In a world of high stress and fast data, a requirement for calmness and clarity of thought is emerging.
Businesses are beginning to realise the value of quiet reflection for both employees’ wellbeing and their creativity.
Because of this, activities such as meditation, yoga and so-called ‘mindfulness’ are increasingly being built in to corporate events.
Here are 5 examples to inspire some Zen-like programming at your next event…
1. Salesforce Conference, San Francisco
Most of the 600 sessions at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference were focused on technology, but four hours on the final day of the event were dedicated to a decidedly less distracting topic – mindfulness.
The 170,000-strong audience heard about the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace in a series of keynotes and took part in a guided meditation with psychologist Tara Brach.
Speaking about the programming, Julie Liegl, Salesforce’s Senior VP of strategic events, said: “Our main goal was to deliver an experience on the last morning of Dreamforce where our attendees could do something different, and leave inspired and personally transformed.”
Author and meditation teacher Jack Kornfield discussed the intersection of creativity and mindfulness with fashion icon Donna Karan, while Google’s Chade-Meng Tan spoke about the company’s mindfulness programme.
Actress Goldie Hawn spoke about her work to bring mindfulness training to more than 1,000 schools via her Hawn Foundation.
“We were fortunate to get the right lineup of speakers,” Liegl said, “who were each fascinating as a standalone and also worked together in a broader theme.”
Story via pcmaconvene.org
2. World Economic Forum, Davos
Goldie Hawn also made an appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, accompanied by French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard.
Delegates reportedly queued for half an hour to get a place in the early morning session, where they were instructed in the art of meditation and being “in charge of their minds”.
Ricard led three short moments of meditation, each one accompanied by soothing, reassuring words. Meanwhile, Goldie spoke about the effects of mediation on brain activity.
The workshop was among 25 sessions at the Forum discussing wellness, mental health, and the impact of technology. The programming was part of the ‘Davos Health Challenge’, which encouraged delegates to exercise, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep at the event.
Davos organisers said they hoped to draw attention to problems of mental health, disease, and stress that increasingly afflict global populations – as well as the Forum’s own attendees.
3. Ford at Geneva Autoshow
For the unveiling of its Vignale model at the Geneva Autoshow, Ford wanted to create an immersive experience for visitors based around the theme of ‘time well saved, time well spent’.
In addition to a Quality Centre that aimed to tell the story of the time that goes into making a Ford Vignale, it created a ‘time well spent’ zone where visitors could enter relaxation pods to enjoy a meditative experience.
Also on the stand was a 100-strong choir made of Ford staff, which sang the Rolling Stones’ smash hit ‘Time is on My Side’.
Meanwhile, at Geneva airport, a Ford Vignale activation was run simultaneously with the auto show, which included meditative audio sessions and massage treatments.
Story via meetpie.com
4. Chelsea Football Club Meetings & Events
Chelsea Football Club is bringing mindfulness to meetings staged at its Stamford Bridge venue. It has teamed up with world-renowned meditation and yoga expert Vinay Menon to create a day delegate package that includes a 45-minute meditation session.
According to the venue, Vinay’s session has been created specifically for those that sit regularly in meetings or at their desks. It incorporates calming meditation techniques to counteract stress and muscle tightness, along with a series of rhythmic stretches, breathing exercises and sound meditation to reconnect mind and body, which delegates can apply to their daily lives at home.
The Mindful Meetings package also include a working lunch said to have eight different nutritious benefits – such as cleansing, energising and detoxing- served with detoxing juices.
Story via events.chelseafc.com
5. IMEX America, Las Vegas
IMEX America 2015 featured a “Be Well at IMEX” program, including a dedicated health and wellbeing track.
An inspirational keynote by wellness coach and speaker Lee Papa, ‘How to Live and Lead Mindfully’ kicked off the event and featured practical tools for losing stress and gaining peace and creativity. It even included a real-time guided meditation exercise for the large audience.
Later in the day, Papa also led two introductory meditation sessions in the new IMEX America meditation room, featuring Zen music, fresh flowers, flowing draperies and comfortable mats.
The initiative was so well received that the organisers decided to introduce a similar concept at the show’s Frankfurt edition in April.
Open throughout the show, the ‘be well’ lounge offered visitors a quiet restful space for yoga, meditation and Pranayama breathing exercises.
Story via imexamerica.com