Awareness and behaviours around workplace wellbeing are increasing as employers become more and more informed of the impact that staff mental health can have on not only the health of their staff, but their businesses, too.
Positive wellbeing initiatives are commonplace within the work environment now with more and more companies implementing programs and activities specifically targeted at improving the wellbeing of employees: lunchtime yoga, walking meetings, Cycle to Work schemes, Mental Health First Aid Training and enforcing rules such as eating away from your desk are just a few of the initiatives commonly adopted by corporates now. So how can businesses ensure that their conferences match up with their workplace wellbeing schemes? At The HAC we host many events every year, so we’ve picked up a few things in our time about how event planners can look after delegate wellbeing for successful and productive conferences.
Choose your catering options carefully. Foods high in carbohydrates can make people feel lethargic and low on energy. Instead, fruits, vegetables, nuts, yoghurt, wraps and soups are much more likely to energise your delegates, helping them to stay focused and productive all day.
Alternatives to Alcohol
The events industry goes hand in hand with alcohol. Almost every conference, exhibition, trade show (or any corporate event) has networking sessions and even after parties. These will all usually involve wine, champagne or exotic cocktails with clients and colleagues – but alcohol can have a drastic impact on both your physical and your mental health.
According to Mental Health Foundation, drinking alcohol can have multiple negative effects on wellbeing including disruption of sleep, low energy, mood fluctuation, anxiety and depression.
Instead, try providing some appealing alcohol alternatives. It’s so easy to put together fruity and refreshing mocktails now with so many alcohol alternatives and mixers on the market. You can even buy alcohol-free versions of some of the country’s best-selling beers for the same taste without the headache. If you do choose to serve alcohol, a top tip from us is to try providing gluten-free wine or beer options.
It can be difficult to sit and listen to talks for most of your day – even if you find them really interesting. Encourage your delegates to keep their minds active throughout the day with interactive activities amongst talks or seminars. How about introducing walking or outdoor discussions, or helping guests to refocus their minds with a lunchtime yoga session?
Ensure that you provide ample break opportunities for delegates to refresh. It’s not uncommon to spend most of your time at a conference listening – and it can be surprisingly hard work. Look after your delegates’ wellbeing by giving them enough time between talks to process what they’ve learned before going into their next session.
It’s helpful to provide outside space for guests to spend their breaks if they choose. Fresh air can work wonders for boosting delegates’ energy and encourages them to take time away from their working space, which helps to create a more positive learning environment.
The HAC boasts five acres of lawns, a sun terrace and of course the Artillery Garden, which all make for beautiful backdrops for a moment to think. If you’re looking for a conference venue that will accommodate your focus of looking after delegate wellbeing, send us an email or get in touch with our Events Team on 020 7382 1533.