June 01, 2017

Wellness has gone from buzzword to foregone conclusion at most meetings and events. As it expands its influence and scope, what are some ways that wellness can stay fresh and original? Let's look at some tips and hear some perspectives.

Provide choices beyond F&B. A strenuous competitive sport might turn off some attendees, but the Zumba class might be right in their comfort zone. Offer both. A choice gives them empowerment and makes for a happier and more productive attendee.

Create greater awareness. Introduce your group to ideas, products and concepts that can benefit them beyond the boardroom. For example, there are many apps that can enrich them during and beyond the meeting, such as apps that help them locate health-minded eateries, find inner peace, take them through a workout and more. So wherever your attendees are, they're never far from healthy. 

Carve out some time for giving back. Mental health is important too. Many studies are showing that a great way to relieve stress and gain perspective is by bonding with animals. For example, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W) on Sanibel gives groups an opportunity to see one of the nation's leading wildlife rehabilitation hospitals in action. Your group can learn all about their process, practices and history for aiding injured, sick and orphaned animals.

Know your group when planning a physical activity. For any fitness activity, account for a wide range of physical abilities. Unless your group is made up of athletes, you're going to get a mixed bag of shapes, ages and health levels. One activity usually does not fit all, so pick something that can be scaled up or down to meet individual preferences.
Combine physical and mental fitness. A scavenger hunt or shelling competition can include both a physical and mental challenge. "Shelling is a must-try activity for any group visiting a coastal area like Fort Myers/Sanibel," says Pamela Johnson, deputy director of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. In fact, for an activity-educational tie-in, the National Shell Museum on Sanibel can serve as a post-meeting attraction.

Incorporate some form of learning. Learning a new skill is a great team-building experience as well as serving to broaden attendees' horizons. How about a sailing school? Captiva is one locale that can set up your group with sailing lessons. "Groups can spend an afternoon on the Gulf and get to know each other while learning a thing or two about sailing," says Johnson. For larger conferences and events, consider a wellness booth or wellness coaches who can impart their knowledge and experience.
Think outside the box, but keep it simple. In fact, when it comes to wellness, simplicity is often key. How about a smoothie bar instead of an open bar? An acupuncturist instead of an entertainment act? What if you held a meeting on a walk? At 365 acres, Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve is the second-largest preserved green space in Cape Coral. Visitors of any age can work through the preserve on the boardwalk. Your group can talk while they walk and could see eagles, ibis, herons and other wading and migratory birds.

For more information about meetings options on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, visit https://www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/meetings

Discover these tempting resorts by clicking on the property name:

Sundial Beach Resort and Spa (Sanibel Island, FL)
The Westin Cape Coral at Marina Village (Cape Coral, FL)
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort (Bonita Springs, FL)
South Seas Island Resort (Captiva Island, FL)