Are you dreading your next onsite corporate meeting, surrounded by heavy banquet meals, dinners, appetizers, break stations loaded with everything from rich entrees to those decadent hotel brownies and blondies followed by long stretches of sitting? Our corporate meeting planners are happy to be experiencing an increase in requests for healthier options and activities at our clients’ corporate meetings and events.
“In addition to the benefits for our clients and their attendees, our staff also feels more productive and rejuvenated onsite,” says American Meetings COO, Todd Bludworth. “Plus, it saves budget dollars that can be used to enhance another aspect of the meeting or event.”
Creating healthier menus and breaks is a great start, and here are some additional activities we have implemented with much success:
- Short fitness breaks between sessions to help stimulate blood flow and reenergizing meeting attendees.
- Incorporate yoga and breathing exercises as part of the itinerary so attendees go home not only feeling relaxed but equipped to better manage daily stresses at work. (These exercises are especially popular with our sales and internal meetings.)
- Create electronic versions of key takeaways – the less paper attendees take home, the less clutter in their workspaces. By creating clean, clutter-free work spaces, workers are more productive and less overwhelmed.
- Take the meeting outdoors (if space allows) – fresh air and sensory stimuli can reawaken a group, resulting in fresh ideas, inspiration and relaxation.
- Incorporate curriculum that teaches lifestyle changes into meeting itinerary – attendees will go home with a new understanding on achieving work-life balance.
- Include nutrition information on menus and food labels to raise awareness of healthy eating.
- Use the money saved on lighter menus toward including hotel gym access for all meeting attendees or one free chair massage for meeting attendees.
- Make local maps available at your registration desk that outline the closest hiking/jogging trails, parks and other active ventures.
- Send daily tweets, texts or emails to meeting attendees with a healthy tip of the day.
- Take more intimate sessions “on the road” by holding walking meetings.
- Start each session with a stretching activity.
- Place health magazines and journals around the common break spaces.
Have a healthy meeting!