One common challenge that meeting and event planners faced in 2020 is virtual attendee engagement. With virtual events having been the norm for close to a year now, chances are, your virtual attendees have probably attended more than a few virtual events in the past year. We’ve all suffered through a workday (or week) full of zoom and conference calls, and to no one’s surprise, to say the least, it’s not the most thrilling experience. Naturally, with more virtual events, it has become increasingly challenging to make each virtual event stand out from the last, and we’re sure we can all agree “zoom fatigue” is a very real thing. The last thing you want your virtual event to be is a dull and unmemorable information dump.
So how do you combat waning attention spans during virtual meetings and events? A great place to start is by providing your virtual audience with breaks to allow them to recharge and reset their focus. By this, we don’t mean a fifteen or twenty-minute break to walk the dog or grab a quick coffee, but rather, an additional memorable and value-adding session that will break up the event and entice potential attendees to attend. That’s where immersive wellness-focused activities between sessions can play a key role in enhancing the overall experience of the virtual event. Fun, engaging, and interactive wellness activities can help attendees stay focused, energized, and pumped up for the next round of content, speakers, and sessions. They also help attendees get motivated to return to your virtual event rather than check out.
With the start of the new year and the increased focus many of us have on health and fitness this time of year, your event will offer attendees that precious added value. Additionally, with many gyms still closed or operating at a limited capacity, workout equipment being sold out, and the dreaded “quarantine 15”, individuals are thinking about their health and wellness now more than ever. By incorporating immersive and engaging wellness activities into your virtual event, you can help kickstart their wellness goals as well as give them new knowledge, skills, and workout routines to use in their daily lives. From a relaxing meditation focused yoga session to a high-intensity workout class, there’s an interactive wellness activity for any virtual audience! Below, we dive into how to incorporate exciting and engaging virtual wellness activities into your next virtual event.
The Wellness Activity
Improving one’s overall health and wellbeing is more than just going to the gym, working out, and getting a sweat on. Along with general exercise, a focus on mental health and food choices also fall under the wellness umbrella. With this in mind, some popular examples of virtual wellness activities include group meditation, yoga, Zumba, workout sessions, and healthy eating. Each can be executed virtually and implemented in ways to fit within any event budget. These types of classes can also provide event sponsorship opportunities. Be sure to reach out to local gyms, studios, or private trainers and instructors for a potential partnership. This also serves as a great way to support small and local gyms and studios during our current climate. Additionally, if your budget allows, consider sending attendees a package before the virtual event, including wellness gear, props, or equipment they can use during the activity. Be sure to also provide attendees with a list of at-home items they’ll need for their session(s), such as tennis shoes, workout clothing, and plenty of water so that they’re fully prepared for the virtual wellness activity.
1. Virtual Meditation and Relaxation Class
First on the list is a virtual guided meditation class. A meditation session is a great way to break up the virtual event to allow attendees to relax and refresh their focus. During the session, attendees will be introduced to the basics by an expert teacher (check out Mindful Directory to find a professional). Through simple meditation techniques, attendees will learn self-awareness and improve overall focus, reducing stress and anxiety. You can also incorporate a journaling component to the session.
During this time, attendees can take a moment to write down their wellness goals or simply jot down their thoughts and feelings at the moment. You can even provide attendees with a pre-loaded journal filled with writing prompts and QR codes that link to helpful meditation resources to help them get started on their wellness journey. You can also add value during and after the session is by gifting attendees with a one-month premium membership for a meditation app. Some popular meditation and mindfulness focused apps include Headspace, Calm, Aura, Waking Up, and Insight Timer. More gift ideas include an aromatherapy diffuser, essential oils, meditation candle, and guided meditation books or audiobooks.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Meditation Instructor or Guided Recorded Meditation
- Meditation Music
- Custom Pre-loaded Journal: Perfect Bound and Build a Book (Optional)
- Infuser Water Bottle to mimic spa water (Optional)
2. Virtual Yoga or Mindfulness Class
Similar to meditation but with more movement is a mindfulness yoga class. Now, the class doesn't have to consist of handstands, lunges, and downward dogging, and attendees certainly don’t have to be yogis (or even flexible for that matter) for the session to be useful. Yoga can be accessible to everyone, regardless of fitness skills and experience. The focus is to provide a calming atmosphere that helps participants relax, let go of any stress and anxiety, boost their mood, and regain their mental focus. All you need is an instructor who can get attendees moving and stretching. Yoga Finder is a great resource for finding teachers and studios in your area and online instructors for all levels.
By the time the yoga session is finished, attendees will be feeling productive, energized, and ready to return to your virtual event. To make the session even more memorable, consider gifting attendees with a free week of virtual yoga classes or a free month app membership. Popular yoga apps include Glo, Down Dog, Find What Feels Good, and Yoga-Go.
3. Virtual Dance or Zumba Session
It’s nearly impossible to check out when you’re dancing, so a Zumba class led by an energetic dance instructor is sure to get attendees up and moving (find an instructor on Zumba.com). Not all of us are naturally gifted in the dance department, and some may find dancing a bit out of their comfort zone, so you’ll want to make sure the session is led by an instructor who can lead simple, easy-to-follow dance steps and provide a laid-back atmosphere. Pump up attendees with a fun music playlist, backdrop, and lights, or if your budget allows, consider hiring a DJ to host a live-stream during the session. By the end of the session, one thing is sure - attendees will feel energized and ready to take on the rest of the day.
4. Workout Class
You can’t go wrong with a group exercise class led by a fitness instructor (check out FitnessTrainer). Since not everyone has the same fitness skills or interests, consider offering multiple fitness classes such as pure barre, HIIT, pilates, cardio, or Bootcamp at different levels. This way, attendees can choose the class that most interests them. If this option isn’t practical, you can ask attendees to vote beforehand and go with the workout class with the most votes or offer a multi-level workout class that includes a little bit of everything. No matter the type of exercise, a group workout session will have attendees feeling active and refreshed.
To help your attendees continue their fitness journey beyond your event, consider gifting them a free week of online fitness classes or a month’s paid membership for a fitness app. Popular fitness apps include Daily Burn, Openfit, 8fit, and BetterMe. More fitness gift ideas include an activity tracker wristband, resistance band set, foam roller, and wireless headphones.
For more home workout ideas, check out Best Bodyweight Home Workouts - No Gym and No Equipment Needed.
5. Meal Prepping Class
We all know that health starts in the kitchen, so what better way to kickstart the health and wellness journey than with a meal prepping class led by a nutritionist or meal coach. A meal prep session will give participants the tools and skills they need to prepare and enjoy delicious and healthy meals in their everyday lives. The class can introduce pre and post-workout snacks and dive into different foods and pairings to boost energy, mood, and relieve stress. If your budget allows, consider sending attendees a package including the necessary ingredients and cooking tools in time for the event. If this option isn’t practical, send attendees a grocery shopping list to gather the ingredients themselves.
A great event gift that your attendees can use and enjoy long after the event is a pre-loaded food journal. The journals can be customized to include your logo and pre-filled with blank charts for daily meal logs, recipes, mood tracking charts, motivational quotes, and QR codes to resources that will help optimize their health and wellness goals!
For more food-focused virtual activity ideas, check out A Guide to Immersive Culinary Experiences For Your Next Virtual Event!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A Nutritionist or Personal Cooking Coach
- Ingredient List or Kit
- Special Culinary Tools Kit or List
- Custom Pre-loaded Journal: Perfect Bound and Build a Book (Optional)
Wellness Focused Keepsakes
- Reusable Water Bottle - As Low As $2
- Essential Oil Infused Candle - As Low As $2-$3
- Yoga Mat, Block, or Strap - As Low As $2-$6
- Cooling Towel - As Low As $3
- Shaker Bottle - As Low As $3
- Jump Rope - As Low As $3
- Mini Resistance Band Set - As Low As $4
- Essential Oils - As Low As $5-$6
- Fitness Towel - As Low As $6
- Massage Ball or Foam Roller - As Low As $8-$10
- Gym Bag - As Low As $8
- Resistance Band Set - As Low As $9
- Custom Pre-loaded Journal Books: Perfect Bound and Build a Book - As Low As $9-$18
- Fitness Sliders - As Low As $13
- USB Diffuser - As Low As $13
- Fitness Tracker - As Low As $15
- Yoga Mat Bag or Sling - As Low As $17.99
- Wireless Headphones - As Low As $19-$25
- Electronic Aromatherapy Diffuser - As Low As $27-$34
- One Month Free App Membership
- Free Week of Classes
Virtual wellness activities act as a way to break up an event by adding a bit of interactivity and excitement in between presentations and speaker sessions. Fortunately, health and wellness-focused activities are incredibly versatile to fit any event size and budget. Beyond the examples we mentioned, there are plenty of other ways you can incorporate an immersive wellness component into your virtual meeting or event. However you decide to implement wellness into your event, one thing is certain, your virtual event will be anything but boring.
For more immersive virtual event activities, checkout Engaging Attendees Through Virtual Events!