According to Incentive Research Foundation’s 2019 Wellness in Meetings and Incentive Travel Study, 64 percent of planners consider meetings and events as only “somewhat healthy,” while less than 10 percent say meetings are “very healthy.”
Most respondents report that while they and their companies agree on the importance of wellness in the industry, they disagree when it comes to implementation. And although planners were vocal about budgets being an issue, 39 percent agreed that increasing the budget will only make meetings somewhat healthier. Here are some of the most effective wellness practices for meetings, according to respondents.
1. Encourage Exercise
Free access to fitness facilities is becoming a standard practice, according to 41 percent of planners surveyed. Others suggest “gamifying” fitness with competitions; setting up group exercise sessions (pre-event yoga classes or group hikes on off days), providing breaks to encourage movement or having walking meetings or “trails” set up throughout the venue.
2. Incorporate Meditation into Breakout Sessions
Travel, long days and new environments can disrupt attendees’ ability to focus. Some respondents suggest providing wellness rooms or quiet spaces as well as mindfulness or meditation times during breakouts to help attendees relax and stay focused.
3. Make Time for Sleep
Late nights and long days leading up and during meetings can leave attendees (and planners) drained and often sleep-deprived. Try skipping early breakfast meetings, make keynote speeches later in the morning or afternoon, and make time for naps or rest periods in between sessions.
4. Pay Attention to Food and Beverage
According to the IRF study, providing healthy food and beverages is one of the most impactful ways to encourage wellness during meetings. To that end, planners can ensure flavored “spa water” is readily available, aim for locally sourced and organic ingredients, and provide plenty of healthy snacks to encourage healthier choices.