Moving into the new year, planners are recognizing a shift to and growth in wellness-related industries. For large-scale event planners and company meeting planners alike, this trend should be on your radar. According to the Skift Megatrend Report, attendees are striving for happier and healthier lifestyles through athleisure brands, on-demand fitness videos, media consumption and more—so why not incorporate their wellness into the events they attend, as well?
The Fitness v. Wellness Balance
Many people enjoy switching small moments into their day to improve their health—but the step toward fitness can be daunting. Finding ways to incorporate fitness and activity into the lives of and routines of your attendees can be the first step they’ve been afraid to take. If you’re planning a small company bonding outing, consider offering a Soul Cycle experience or establishing a team for your local 5k run. If you’re running a larger event, look to partner with companies who push for health and wellness in their mission statements.
That being said, when plenty of people think of living a healthier lifestyle, they think of the overcrowded gym parking lot on the first of January. But wellness isn’t just about fitness; it’s about so much more than that. Promoting wellness essentially tells your attendees that you care about them on more than just a numeric, ROI, surface engagement level. Instead, it reminds them that you care about who they are, and how they live their lives to the best of their ability. You don’t simply care that they’re active, but rather that they’re taking care of themselves, that they’re striving for a life of happiness and fulfillment. Whether it's a company meeting or conference, providing wellness-centric opportunities tells your employees that the company culture is one that values living one’s best life, and that you’re there to help them do exactly that.
Meditation and yoga are two ways to incorporate a more holistic approach to wellness. Planners don’t want burnt out, exhausted, hardly-paying-attention attendees. Planners want attendees to feel that they are exactly where they want to be! Meditation and yoga—along with well-timed breaks during your events—can help your attendees to re-center, ground themselves, and refocus their attention as they desire to. A straight day full of session-after-session programming can be well-segmented with a guided meditation or interactive yoga to keep your attendees from becoming overwhelmed with information.
Food & Beverage Options
Is an event really a worthy event without food and beverages? In 2019, planners need to shift their focus to creative healthy alternatives. A simple salad will no longer prove to be sufficient for attendees, so planners ought to look into more exciting healthy options. Smoothies—specifically fun, fruity ones—are a popular healthy component that can serve as a substitute for morning bagels or as a substantial midday snack. Color is key, too. Find ways to work greens, reds and yellows into meals. For small company outings, find an experiential activity that’s centered around healthy alternatives. Cooking classes, for example, often offer opportunities for the calorie-conscious.
What other wellness F&B trends can you take advantage of? One word: mocktails. Color comes into play for this trend too—but so does a larger sense of wellness. Often companies and events rely upon liquor-driven happy hours. While happy hours are certainly fun, they may not be the perfect fit for every attendee, or for your company culture. Meanwhile, mocktails are fun, fruity, and most importantly—keep everyone comfortable and healthy.
Lastly, planners should remember to keep an eye on sustainable trends that keep not only attendees healthy, but the environment healthy. In the end, eliminating plastic straws, avoiding cheap giveaways and providing accessible recycling are all small effort, large impact action items that will make your attendees—especially the most environmentally aware ones—happier.