Return on Wellness

Skift Take

Attendee wellness is a hot topic for planners. Providing wellness opportunities as part of business events can not only offer health benefits to attendees, it can also provide high-quality networking and bonding opportunities.

David T Stevens is the director of field marketing and global events at data.world. He first encountered the meeting industry as a senior in high school. Since then, he has had a 20-year career planning events, meetings and incentives for numerous organizations. Stevens hosts a Youtube series called Return on Wellness and recently contributed to a white paper on the same topic.

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The Evolution of Field Marketing

Stevens enjoys working in field marketing. He enjoys how field marketing allows organizations to go beyond exhibiting in the traditional sense. It allows companies to enhance their connection with their audience by creating external activations. It requires the organization to determine who they want to interact with and actively seek out their attendance.

Creativity Is Memorable

Companies often follow a traditional approach when exhibiting at conferences and events. However, in Stevens’ experience, creative approaches can often be less expensive yet more memorable to the audience and attendees. From the booth to offsite activations, there are tangible benefits to using the space or engaging with an audience creatively. If we can create more impactful moments, they can lead to attracting a great audience and new leads. 

Sweatworking and Wellness Trends

A growing number of event professionals are less interested in the alcohol-based social aspect often associated with meetings and events. Instead, they are more interested in incorporating more physical activity or general wellness into their attendance. Many attendees may be attending multiple conferences a year, sometimes in succession. Therefore providing opportunities for them to make sustainable healthy choices is important. Bringing sweatworking into the event programming allows everyone to work out together. For Stevens, beyond the benefits of getting some physical activity before the start of the day’s sessions, there are also great opportunities for bonding, networking, and motivating each other. 

Shorter Sessions and Food that Fuels

Attention spans have shrunk since the pandemic. Therefore, event planners must consider how much information an attendee can process and retain. Stevens encourages planners to allow attendees to take time, step away from sessions, and process the information. Ensuring high-quality food options are available, such as providing good protein choices, will also ensure attendees can focus and retain information to a higher level.

Time-Conscious Attendees

Another lasting impact of the pandemic is that attendees are very protective of their time, making them more selective about what they attend. They want to know what they will be doing, why they will be doing it, and the benefits they’ll get from investing their time. Knowing this, Stevens recommends that planners make the value proposition crystal clear. The value of participating must be carefully communicated through marketing materials that help potential attendees decide if this is something they want to give their time to.

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