Adding health and wellness to the itinerary
Engaged audiences drive successful events. And while flashy technologies and compelling content put people in the seats, adding health and wellness breaks are an easy and effective way of keeping them alert and involved.
Understanding this, Palais des congrès de Montréal has welcomed Organik as the newest member of CITE, the venue’s in-house Event Lab, to help event planners turn warm bodies into active participants.
“Attending an event usually means sitting down for long periods of time over multiple days, and that’s not necessarily conducive to active learning and participation,” says Scott Simons, Founder and CEO of Organik.
No matter how interesting an event is, he adds, sitting down for twenty minutes or more at a time tends to trigger responses in the brain that make it difficult to give one’s undivided attention. Specifically, idle states tend to disconnect brains from higher executive functioning and lull individuals into a more passive and (sometimes) stressful state.
“If you’re in an event and you’re supposed to be focused, you want to stay connected to that evolved part of the human brain,” adds Simons. “To do that, you need to get up every so often, move around, and re-engage your senses to get your mind back to a more productive and receptive place.”
There are ample benefits to adding mental and physical breaks to an event schedule. That doesn’t have to mean holding races or renting out a spa, but occasional breaks from sitting that provide a much-needed boost to their energy and concentration levels.
“Take, for instance, meditation or breathing exercises where we’re simply getting people to close their eyes and relax their muscles around the eyes,” says Simons. “That simple action alone sends a signal to the brain that everything is OK and that it can go back to functioning at its highest potential.”
The Palais des congrès has long been an advocate for exploring new and effective ways to capture guests’ attentions. It makes sense, then, that the venue partnered with Simons who started Organik in 2006 with the specific goal of promoting mental and physical wellness in the corporate world through a wide range of exercises and activities.
“By partnering with the Palais des congrès, we can now help any group that comes through add health and wellness programs to their event,” he explains. “Our mission is to reconnect guests to their bodies with everything from yoga classes, Zumba, nutrition counseling, or even our rooftop ‘Cinq à sweats’ classes. Anything the client asks for through the Palais in terms of health and wellness, we can offer it.”
Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a pause on live programming for the time being. That said, Simons and his team continue to provide Palais groups with virtual sessions.
“Right now, we’re doing all of our classes and activities remotely because that’s just the reality. Fortunately, the feedback we’re getting from participants is that these virtual health and wellness sessions are still very well received and effective.
No doubt, he adds, Palais des congrès partnership with Organik has helped promote the need and value of embedding health and wellness programming into any gathering: “Our collaboration has been great, not only for the guests that we work with at the Palais, but for all the organizations we’ve met through this partnership. Even today, as part of MTL Reunion, I’m giving a five-minute health break for 2000 people across 30 countries, which is something that Organik would not have done if not for this arrangement.”
Learn more about Organik and its meeting and event programs online. Also discover other ways Palais des congrès de Montréal can energize your event.