What Wellness Means to Meeting Attendees—And How It Pays Off for Hosts
How to incorporate R&R into your next meeting for better ROI.
What do you think of when you picture the intersection of wellness and meetings? If you are conjuring a 10-minute yoga break or a juice bar at the morning keynote, that’s a great start. But there’s so much more to consider. These days, attendees expect organizers to prioritize their physical health and emotional wellbeing throughout the entire program—especially after such a tumultuous year.
Attendees’ wellness experiences start as soon as they touch down in a meeting’s host city. Is the arrival stressful, like time spent in major U.S. metro airports often can be, or does the initial experience set a soothing tone for the entire visit? While some are known to be downright circuslike, others are filled with thoughtfully curated amenities for comfort and convenience. Some are small enough to establish a boutique, resort-like atmosphere that promotes excitement—and preserves energy—for what’s to come.
In Greater Palm Springs, arriving at Palm Springs International Airport offers an all-around soothing indoor-outdoor experience that feels like landing at a tropical island oasis. (It’s been named among the most stress-free airports in America.)
Then there’s the host city itself: Does the overall destination support wellness? An intense urban environment can provide plenty of excitement, but may not support wellness in a way that entices attendees and meets their expectations for a travel experience at a time when health is top of mind.
Greater Palm Springs gets more than 300 days of sunshine annually and is flush with options for outdoor adventure, arts and culture, and health and wellness offerings. Locally, there are over 100 golf courses, plus legendary tennis venues, myriad hiking trails, and world-class spa facilities. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens offers a chance to bond with nature amid a serene environment, and museums and boutique shops abound. Greater Palm Springs is also both family friendly and famously LGBTQ friendly, so the destination creates a supportive, soothing, and invigorating environment for not just meeting attendees but for their loved ones, too.
We know the experience of wellness matters to meeting attendees—and can even drive their willingness to participate. But wellness programming incorporated into meetings offers payoffs for organizers, too.
Research shows an ROI from wellness programs in the workplace, which save employers money on healthcare costs and increase productivity because employees take fewer sick days. Versions of these benefits also apply to meetings, which are like condensed microcosms of work life.
Consider that an employee who isn’t feeling well—emotionally or physically—is less productive than one who exercises, produces natural endorphins, gets enough rest, eats healthily, and consequently feels ready to tackle the workday. That premise applies logically to the meeting attendee: A healthy attendee shows up engaged, inspired and ready to generate ideas that can translate to a boost in the organization’s business goals.
One example cited by Harvard Business Review shows the potential for payoff in the meeting space: The company Healthwise regularly invited team members to share a healthy snack and connect with others. One executive called it “adult recess,” describing the program as an investment that “pays back in spades” by facilitating opportunities for connections.
Connections are what meetings are all about, after all. And successful planners will do everything possible to facilitate them.
What could that look like for your next meeting? Maybe it’s a venue and accommodations with indoor-outdoor environments, quiet spaces and calming color palettes, like the Palm Springs Convention Center. Maybe it’s a destination with plenty of options for outdoor adventure, arts and culture, and health and wellness offerings.
The holistic approach matters because wellness at meetings isn’t just about fulfilling attendees’ expectations amid a buzz-worthy lifestyle trend and creating a reassuring experience that inspires them. It’s also about establishing a healthy, engaged and inspired foundation that translates to bottom-line success.
So think beyond that yoga or juice break. There’s so much more to wellness for both planners and attendees.
This article was written by Greater Palm Springs. Our team is ready to assist you in creating inspirational, unforgettable—and safe—meetings. With year-round sunshine and unlimited outdoor space, the options for your next Southern California meeting or event are endless. Book with confidence knowing the safety of your attendees is a top priority for our destination.
(Greater Palm Springs)