Encouraging attendees to stay active during a conference is a well-established best practice in Meetings Management. Providing examples of tips and tactics to stay well on the road gets the information to your audience, but what if you want to take it a step further? Many organizers are considering a shared effort that all attendees can participate in together, forging bonds and achieving activity goals in advance of, and during, conferences.
Examples of these unique ways event managers spark competition and reach active goals offsite and onsite:
- Top Golf or sport simulator arenas. They are “rain or shine” venues and can accommodate small and large group settings.
- “Field Day” events such as corn hole tournaments, relay or Olympic style events, tennis competitions, etc. that utilize the facilities on property.
- When there is no time in the event schedule, organizers have coordinated with local fitness facilities to offer discounted passes when attendees show their badge.
The ASIS Foundation chartered a program which supports attendee fitness, engagement with fellow members, and financial support to the Foundation itself. Now in its second year, the Foundation Fitness Challenge brings members, non-members, and staff together virtually from all over the world. The trick is the platform which makes participation easy and fun. “The Charity Footprints platform [www.charityfootprints.com] has a number of features that foster connection including an online chat where participants can talk to each other, a leaderboard showing both distance traveled and dollars raised for each participant, and a scrapbook where people can post photos” says Beth McFarland Pierce, CAE, Foundation Director, ASIS International. “The platform also provides a peer-to-peer fundraising component where participants can easily create their own webpage and ask friends and family to sponsor them in the Challenge”.
The event creates friendly competition between teams and individuals. The program offers the opportunity to participate as an individual or join a team, and includes walking, running, and biking. The platform even syncs with personal fitness devices to track progress.
Offering opportunities for physical activities while also creating an environment for networking is of the utmost priority to many event organizers as a response to their attendees’ needs. When the pandemic shut down most fitness facilities, event participants began to get creative with their activity goals and workout preferences. Since then, this has remained a larger challenge than before to meeting managers to push the boundaries of the physical activity offerings. There is no “one size fits all” solution for all events and the Capital Chapter members have accepted that challenge!
Mark Harvey, CMP, CMM | Principal, Ethos Meetings and Events
Christina Pino, CMP, DES | Director, Conference Design and Logistics, Stellato Meeting Solutions