Wellness at Meetings: 4 Top Trends

Wellness at Meetings: 4 Top Trends

farm to fork, meetings
Planners are now asking their chefs where their meat and produce come from—and more chefs are relying on local purveyors and farmer’s markets like this one. (Natalie Maynor).

Everyone’s talking about wellness at meetings. Here are some top trends identified by the Incentive Research Foundation.

To learn more about integrating wellness at meetings, don’t miss our webinar April 26 at 1 p.m. featuring the IRF’s President, Melissa Van Dyke. Register here.

More fitness-focused amenities

As a backlash to the exhausting and relentless nonstop business environment created by e-mail and social media, participants are not only welcoming but expecting more fitness-focused items and experiences in their programs. This could be everything from luxury fitness retreats as a portion of the incentive travel event, “workout” tours in the host cities, or the promotion of apps like RunGo. Likewise, Boomers and GenXers continue to drive the Athleisure concept’s meteoric rise as reflected in everything from apparel (yoga work pants), to cosmetics (specialty cosmetics for the gym), to amenity trends (wellness gifts).

Healthy Instagrammable moments

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Although Millennials have less buying power than more mature generations, their influence in this trend is strong as well. With fewer resources to invest, they instead focused on “Wellth” – or creating an array of Instgrammable life experiences that showcase their investment in physical well-being.

Nutritious F&B

This extends to food trends as well, where alchemy-driven and wellness-focused cocktails derived from modern and ancient medicinal recipes are gaining ground. Additionally, hotels continue to expand their organic and gluten-free options. While this does drive up cost, it also shifts the focus from quantity to quality. For example, snack breaks that are less volume focused (i.e., mountains of cookies) and rather quality focused (three options of locally sourced, organic products).

Less stress

Across the board, the reduction of anxiety and a feeling of comfort will reign in 2018. This goes from hotels focusing on creating a more “frictionless” experience (shorter lines, on-demand services), to anxiety reduction products (fidget spinners), to on-site stress reduction practices (ancient tai chi meridian tapping). Likewise, the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hue-guh), or cozy comfort gathers steam with fluffy, yarn-ridden products everywhere and more comfortable seating with warm, friendly environments seeing a growth in events.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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