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Guests at Caesars Global Wellness Summit traveled to Mount Charleston for yoga, breakfast, and a hike.

7 Big Ideas for Adding Wellness to Your Events

After introducing a “wellness menu” last fall, Caesars Entertainment walked the talk at its inaugural Global Wellness Summit.

For organizations open to it, building wellness activities into an event agenda offers a variety of potential benefits.  It can energize attendees for upcoming sessions, engage them in ways that make the event more memorable, introduce them to healthful stress-reduction practices, and build community around shared experiences.

The case for putting time and money behind wellness efforts is that it helps an organization to say “we care” about the whole attendee: their mental and physical health, their dietary needs and preferences.

However, for some event professionals, the challenge isn't making the case for wellness but executing it. One company that’s addressing that issue is Caesars Entertainment, which last fall introduced a curated menu of wellness speakers, activities, services, and F&B ideas. Recently it brought those ideas to life, inviting 70 meeting planners and media representatives to its inaugural Global Wellness Summit at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, with attendees staying at Nobu, its upscale hotel-within-a-hotel.

Here are seven ways Caesars activated its wellness menu for its June 4-6 event:

smell.jpeg1. Reception Activations
When the Summit kicked off at Nobu Villa, a 10,300-square-foot rooftop suite and terrace, several wellness activations set the tone. There were aura readings with Dami Kim, director of Body & Brain Wellness; a Scentex build-your-own scent station (right), where attendees customized a diffuser fragrance; and a water-infusion bar from tabl'eau Filtered Water, where add-ins such as fresh pear and rosemary turned plain water into a treat.

2. Outdoor Experiences
Connecting with nature can reduce stress and create a sense of peace, and the Summit offered two morning experiences that spectacularly showed off Nevada’s natural beauty.

On the first morning of the Summit, attendees headed to the cool air of Mount Charleston, about an hour west of the Las Vegas Strip. After a low-intensity yoga session led by Christine Frazzitta, founder of Zeeta Body, there was a healthy breakfast followed by guided hikes through the Poderosa pines, with attendees split into small groups.Black_Canyon.jpeg

The second morning excursion brought the group to the base of the Hoover Dam, where they embarked on a two-hour guided raft tour through the Colorado River’s Black Canyon with Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures (above). The majestic scenery, cold dips in the river, and the guides’ natural history lessons set the day in a positive direction, while still getting attendees back to Caesars Palace before lunch.

chatbot.jpeg3. Chatbot
The event’s chatbot, “Zenny,” answered simple questions and provided agenda reminders, as planners would expect, but it went further. Caesars also used it to text links to guided meditations and sleep affirmations, as well as podcasts to enjoy during the transfers to outdoor activities, one on the science of affirmations and the other discussing the importance of diverse connections.

4. Healthy Foods
The food at the Summit was healthful, delicious, and inclusive, with plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. For example, while the morning menus included traditional muffins and breakfast breads, a tasty vegan egg-salad wrap, nutritionally rich green-tea chia breakfast pudding, and housemade fruit and grain bars were also among the offerings. Healthful choices had a place at every meal, with attendees snacking on brain-boosting choices like nuts, juice shots, and avocado toast during the breaks.caesars_buffet.png

5. Wellness Gifts
While t-shirts and fruit bowls are always welcome gifts, attendees at the Summit received several items aimed at bringing wellness ideas into their lives back home: the custom fragrance and diffuser created at the opening reception; unusual Essence Rings, wearable aromatherapy diffusers (think nose rings) in several scents; and I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years, a book by Ilchi Lee, the founder of Body & Brain Wellness.

The latter is a favorite of Reina Herschdorfer, director of marketing, national meetings and events at Caesars Entertainment, and one of the architects of the Summit. “I read it last year and felt inspired by it and wanted to share it with everyone. It’s about living with intention. So many of us are just getting through the day or the week. We don’t have a personal plan. Something we don’t learn in school and often not at home.”

6. Body & Mind Experiences
Several of the afternoon session at the Summit introduced attendees to strategies to reduce stress and become more mindful.

• Dami Kim from Body & Brain Wellness worked with the group on three techniques: breathing mindfully, walking in a way that helps to position your body properly, and lightly pounding on the belly to create blood flow throughout the body.

caesars_breathing.png• Sepideh Eivazi (above), founder of Dawn of the Earth, taught the group EFT (Emotion Freedom Technique) tapping, a process of repeatedly tapping acupuncture points on the hands, face, and body while focusing on an issue or feeling you’re hoping to resolve. Eivazi also lead a “somatic breathwork” session, a process that aims to improve emotional and mental well-being by affecting the nervous system through intentional breathing.

• Kristine Iverson, founder of Crow Practice, focused on a “spiral technique” for stress management, an intentional way to turn negative thoughts and emotions into a more positive outlook.

• On the final evening, sound meditation practitioner Dani Kilpatrick led the group in an open air “sound bath” around the Caesar’s pool, with sound waves produced by crystal bowls and other instruments.

caesars_final.png7. Mindful Speakers
Two traditional keynote speakers delivered strong messages about bringing mindfulness and appreciation into one’s day-to-day life.

Pandit_Dasa.pngPandit Dasa (right), CEO, Work Mindful Corp., spent 15 years as a monk before building a career as an author and public speaker. Dasa, the “urban monk” and author of Mindfulness for Wandering Mind, compares a smart phone to the human brain and shares ideas to help attendees close the multitude of “open apps” to quiet and declutter one’s thoughts.

Summit attendees also heard from Nolan Nichols, a high-energy speaker, and founder of A Million Dreams, an organization that help groups build resilient teams. Among Nichols’s ideas: Write down your GLADS. That acronym leads you to note five things each day: What you’re Grateful for, what you’ve Learned and Accomplished, and what’s Delighted and Scared you.

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