By Samantha Stallard, Director of Marketing & Business Development
Okay, that's it, we're officially oversaturated. There are too many options, invitations, channels, apps, connections, news feeds, and devices. We're tired. We're hungry. We just want to go to bed. Brands have spent billions (and earned billions) cashing in on FOMO (fear of missing out, but you already knew that) by sponsoring blowout parties, activations, and experiences. And while consumers will never stop buying festival tickets, staying up late, and Instagramming everything in their wake, they care about health, wellness, and peace more than ever.
The wellness movement was born out of necessity. Thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow, FitBits, Forks Over Knives, and Himalayan salt lamps, we are more equipped than ever to focus on our bodies and our minds. I'll admit that I've jumped on the train and GOOP-ed my own life -- and you know what, I feel better. Supplements, serums, and CBD gummies help me feel calm and energized.
Many different Condé Nast departments have participated in "Inspiration Days" in which team members embark on solo expeditions around the New York City seeking any type of creative outlet they please. When I went, my team's destinations were diverse, from The Met and Central Park to VR experiences and design houses, but a common theme emerged as we discussed our days and presented our ideas to each other -- we were all seeking relaxation. Balancing work, family, friends, volunteering, and everyday responsibilities, on the day in which we were in complete control, all we wanted was to clear our heads and exhale. And we're not the only ones.
The wellness mindset is one of the new trends that will shape events and guest experiences over the next few years. It doesn't just mean herbal teas and meditation chants; the wellness market covers everything from:
- Mindfulness: As consumers refocus on their physical and mental health, companies, CEOs, and office managers are starting to take notice. By improving environments both at work and at home, we can minimize our sick days and increase creativity and productivity. Large brands like Google, Etsy, and Facebook have added employee perks like group meditation classes, free therapy sessions, and nap rooms to much success
- Boutique fitness: Traditional gym memberships often cost more in fees than in results, not to mention the monotony of the treadmill or elliptical machine. Today's consumers want to have fun while they tone up with unique experiences like trapeze classes, cardio ballet, and indoor surfing
- Health travel: The industry you never knew you needed is worth over $440 billion a year as hotels and resorts across the globe are improving their restaurant menus, adding more fitness options such as sunrise yoga, and promoting wellness retreat packages
Though she receives a lot of criticism, Paltrow's In Goop Health wellness summits sell out in record time. Tickets begin at $500 and go up to $1,500. The Summits cover all ends of the spectrum from commonly accepted advice (eat real food, exercise, and get more sleep) to the highly-contested (antibiotics are evil, corn will kill you, there's a crystal for every ailment). However, the messages on display matter less than the guest experience. Consumers have a thirst for wellness opportunities and brands have the ability to join the event movement and capitalize on that need.
GOOP aside, there are plenty of health and wellness events and festivals for brands to align themselves with:
- Healthy Living Festival
- The Body Mind Spirit Expo
- Wanderlust Festivals
- Idea World Fitness Convention
- Green Festivals
Each Teen Vogue Summit has also emphasized the importance of yoga and movement for young woman. Puma hosted a "Do You" yoga and workout session during The Teen Vogue Summit 2018. There are countless ways to embrace the concept at your next event even if its outside your domain.
Give busy commuters permission to relax by taking over public spaces in a metropolitan area and rebranding it to fit your aesthetic. Offer comfortable couches, wifi, charging stations, complimentary coffee, and magazines to skim. Or partner with mindfulness sponsors; at Balance Festival in London, Brita sponsors the main studio classes with its on-the-go water filter bottles. The partnership means their product gets into the hands of consumers who are most likely to take their bottles into their gyms, yoga studies, and workout classes.