Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 10 2016

The New Education Track Every Meeting Should Be Offering

By David McMillin

Attending a convention can take a serious toll on your body. You wake up early for networking breakfasts. You guzzle coffee and stuff yourself full of afternoon snacks to fuel your mind and body. You stay out late to connect with new business contacts over cocktails. And then, the next day, you do it all over again.

“The historical approach to a convention schedule hasn’t always been the most healthy way to get through the day,” Kelly Peacy, CAE, CMP, Senior Vice President, Education and Events, PCMA. says. “Programs are packed with education sessions and networking opportunities from early in the morning until late at night, and it can be difficult for attendees to stay in a regular routine with exercise and healthy eating habits.”

This year, at Convening Leaders in Vancouver, Peacy and the PCMA team are aiming to show leaders in the meetings industry how health-conscious programming can create a positive impact on the convention experience. Five “Being Your Best” education sessions will deliver tips on maximizing productivity, reducing stress and staying fit while traveling. In addition to earning credits for learning about wellness, attendees will have plenty of opportunities to put that education into action with a series of group fitness activities crafted by Tourism Vancouver and lululemon. Morning runs on Sunday and Tuesday and yoga classes on Monday and Wednesday will help participants start the day on a positive note. Even attendees who cannot make the 6:45 AM start times can take advantage of bite-sized tips in The Wellness Stop, located in Freeman’s Learning Lounge on Level 1 of the Vancouver Convention Centre.

SEE ALSO: Your Attendees Are Looking For A Healthy Lifestyle — Is Your Meeting Delivering?

Wellness — The Word On Everyone’s Minds

The 2016 Being Your Best offerings arrive as more attendees recognize the need to take better care of their bodies. Many of them are asking for vegetarian meal options, tracking their physical activity with wearable technologies and investing in yoga memberships. However, traveling can make all those steps turn in the wrong direction, and a 2015 survey conducted by Omni Hotels & Resorts revealed some troubling statistics about the issue: 70 percent of frequent travelers routinely gain weight when they travel, and 52 percent consume more alcohol away from home.

“Attendees are logging many miles to get to conventions, and meeting planners and suppliers have an opportunity to help them feel better once they arrive,” Peacy says. “Wellness applies to every kind of convention. Whether your meeting welcomes attendees in IT, finance, law, medicine or a range of other fields, they all share one common trait; they want to feel good about their dietary and exercise decisions. We hope Convening Leaders attendees will return home and outline ways to incorporate their own spin on Being Your Best into their programming offerings.”

The Being Your Best Program is brought to you by
Interested in learning how your colleagues are using health and wellness to enhance the attendee experience? Click here to learn how one trade show challenged attendees with two on-site wellness competitions.

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