Why Bring Nature into Your Next Event?

Meeting outside is proven to have multiple benefits. Find out what they are and how you can incorporate them into your next event.

If you’re looking for a way to infuse your next meeting with more chances for creativity and mindfulness in a healthy environment that leads to improved team building, it may be time to opt outside.

Exposure to nature has been linked to benefits ranging from improved attention to lower stress, better mood and even increased empathy and cooperation. And it’s not likely to add much cost to your event either—after all, sunshine is free.

For tips on how to incorporate more nature into your next event, we turned to the pros at Visit Reno Tahoe.

Get Outside for Health Benefits

It’s no secret that health and safety have been at the forefront of most people’s minds for the past few years.

“Often in these times, the primary appeal of outdoor meetings is the safety aspect,” said Charles Harris, president and CEO of Visit Reno Tahoe. “But we’ve long known that meeting outdoors has other health benefits for attendees.”

Moving an event to a space that allows for more outdoor experiences allows attendees to both enjoy the health benefits of outside air and sunlight, while adding a valuable safety element to an event. With 300 days of annual sunshine, chances are good for an infusion of vitamin D when you plan an event in Reno Tahoe.

“Getting outside is imperative in Reno Tahoe,” Harris said, “as it’s home to the largest concentration of ski resorts in North America. During the summer, outdoor activities include swimming, hiking, mountain biking, cycling and stand-up paddleboarding.”

While the gorgeous vistas of the Lake Tahoe area are as familiar as a picture postcard, the region is filled with opportunities for more outdoor event spaces, such as scenic Wilbur D. May Museum and Arboretum in the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.

The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens showcase a variety of more than 4,000 plant species and beautiful garden layouts across nearly 23 acres.

Focusing on the outdoors isn’t just good for your attendees’ health, though. As more focus is placed on keeping outdoor spaces beautiful, there is renewed interest in sustainability.

“Here in the Reno Tahoe area, we offer several ways for visitors to get involved in what we refer to as sustainable tourism,” Harris said. “For instance, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful hosts various events throughout the region to serve their mission of waste reduction, education and community involvement. Volunteers recently planted flowers beside the new ReTRAC mural in downtown Reno.”

Nature Boosts Creativity & Mindfulness

With studies showing that getting outside in nature boosts creativity and improves mental health, it seems only natural (pun intended) that meeting attendees would benefit from some outdoor time during your next event.

“The city of Reno itself is filled with public art in the form of sculptures and larger-than-life murals gracing the walls of many buildings,” Harris pointed out. “Attendees can not only boost their brains with fresh air but they can also surround themselves with creativity.”

In fact, Reno is home to 100 murals in Midtown alone, helping to infuse events with a unique artistic flavor.

The art doesn’t stop at murals. Within walking distance of several hotels and meeting venues, Reno’s Neon Line features a collection of world class art, including sculptures formerly at Burning Man.

“Art is so personal and bringing that element into your meeting can help people connect with other attendees and new ideas in ways that are deeply meaningful,” Harris said.

Expanded Options for Team Building

Making connections with fellow attendees is a core tenet of association meetings and one way to ensure deeper connections between attendees is through outdoor activities.

A popular area for outdoor activities that doesn’t require any travel outside of the downtown Reno area is the Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield Park. Integrating nature right into the urban environment, the park is open year-round and free to the public for kayaking, canoeing, inner tubing and whitewater rafting.

If getting on the water isn’t of interest to your attendees, Harris also suggests hiking as a team building activity. Research from the American Psychological Association has shown that walking meetings increase creativity by 81-100 percent.

“While walking has obvious physical health benefits, we know it’s also been proven to help build positive relationships with team members,” Harris said. Conveniently, there are several options for hiking trails both within minutes of downtown Reno and in the nearby Lake Tahoe region.

“Attendees are ready to reconnect with one another,” Harris said. “Many have rediscovered the joy of getting back to nature and we’ve seen that bringing an outdoor element to your meeting has many benefits.”

Want help planning your next event from people who can help you infuse it with all the outdoor opportunities that Reno Tahoe provides? Learn more and start planning your next meeting at

(Handout photo)