetables or you could have a noodle station. Here, delegates can help themselves and can include a selection of vegetables, nuts and low-fat sauces that can be chosen individually by each delegate depending on how healthy they wish to be.
Offering plenty of fruit is another option and this can be achieved in a number of effective ways such as artistic fruit arrangements or fruit platters. With the likes of Instagram and social media encouraging guests to share photos of great food this could be a good way of creating that ‘WOW’ factor to the healthy food that is being served to delegates.
Make exercise part of the event
A delegate management event app can be used to encourage attendees to fit exercise into their day. This can be achieved by providing maps of walking, running, and cycling routes that start at the venue and hotels to encourage them to get out and take in the local scenery as well as aiding them with keeping to their healthy routine. Include routes that take attendees to nearby destinations along with scenic loops.
Energisers within sessions themselves can keep the audience enthusiastic and engaged instead of being talked at for the full duration. Energisers can be a great forms of icebreakers as well. Consider something like ‘Daft questions’ whereby all you need is to generate a list of light-hearted questions that anyone can comfortably answer in a fun way: If you were a biscuit, which would you be? If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take? Then print these up and deliver them to your delegates tucked under their coffee cups or placed at their seats, a great way to get delegates moving around the room and interacting between one another.
The importance of hydration
To keep the audience engaged and at their best it is important to have well placed ‘hydration stations’ which should always include water but can also include healthy smoothie shots to mix things up and introduce a bit of variety as well.
Encourage plenty of sleep
Try to encourage delegates not to fit too much into their schedule. They won’t want to miss out on anything and therefore its important to help in a number of ways.
- Don’t start too early in the mornings to give attendees time to get ready in terms of checking emails, going to the gym and eating breakfast.
- End evening events early enough that allows attendees to still socialise but also get a good nights sleep.
At the end of the day, you don’t want to send attendees home exhausted but want them to have a pleasurable and healthy experience and one that they would want to attend next time.
Its important to identify where most of the attendees will be travelling from in the initial stages of planning your event. This will then allow for an itinerary to be created that fits the audience. If they are travelling from the other side of the world you may want to ensure a fairly quiet day is planned the day following to allow time to recover from the long journey and ramp up the number sessions in day 2 and day 3 for example. If attendees are local you can plan a more intensive first day. By understanding this you can ensure that attendees are going to be more engaged in the event itself.
These are just some of tips to support delegates with a fit and have a healthy mind at events. If you want to hear some more of our ideas, get in touch with the team.