by Matt Alderton | April 23, 2017
When people attend meetings and conventions, business typically is their first priority. Because all that networking, education, and deal-making can take a toll on their bodies, however, a growing number of meeting attendees also are prioritizing health and wellness. In response, so too must meeting planners, according to online venue-booking tool Meetingselect, which recently published its top 10 tips for organizing a healthy meeting:

10. Build Healthy Communities
Healthy individuals start with healthy communities, according to Meetingselect, which suggests pausing your meeting in order to engage in a social or sustainable teambuilding activity. Volunteer projects will make both your delegates and your host destination healthier.

9. Get Walking
Not everyone can run a marathon, but almost anybody can go for a walk, according to Meetingselect, which suggests organizing a "walkathon." Walking, it says, is good for the heart and the lungs, improves your memory, and has a positive effect on one's mood.

8. Stand More, Sit Less
Meetingselect suggests hosting a stand-up meeting. Chair-less meetings, it says, are not only healthier, but also more effective, as attendees' brains remain more engaged when their bodies are active.

7. Take Lots of Breaks
Sitting still can have a negative effect on physical health. Meeting planners should therefore include lots of short breaks in their agendas, according to Meetingselect, which says meeting planners can encourage short bursts of activity by organizing group walks, short yoga classes, or even guided meditations.

6. Spice Up the Fruit Bowl
Fruit is a great healthy snack for meeting attendees. Because they're a bit boring, however, bananas, apples, and oranges won't always get eaten. To get more fruit in more bellies, try something exotic, suggests Meetingselect, which recommends pomegranates, dragon fruit, or rambutans.

5. Offer Healthy Snack Breaks
Speaking of healthy snacks: Meetingselect suggests giving attendees' blood sugar a boost with healthy snack breaks that include options like granola bars, nuts, or crudite with hummus. 

4. Ease Up on the Meat
When planning meals, consider more meatless options, suggests Meetingselect, which recommends working with chefs to develop veggie-centric entrees that embrace vitamin- and iron-rich green vegetables like broccoli and spinach.

3. Eat Responsibly
You should make meetings healthy not only for your attendees, but also for the planet, according to Meetingselect. Instead of a buffet, it suggests serving a plated lunch with tapas-style dishes in order to cut down on food waste. It also suggests serving meals with organic ingredients and using plates and cutlery made of sustainable materials.

2. Stay Hydrated
Consider serving loss coffee and more water, suggests Meetingselect. Over-caffeinated attendees will benefit from the extra hydration, it says.

1. Serve Brain Food
Yet another F&B tip from Meetingselect: Make sure your menu includes things like green leafy vegetables; raw chocolate, nuts, and seeds; and fish like herring, mackerel, and trout. Such foods have been shown to improve concentration, alertness, and memory, which will make attendees not only healthier, but also more productive.

Source: Meetingselect