Wellness is big business. Big enough that it’s led not just to expos and conferences, but to high-level forums, including the invitation-only Global Wellness Summit, being held this month in the Alpine ski-resort town of Kitzbühel, Austria.
“It’s for all sectors of the wellness industry,” said Beth McGroarty, director of research and public relations for the Global Wellness Institute, “so it could be anything from spa, to hospitality, or wellness travel, beauty, technology, finance, nutrition, fitness, workplace wellness. An up-and-coming trend is wellness real estate, or wellness communities. It’s an ideas conference, and it attracts only the very high-level, C-level executives.”
As you might expect, there’s pressure on McGroarty and her colleagues to incorporate wellness into the program — in theory and practice. “We have a special and unique mandate to be creative and really focused on wellness for the delegates,” McGroarty said, “many of whom are flying thousands and thousands of miles for this think-tank conference. Their mental wellness, their physical wellness, what they eat, how they move, everything. If they’re emotionally inspired. We take into account pretty much the whole wheel of wellness for these people.” Here’s how:
“You can’t imagine more natural outdoor beauty, fresh air, and incredible mountains. Just the very location itself is a far cry from some beige corporate hotel. All of the delegates will be staying at smaller, very authentic Austrian hotels, and walking with comfortable shoes to the venue.”
2. Outdoor Programs
“On the second day of the conference, the second half of the day, it’s going to all take place on the top of this very famous mountain called the Hahnenkamm, which is where ski races are run. We’re going to have lunch with a famous Austrian Olympic gold-medal skier named Stephan Eberharter. There’s going to be not just networking and some talking and an incredible lunch, but people are going to be doing hiking and cycling and yoga as part of the conference program.”
“We have incredibly lovely lunches every day for the delegates, but they’re going to walk to really historic, interesting places to lunch — restaurants in the town of Kitzbühel. They’ll be walking together as a group across fields to get to these lunches. Then we have breaks between the morning and the lunch, and also between lunch and the end of the day, and they’re all outside. Lots and lots of fresh air, and lots of walking.”
“Of course, there is always really nice, healthy food. Everything in Austria is about farm to table. The milk you drink comes from the cows next to you. This year we’re working with an expert named Stephanie Moore from the U.K. She’s a nutritional therapist, a psychotherapist, a physical therapist, and she’s in charge of the nutrition programming at a famous spa in the U.K. called Grayshott Spa. She’s working to help design menus specifically for what conference attendees need. In other words, foods that are good for focus and attention, that fight fatigue, that give you energy boosts, that help brain function.”