As event managers, we are inundated with ideas from our councils, boards, speakers, exhibitors, vendors, attendees and staff. Everyone has a suggestion to help us meet our yearly goal. A similarly overwhelming menu of choices faces us as we search for just that right virtual platform. The same, unfortunately is true of wellness.
The apps, videos, virtual and outdoor workout options are endless these days. Not to mention the diet, nutritional, meditation, how to cook, paint, write and publish books classes and web sites that are now at our fingertips. It seems like online opportunities are falling from the sky these days. But how do we choose which one works for us specifically? If we don’t like the first one we find, how do we move on?
A Tapas Approach to Building a Routine
Holly Whitaker, the author of Quit Like a Woman suggests trying multiple options more than once. That goes for therapists, group hangouts, yoga teachers and hiking trails. Not everything fits perfect the first time you try it on. They aren’t all going to be the best the first time, but finding what works takes patience and persistence.
Imagine going to the Cheesecake Factory and instead of a 35-page menu, you have one choice, a hamburger. You order a coke and it was flat, the burger was undercooked and the cheesecake hadn’t yet dethawed from the freezer. And you are a vegan anyway so none of it would have worked for you.
What we need are guided choices. Just as in our role as meeting professionals, we create multiple tracks clearly marketed so people have an idea what to expect when they step into the room (or the Zoom room in the case of virtual meetings), we need to be able to dip into multiple fitness experiences to find a combination that meets our individual goals.
Some semblance of online, in person, high intensity, low intensity, laughing yoga, silent Zumba, water aerobics, grunting with dumbbells, in a gym, at a park, running, slow walking, with a group, on a bike, with a lesson plan, without a trainer, with someone screaming at you could keep you motivated while fitting into your busy schedule of rebooking the rebookings. You do not have to do a full stop at the first one you see and stick with it for years to come. Mixing it up can make the routine fresh again.
Catering to Attendee Wellness
The same Cheesecake Factory approach to offering fitness for attendees might result in happier, healthier outcomes at your events. You don’t know if your attendees would like high intensity, light yoga or a sound bath versus a 5k run to benefit this year’s charity. Why not ask them?
Properly presented choices can be a refreshing gift rather than a daunting list that makes stretching feel like a burden. Proper communication and scheduling so they don’t have to wake up before the sun or skip an educational session to play golf will allow them to opt for a win-win schedule.
Give yourself the gift of trying whatever you are offering attendees first. Experience the different classes and styles so you can attest not just to the food and meeting flow, but also to the serotonin and endorphins from the wellness option, too.
This pandemic gave us the gift of choices and yes, that can be overwhelming, but better to overwhelm than undercook, right?
Hadley McClellan has nearly 20 years of experience in the conference industry planning everything from small luncheons to running events in South America to her current role as senior manager of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. She is the founder of EvConFITNESS.com, a website that connects event organizers with wellness classes, both in person and virtually. She also teaches yoga in a gym, virtually and on Stand Up Paddle Boards.