Virtual fatigue has impacted many, and companies are looking for ways to help. MeetingPlay, an event technology pioneer that is hyper-focused on creating connections, has created a virtual engagement platform.
“Health and wellness experiences have grown to be an expected element of meetings and events,” says Joe Schwinger, CEO of MeetingPlay. “With the industry’s shift to virtual, it should still remain a priority. Workdays are still long and demanding and inevitably attendees will bring stress with them to your virtual events, so help them alleviate heavy burdens by promoting focus, engagement, and balance with these six wellness-related activities.”
- Lead by Example: When you incorporate health and wellness, make sure it feels authentic and not forced. If, as a planner, you believe in the value of including wellness activities in your virtual event, it will translate more like fun and less like a chore on a checklist. Highlight the portions in the event timeline that are designed to promote health and let participants know what to expect with a brief description. This will let participants know ahead of time that the virtual event will accommodate breaks, physical and mental exercises, mediation, connectivity and more.2. Give attendees a break: Attention spans are short. Help participants stay focused by building in short, free-form breaks throughout your virtual event. No need for instructions here, just let attendees disengage from screens and slideshows so they can walk around, send text messages, respond to emails, etc. These 15-minute breaks help minimize stress and can reenergize participants when they do return to learning sessions. People are more likely to contribute and retain valuable information when they can focus.3. Move Your Body: For something a little more structured, try a couple of short fitness breaks to get attendees’ blood (and ideas) flowing. Activities like stretching, dancing, or walking can invigorate your attendees, improve their cognitive performance, and boost mood. You could organize a short workout break in between sessions or provide online workouts or dance videos. If that is too off-topic, consider providing a “wellness hub” with links in a separate stream so those interested can change up the pace with a fun workout activity. You can encourage participation by awarding gamification points to attendees who visit the wellness hub.
4. Calm the Mind: Mental health is just as important as physical health. Research on mental health in the meeting and event industry has revealed that professionals are 65% more likely to suffer from mental health issues today than they did only five years ago. Find ways to incorporate activities that stimulate and calm the mind. Guided meditations, novice yoga sessions are a good way to decrease stress and fortify the immune system.
5. Create Deep Connections: A desire for connectivity is at the heart of the human experience, which is now just as much virtual as it is live. Having a sense of connection with others has been proven to increase people’s longevity by 50%, strengthens people’s immune systems, lower rates of depression and anxiety. So, to increase your attendees’ overall wellness, create an environment for personal connections within your virtual event.
There are a number of ways an event planner can achieve this. MeetingPlay offers AI guided attendee matching to help you make the most of networking during an event by matching you with other attendees based on common interests. End the day’s session with a virtual happy hour or, since we are talking about good health here, leave out the alcohol, and wrap things up with a campfire circle. This is a good way to put business and learning aside to know teammates better.
In a simulated live virtual session from MeetingPlay, speakers’ presentations are pre-recorded. While they are playing, the presenter is available in real time to answer questions and engage with the audience. This opens the door to relevant conversations and meaningful connections while keeping the presentation moving forward on-schedule. If your event features special guests, highlighted presenters, or celebrities, consider an additional virtual version of a fireside chat or an “ask me anything” session to further engage attendees in open conversation. These can be inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and with many celebrities and entertainers stuck at home, they are more accessible and reasonably priced than ever.
6. Health Tip Reminders: If you’re using a mobile event app for your event, utilize the push notification feature to send attendees personalized “healthy tips of the day.” These tips or reminders can be sayings like, “Don’t forget to stretch,” “Be mindful,” “Drink more water,” or “Get your steps in!” Many people are used to smartphone notifications, so these health-related reminders may be an added value in a familiar format. It also reinforces your commitment to promoting good health throughout your event.
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