The Wellness Journey: A New Playbook for Planners

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Certified Wellness Counselor Kelly Bishop, CMM, CMP, introduces Wellevate Experiences.

Everyone’s talking about how wellness has become a priority at meetings and events. But, what are planners doing to ensure that attendees truly experience a wellness journey? “Now is the time,” says Kelly Bishop, CMM, CMP, “to do things differently and to make wellness the priority that companies say it is. Wellness isn’t just about site selection. Wellness and positive mindset are created through onsite experiences.”

A certified wellness counselor and former global events leader with a Fortune 500 company, Bishop recently launched Wellevate Experiences to help planners achieve attendee wellbeing at meetings and events. “When onsite,” she says, “attendees go at a pace of 110 miles per hour while eating, drinking, and sleeping outside of their normal home routine.” Even when they leave feeling thrilled with the experience, she notes, they also tend to feel exhausted, foggy, and low energy when they get back home. But, “if given wellbeing tools and support to keep up positive behaviors while traveling, attendees would feel happier, have a healthier mindset, be more present to learn from others, be more positive about their overall experience and share positive takeaways with their teams back home.” In this scenario, attendee ROI will soar.

With a title of chief positivity officer, Bishop’s philosophy of “pick positive” informs her Wellevate services. “The meetings, events and hospitality industry are perfect places to help people create positive mindsets and behavior habits that lead to incredible contagious energy, happiness and productivity,” she says. During her 25 years of experience running meetings, Bishop always packed her running shoes for early morning fitness, brought her own smoothie powder, did her best to get seven hours of sleep, stayed hydrated, and wrote notes of motivation and gratitude to her onsite team members. “It was important to my wellbeing to stick to the positive travel routines I created and I held myself accountable each day on the road just as I did when at home,” she says. “I knew that if I felt good in mind, body and heart, I would lead the event team to the best of my ability and be able to tackle any challenging opportunity that came my way with a clear and positive mindset—while creating a positive vibe and feeling of happiness for others as well.”

Wellevate Experiences offers many options to weave wellness into meeting content: through activities, food and beverage, gifting, give-back experiences, mindful meeting moments, daily motivational and positive messaging, leadership training, coaching breakouts and more. And even before the meeting begins, the signature Get Up & Move program gives attendees a head start creating positive behaviors.

Attendees sign up for Get Up & Move and fill out a brief survey during event registration. The program kicks in four weeks before the meeting starts, with Bishop providing weekly “learnings” on such topics as the importance of daily exercise, hydration and healthy eating. “Daily motivation, accountability and networking will be led through an app for the group,” she says. Plus, “a playlist designed by the group will be shared for really getting pumped up.” By the time the meeting starts, participants have formed new friendships and behaviors, from opting for mocktails at evening events to meeting up for early morning walks or runs. “The motivation, accountability and positive mindset is contagious,” says Bishop. “Attendees who take part in Get Up & Move will develop positive travel habits and feel present and alert during the event. They will leave feeling renewed, refreshed, inspired and ready to share.”

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