January 01, 2017

Wellness is permeating every aspect of many people's lives, including work/travel/business events. And while the spectrum of what defines wellness is huge, the good news is that there are myriad options and choices to customize any wellness program to fit your group's personality.

Here are some ideas for incorporating wellness elements into your program:

Create exercise events. Begin the day with simple stretching exercises and end it with deep breathing for stress relief. Ideas like that would take no more than a few minutes, yet they would tremendously benefit your group. Block out more time for a scheduled zumba class to really get your group's energy level up. In any case, think of ways to incorporate physical activity into your agenda throughout the day.

Outdoor options. Bring your group outside when possible for fresh air, room to roam and communing with nature. "With all the year-round great weather and the outdoor attractions and venue space we have to offer, we always urge groups to spend a significant amount of time outdoors," says Debi DeBenedetto, the Tourism Sales & Marketing Manager of the award-winning Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitor's Bureau. "There are the botanical gardens, NGALA wildlife preserve, sunset cruises, championship golf courses and so much more," she continues. Time in the sun, with the vitamin D that goes with it, will improve attendees' mental outlook. Look for a patio restaurant or a nearby park. 


 Make fitness a game. This can take the form of competitions involving teamwork or non-competitive quizzes on dieting, etc. If you're taking the competitive tack, send out push notifications throughout the conference via the meeting app that will keep attendees involved and updated on team rankings, etc. 

Specific breaks. All meetings have breaks, but to incorporate the wellness factor, make sure they're more frequent and encourage attendees to do specific stretching or other movements to refresh themselves. Give your group a specific walking route for during or after their lunch breaks. It will prove to be more effective than just suggesting that they walk.

Dig deeper on the diet front. While offering healthy food is a no-brainer, make sure you're consistent across the board. Healthy options for dinner shouldn't be negated by potato chips or high-fat dips at the reception. Your F&B needs to be closely scrutinized-some foods are deceptively unhealthy or over-caloric. Put the emphasis on food with fresh, locally sourced ingredients with as little processing as possible. Afternoon breaks should include fruit and some protein to counteract mental fatigue from a long day of meetings.

To learn about the meetings offerings in Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades, visit www.MeetinParadise.com.