As more attendees arrive at events wearing FitBits, Jawbones, and smartwatches that can track their every move, it’s clear that the meetings industry’s future will be built on wellness. Earlier this year, PCMA launched a walking challenge for individual attendees at Convening Leaders in Austin, and now, the organization is ready to make walking an off-site team sport with its first-ever Chapter Walking Challenge. Sponsored by Caesars Entertainment and Heka Health, the three-day friendly competition comes with a number of valuable prizes, including Caesars Wellness Getaways, Education Conference registrations, high-roller experiences in Las Vegas, and more.
“Heka Health is extremely honored to have its connected health platform power the 2017 PCMA Walking Challenge,” Tony Salah, CEO of Heka Health, told PCMA via email. “Launching the challenge at Convening Leaders was an amazing experience for our team. Seeing the high level of participation, the intense yet friendly competition, and the new connections emerging across the community underlined that the challenge goes well beyond tracking who walks the most steps. We are truly excited as we approach the upcoming Chapter Challenge.”
Reina Herschdorfer, director of marketing at Caesars Entertainment National Meetings & Events, echoed the excitement about the company’s role as the official wellness sponsor for PCMA. “Wellness has been an important part of our culture for a long time,” Herschdorfer said. “We encourage our team to be healthy and fit, and we work with our meeting planners to implement wellness into their meetings to create more inspired and energized attendees.”
The walking challenge, Herschdorfer added, “echoes the wellness message we have been working diligently to spread.” The competition officially kicks off on Monday, April 10 at 9:00 a.m. CDT and runs through Wednesday, April 12 at 4:00 p.m. CDT. Click here to download the app and discover all the competition details.
Weaving Wellness Into Your Next Event
When Convening Leaders initiated its walking challenge, PCMA was tapping into the growing trend to make events more wellness-focused. After all, traditional conference programs can create some unhealthy habits. Between cocktails at late-night post-reception gatherings to early-morning breakfasts with business partners, attendees can easily fall out of their regular, healthier routines during a three-day program — and not by choice. A 2015 study of travel agents in North America and Europe conducted by Spafinder Wellness 365 revealed that 79 percent of respondents reported a demand for healthier business meetings with healthy food, fitness, and spa experiences. Of course, you may not be able to deliver spa coupons to thousands of attendees, but there are simple steps you can take to make a meeting more health-conscious. From taking a cue from the Heka Health’s walking challenges to arranging afternoon yoga sessions to reducing portion sizes at lunches, there are loads of ways to make business events better for the mind and body.
Attendee wellness isn’t just about traditional exercise or light F&B options. It’s equally important to incorporate into your program opportunities for them to embrace the outdoors to stimulate their brains. As you’re adding up your steps during the challenge, take a break on April 11 at 1:00 p.m. CDT for the PCMA Webinar “How Nature Can Help You Create a Healthy Life & Event.” Click here to register.