Incorporating wellbeing strategies into event planning
Ensuring delegate wellbeing has long been on the agenda for the events industry, though now following months of pandemic disruption, it can no longer be considered just a ‘nice-to-have’ for event organisers. As we look to future event planning, things are going to look a little different, while still maintaining the principles of attendee safety and comfort we should always have been striving for.
Gone are the days of cramming hundreds into a room. Crowded spaces are so pre-Covid and guest lists are going to need to be more selective to keep numbers at a level that ensures delegates feel safe and relaxed. This should in turn improve the overall quality of the events that we do attend, as content is going to have to become more tailored and valuable to make it worth the while of those making the journey.
With so many of us having reclaimed a level of work/life balance thanks to sheltering in place, this progress is something we should aim to keep up. Sensitive scheduling that avoids school run timings and late-running sessions will benefit us all, rather than slipping back into old habits. Hybrid events offering virtual attendance alongside physical will also allow more freedom for attendees, plus means seating can be spaced out in the venue for additional peace of mind.
When planning for food and drink offerings, this may look a little different too. Think quality ingredients, creative offerings and more individual portioning options to avoid cross-contaminating buffet situations. Attendees may well be more adept in bringing their own vessels for hot drinks and water, so more refilling options than plastic bottles look to be a welcome future too.
The emergence of self-awareness when it comes to our technology use also should affect the way we structure our events. Breakout areas should be exactly that: a break away from tech and more of a space to connect with those around us, encourage conversation and even hold stretch or yoga sessions as an option for recharging our bodies instead of our phones.
We already hold all the tools for incorporating wellbeing strategies into event planning, and now it’s time to lead the charge into the new age of meeting where the delegate truly does come first.