Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 12 2013

Major Hotel Gets Serious About Getting Healthy

By Daniel Metz

I’m always nervous about using the hotel gym.

There aren’t enough exercise options for me.

Besides having vending machines, maybe have a healthy snack bar or something.

These are just three highlights from real guest feedback on the new EVEN Hotels website, a new concept from InterContinental Hotels Group with plans to open two properties in the US by early 2014. The thinking behind EVEN is fairly simple: people are tired of feeling unhealthy when they’re traveling for business and attending conferences.

As the hotelier outlined plans for the EVEN brand, the process included talking to more than 4,000 customers about their longing for opportunities to take better care of themselves while away from home. The result? EVEN properties will feature in-room fitness elements, equipment that guests can check out, space for small group fitness classes, natural outdoor spaces, healthier food options, filtered drinking water and more. For a glimpse of what EVEN Hotels will look like, click here.

SEE ALSO: Big Hotel Looks for Innovation Advice

While there is no official word on projected room rates for EVEN guests, data shows that people are willing to pay quite the collective price tag to feel and look good. Adam Glickman, head of EVEN Hotels, cites an estimate from McKinsey & Company that projects global health and wellness sales will reach $1 trillion by 2017.

The entire meetings industry can take a cue from those statistics to recognize that many attendees share the same concerns of the users who have submitted feedback to IHG. To help meet their well-being needs, plenty of planners are already taking simple steps such as offering healthier on-site food and beverage options, organizing conference 5K runs and providing yoga or tai chi classes for attendees.

Have you added any elements to your meeting to help promote wellness? Tell us about how you have designed your program to meet new demands for better eating and exercise options.

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