Sneaky Wellness: New Term from the Prevue-IRF Meet Well Conference

Meet Well, meeting
Attendees donned chef hats for a meeting with the MGM chef, who discussed the healthy Stay Well menu.

A new white paper and research released at this week’s Meet Well conference in Las Vegas—a collaboration between Prevue and the Incentive Research Foundation—show a divide between wellness practices that planners would like to include in their meetings and what their budgets or management will allow.

As a result, the Meet Well attendees referred to practicing “sneaky wellness,” in other words, finding ways to sneak in healthy elements regardless.

Sure, they serve cookies, but ones made from healthy ingredients. They might not hold a 5k but instead will create a contest for the person who takes the most steps, using one of the free apps attendees can download right to their phones. Perhaps they won’t get the go-ahead to bring in a Tai chi instructor, but chair yoga is easy and can be done by anyone, in any clothes.

During a brainstorming session, participants listed some of the main roadblocks they faced when trying to incorporate wellness into their events. Among them: cost, time, resources, a diverse audience and perception.

Among the wellness practices meeting planners are using in their programs, according to the new IRF research:

  • The top standard preferred food & beverage wellness inclusions for meetings and events were healthy snacks (83%), water and reduced calorie drinks (82%) and fish, chicken and lean meats (80%)
  • Smoke-free facilities (90%) and free access to fitness facilities (80%) were the top-ranked standard or preferred meeting design elements supporting wellness
  • Offering water and reduced calorie drinks as the default (77%) had the lowest expected impact on F&B budgets.
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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.