In typical continued medical education (CME) conferences, scientific sessions and discussion rule the program. From sunup to sundown medical meeting planners feel the need to cram in as many CME opportunities as possible. However, recent studies suggest 50% of physicians experience burnout. These stats indicate including wellness-focused aspects in your programming may be a nice relief. Below are five ideas to get you started.
Include Wellness-Focused Sessions as Part of your Program
Including a wellness track or even just a few wellness-focused sessions adds a refreshing aspect to your programming. Research wellness speakers in the area, or even look to your staff, membership, or attendees for speakers. The topics don’t have to be ground-breaking, but simple tips for better work-life balance or ways to reduce stress are topics that are always well received. These types of programming are great over breaks and lunch hours when space is widely available.
Give Access to Running and Walking Routes Near the Conference Center
With apps such as Map My Run, finding popular running routes around the conference center or host hotel is easy. Your host hotel or conference center are also great resources for advice. Find two or three routes of various lengths and promote as running or walking routes to your attendees. Go a step further and organize a morning running club. Simply give a time and place for anyone interested to meet and let the runners have at it!
Host Special Interest Sessions Outside of the Continued Medical Education Conference Program
This is a great way to showcase the multiple talents of your attendees, members, and staff. Do you have a staff member who is great at photography? Or perhaps a board member who does yoga? If you’re not that familiar with your attendees put out a call for speakers to generate interest. Take advantage of these talents and ask them to give an early morning sunrise session. Take participants on a short photowalk or give a 30-min. presentation on iPhone photography tips. These types of sessions are simple, but truly enhance the attendee experience, making you stand out from similar CME conferences.
Provide a Quiet Space and Encourage People to Visit
Offering a room for peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy conference center is a great way to encourage wellness. Set a few couches, have some light music playing, set out some coffee or flavored water, and encourage attendees to visit for some peace and quiet. You could even have something like a professional chair massage therapist on hand to really encourage rest and relaxation.
Encourage Being Active with Steps Competition
One of the most fun ways to encourage activity in between the numerous sessions is have a steps competition. Give away a simple odometer at check-in or have attendees use their mobile devices to track how many steps they take daily. Integrate a program into your meeting app or have attendees manually record and submit how many steps they take. Use a leaderboard and give out prizes for who takes the most steps. Both your attendees and staff will be surprised at how many steps they take when it seems like most of the day is sitting in sessions!
With today’s rapid-paced mindset, offering opportunities that promote wellness is beneficial for your attendees. Simply offering suggestions and providing resources of wellness activities in the area can increase attendee experience and set your conference apart.
An easy way to manage your meeting sessions and activities is with the MedEd Manager. This LMS system provides a top-notch meeting planning experience and revolutionizes the way you manage CME events. Learn more!