Meeting planners seeking to know how many steps they take a day—or who need inspiration to move—turn to fitness trackers. But are such gadgets worthwhile, and can they be incorporated into events?
“I never have time to workout but a fitness tracker reminds me I am very active,” says Stewart Mann, CEO/CCO of Wild Rooster Events. He clocks 10,000 to 20,000 steps on event days, versus 2,000 to 3,000 normally.
Mann “loves the Samsung Galaxy because it looks and feels like a real watch, as opposed to the Apple Watch.”
Jodi Adcock, event planner, ExxonMobil, likes her Fitbit. “It’s skinnier than an Apple Watch and I don’t want to see emails when I’m checking the time.” She takes 6,000-7,000 steps daily but has registered 22,000 steps on event days.
Adcock finds the sleep indicator beneficial. “Tracking my sleep puts me at my best for this high stress job.”
Some planners share their love of fitness trackers with attendees. Kimberly Kapustein, event marketing manager, Zetron, this year brought a step counting contest back to a large trade show, after getting low participation in 2017.
Instead of setting a distance for participants to walk—making the previous challenge too easy for some and too tough for others—Zetron awarded $100, $200 and $300 Amazon gift cards to the three players who walked the most during a specified period.
The event was a success, she asserted. “We had over 200 people participate.”
Mann hasn’t held such an event but says he wouldn’t shy away from competing while at a meeting. “I’d probably pace in my hotel room all day and night, and proudly wear my first place medal.”
Meeting planner Tracy Stuckrath, president, thrive! meetings & events, who tracks with an Apple Watch, had a simpler motivation for participating. “Moving is important so I don’t get creaky.”