Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Ideas for Incorporating Health and Wellness at Your Next Meeting

There is a growing interest in wellness as many people are seeking to live a healthier lifestyle. While the definition of wellness differs from person to person, it is clear that wellness should incorporate meals and movement. We’re now seeing the concept of wellness extending into events and meetings, and even seeing wellness-focused events geared toward meeting planners!

While many planners may feel they are incorporating healthy choices and wellness activities for their events, the truth is, they may be falling short. If the point of a wellness-centric event is to help attendees stay energized and remain focused and motivated, then planners may need to re-evaluate their strategy.

As a planner and pro bodybuilder, I tackle wellness from a different level. However, much of my bodybuilding lifestyle is easily translated to wellness when planning meetings and events for my clients. Here’s a short checklist for your next meeting to ensure you are offering a truly healthy and wellness-focused experience for your attendees to help them leave inspired rather than depleted.

1. Meals

You have worked with catering to select lean proteins like fish and chicken and selected farm-to-table vegetables. That sounds good in theory, but you are not done. Do you know how the chef is preparing these ingredients? If not, the concept of clean healthy eating and your good intentions, have just been thrown out the window. Are those lean proteins drowning in oils and carb-heavy sugar sauces? Are the veggies swimming in butter and salt? It’s important to not only select your food items, but also discuss with the venue staff how they will be prepared. Remember, what you eat will affect your brain and your body.

2. Snacks

Are you providing a snack break or a sugar break? I was recently at a conference for meeting planners where the snack break consisted of whole chocolate bars and fruit and nut bars, but the “healthy” alternative was also filled with added sugar and processed ingredients.

Have you made the mistake of choosing “bran” muffins over regular muffins because they sounded healthier? I would encourage you to know now what is in the foods you are offering. Here’s a tip: Select fresh whole fruits — local if possible. Fresh fruits have natural sugars and provide that sweetness that many crave. Whole fresh fruits are easy on the budget— you only pay for consumption so it’s more cost effective. A dried fruit and nut trail mix is another healthy option to elevate your snacks.

3. Mocktails

Not only does alcohol tend to contain high amounts of sugar, but an increasing number of attendees today are choosing not to indulge in adult beverages. As an alternative to alcoholic-mixed drinks, planners can incorporate a mocktail. In my experience, fresh squeezed fruits with seltzer water is a favorite and refreshing choice that has no added sugar.

4. Agenda

Is your agenda jammed packed keeping attendees inside four walls with very little downtime? Consider starting a little later in the morning to allow attendees to hit the gym for their workouts or to go for a run outside. Better yet, offer attendees to start their day with a sponsored spin class or a yoga session. (Outside is even better if the weather allows for it.) If the content/format is conducive—have a session outside.

Allow for a few 30-minute breaks throughout the day and offer a mini-activity during those breaks to get your attendees moving. (See #5) End your agenda before 5 pm, so attendees have time to answer work emails and return phone calls. It will also give them time to call home to their families before after-hour events, group dinners or early bedtimes. This can be a big boost for attendees’ mental well-being. A looser schedule will equate to a more relaxed attendee who can retain more of the meeting content and is not drained by the end of the day.

5. Breaks

Another mental and physical boost would be to Incorporate a few 30-minute breaks during the day that involve movement. That may be as simple as a walk around the venue, a short scavenger hunt or a match networking session—anything to get your attendees out of their seats and on their feet. Going outside for fresh air and natural light can also help re-energize attendees.


About Andrea Cannistraci
Andrea Cannistraci is the President & Founder of andgreat—a marketing, branding, and events firm that specializes in helping businesses design and execute unique and unforgettable marketing programs. As a Pro Bodybuilder, she integrates her love of fitness and wellness into her meeting planning.

Andrea Cannistraci

About Andrea Cannistraci

Andrea is the President & Founder of andgreat—a marketing, branding, and events firm that specializes in helping businesses design unique and unforgettable experiential marketing programs. Andrea has over 20 years experience in multiple functions of marketing. She is a member of MPI, a member and past officer of the Redondo Beach Elks Lodge #1378, and a member of the Leadership Hermosa Beach Class of 2017.  She holds a Bachelors degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and a Masters from the University of Alabama. 

Twitter: @acannistraci

Instagram: @Andgreat17

LinkedIn: AndreaCannistraci