Asia Pacific Opinions

The new event objective is wellness

Accor’s Kerry Healy says holistic wellness in events starts with self-care.

The impact of neuroscience on event design is a growing trend — both globally and in the Asia-Pacific region.

 In recent years, we’ve applied key components of neuroscience to our event operations without consciously labelling our efforts. Whether it is through exclusive resort buy-outs or sophisticated brand activations that acquire ‘irrational loyalty’, our hotels have experience fulfilling this trend. 

Our customers demand progressive event design.  They want onsite dining and event experiences that engage delegates’ emotions. And in the era of personalisation, engagement must now occur on an individual level. With that in mind, we know that people are drawn to environments that motivate them to take care of themselves first.

Accor Asia Pacific was a principal partner for a major event in Singapore recently. In addition to morning walks and yoga sessions, the event curator gave delegates a daily two-hour break before dinner to rest their minds.

That gesture was well-received, especially by long-haul delegates, who could take time to settle further into Singapore’s time zone and climate. Along with delegates, the organising committee and event operation associates also benefited from the break physically and mentally. 

What we noticed was that delegates do not need to be ‘wowed’ by fireworks at every stage during a multi-day event programme. Time for rest, rejuvenation and reflection is just as important as a multi-sensory ‘wow’ moment.

As such, we design break-out spaces with indoor plants (it has been scientifically proven that natural environments can reduce stress, increase productivity and boost creativity) and some of our hotels have already started offering themed catering breaks that promote wellness.

Accor is at the forefront of food and beverage excellence.  Our teams gather at our annual Food and Beverage Academy curated for this region to learn and experience the latest culinary trends that benefit our customers. 

 At this year’s academy, we hosted a panel of business event leaders who shared the importance of wellness and social impact.  For events, this means being more proactively mindful at every stage of the planning process — from sourcing sustainable, local produce to producing plant-based event menus. 

As 2019 draws to a close, we hope you take time to care for yourselves first. Once you are taken care of and you appreciate the benefits of self-wellness, your delegates may in turn benefit from your event design intentions that are infused with wellness. 

Kerry Healy is VP sales, Asia Pacific, at Accor.

This week, Accor released a white paper on the business of wellness and hospitality. The It’s a Wellness World: The Global Shift Shaking up Our Business report how exceptional wellness experiences are good for guests, business and the hospitality industry.