• Bring a Spa Vibe to Your Event

    FROM THE Summer 2013 ISSUE

    Zen is where you find- or create- it.


It’s not alwa ys possible to hold your meeting at a spa resort . But with a few simple tweaks,
you can create an inspiring spa environment wherever your meeting is held.

It’s not always possible to hold your meeting at a spa resort. But with a few simple tweaks, you can create an inspiring spa environment wherever your meeting is held.



  1. Create a theme for the meeting that can carry over into all the events, activities and décor. Pick a focus that’s uplifting; for example, at the upcoming 2013 International Spa Association (ISPA) conference, ISPA chose the theme of "grow," with a mantra of "Limitless Possibilities . . . "



  2. Give the gift of wellness. As a welcome amenity, arrange an in-room delivery of one of the terrific new high-tech gadgets that measure movement throughout the day. Fitness-tracking devices like the Fitbit One, Nike+ FuelBand and UP by Jawbone can be worn around the wrist or attached to a waistband or pocket. These keep track of how many steps you take in a day, the distance you travel, the number of calories you burn and even how much deep sleep you’re getting. Right from the start, attendees will be encouraged to make small, healthy changes like taking the stairs instead of an elevator or walking down the hotel hallways during breaks. Even better, the devices will continue to influence healthy habits back home.


  3. Choose a healthy, energizing menu. Meetings are designed to be a catalyst for change, but that goal is not served if attendees end the meeting feeling sluggish and five pounds heavier than when they began. Providing healthy farm-to-table food can help keep guests feeling renewed and refreshed, and most caterers are happy to work with local farms or farmers markets to provide fresh, whole foods. One fun alternative to the traditional coffee break that I’ve offered at meetings is a power-drink recipe contest. Attendees are divided into small groups, each with a station piled with fresh vegetables and fruit like kale, spinach and berries, along with a blender. Working with a chef, groups compete to come up with the tastiest and healthiest smoothie recipe. The winning recipe can be circulated and served at the coffee break the next day.


  4. All resort spas have a morning ritual, and including this in a meeting will certainly start the day with a spa vibe. Various activities can be offered for people of different fitness levels- a walk, a run, a series of stretches or even a yoga 101 class. This is also a great opportunity for participants to begin using their fitness trackers.


  5. Coffee breaks can include movement as well as food. Have an instructor from a local yoga studio lead a session of deep breathing and standing poses. Breathing from the diaphragm and simply standing up can reduce stress and increase energy, which will help people focus when the meeting sessions resume. Deep breathing can also counter the effects of a little too much to drink the night before!


  6. Create a relaxation lounge. This is always a huge hit with meeting groups. Work with the catering department and hotel, or local spa to recreate a mini-spa in a small meeting room. Divide the room into small sections, including a lounge area with low lighting, relaxing aromatherapy scents such as lavender, and soothing music. Other sections could offer chair massages, reflexology, paraffin hand-dips and an aromatherapy mixing bar. Keep it a cell-free, quiet room where people can stop in for a 10-minute Zen break.


  7. Spas are actually education centers, so breakouts can be created to educate the attendees on how to bring the spa vibe into their daily life. This can be a mini-workshop on stretching at your desk, reducing stress in your life through breathing and yoga, how to meditate or creating at-home spa treatments.


- Kim Cadra 

Kim Cadra, a spa consultant, is a former spa director at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert and the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells. She began her career as an event sales and catering manager.


Often, the key to the success of a live corporate event is choosing a great audio-visual partner. If you are looking to bring in an A/V partner, it is imperative to qualify the company since in large part you’re relying on them to make the meeting a success. Here are some of the most important questions to ask before you select an audio-visual provider.


BRACE YOURSELF—this is going to hurt a little. Tough love always does. 


Q: I’m planning a trade show. How can I best partner with exhibitors to ensure we’re both successful?
A: First, understand that the person who completed the trade show agreement is not likely the person who will set up the display or staff the booth.

Identify and communicate with key players early to ensure they’re leveraging activation opportunities before, during and after the show. Following is an exhibitor success guide to serve your organization’s needs.