“Wellness” isn’t as much a trend as it is a lifestyle for many people. More and more people are becoming aware that, in a world where “busy” is the new norm, it’s critical to put more thought, time, and effort into one’s physical and mental wellbeing.
So how can you help your members do that when they’re out of town at your conference and off their normal schedule? Here are a few ideas:
1. Offer healthy snacks between sessions
Hopefully the meals you’re offering your attendees are already pretty healthy in nature, but in addition to that, consider offering healthy snacks between educational sessions and/or during breaks. Your attendees are likely soaking up information, so provide them with a little brain food! Carrots, bananas, hummus, trail mix, etc. You could even turn it into something fun, like a Brain Boost Bar!
2. Host active add-ons
Do you offer any activities (likely for an added fee) outside of your actual conference? And if so, are any of those activities actually active? For example, a morning yoga session or a group run. It’s important to at least give people the option of participating in something active, particularly if your event spans multiple days. (Plus, as long as it doesn’t cost too much to plan and execute, it’s a great source of non-dues revenue!)
Tip: If your event changes location year-to-year, use that to help determine what activities you’ll offer. For example, if you’re near a beach, could you offer paddle boarding or surfing lessons? Or, if you’re near a river, could kayaking be an option? The more unique the activity (and the more native to the location), the more interested attendees are likely to be.
3. Encourage walking sessions or one-on-ones
You’ve likely heard (and possibly even noticed) that more and more attendees are preferring interactive sessions. Well, could you take that concept and also add in a splash of wellness? For example, encourage the speakers of your smaller sessions to take attendees on a little walk. The group could chat, while getting in a few steps. Same thing goes for one-on-ones. Do you offer “Brain Dates” or anything like that - one-on-one educational opportunities? If so, those could be more of a walk and talk!
But note: If you do decide to experiment with these, just make sure your attendees know beforehand which sessions and/or one-on-ones are going to be active. You don’t want to catch anyone off guard.
And make sure the walks are also very casual in nature. The point here isn’t to work up a sweat. It’s to give attendees the opportunity to move around a little.
Have you tried incorporating any wellness activities into your organization’s conference? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
And for more tips on conference and event planning, check out our free guide! In it, you’ll find tips for conference promotion, onsite engagement, post-event engagement, and more!