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How fresh air can support delegate wellbeing
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By Catherine Greenhill

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It’s not uncommon for delegates to sit through a number of talks and discussions throughout the day. Ensuring breaks are factored into the schedule is therefore crucial. While indoor breakout rooms can allow for networking, one key priority should be ensuring delegates can go outside.

Let’s take a look at how the addition of fresh air and outdoor activity can support your delegates.

What are the benefits of outdoor meeting spaces?

Whether it’s a product launch, corporate event or drinks reception, meetings and conferences are typically held indoors. Spending prolonged periods of the day indoors can become counter-productive.

Sitting in the same space for a long time can lead to boredom and delegates can become easily distracted. And while breaks are always included as part of the agenda, these are also usually indoor activities. Introducing fresh air, or even moving part of the meeting outdoors, can have a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of the delegate.

Studies show that outdoor spaces have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. These include:

  • Increased happiness
  • Better creativity
  • Improved memory
  • Lower stress and blood pressure

Natural environments are known for being restorative, helping to introduce feelings of calm while increasing energy levels. Spending time outdoors helps delegates to feel refreshed, leading to greater focus when returning to the meeting room. As a result, information becomes easier to digest and productivity increases.

It’s not just delegates who can receive the health benefits of being outdoors. Event organisers, too, must ensure they take some time to focus on their own health throughout the day. Planning breaks, and utilising outdoor meeting rooms, where possible, can help all attendees harness the benefits of being outside.

How do you make the most of the fresh air during events?

Some organisers can be forgiven for thinking that outdoor meetings should be restricted to summer parties. There are a number of ways that organisers can incorporate natural settings into their agenda.

Warwick Conferences offers plenty of open areas throughout its venues that delegates can take advantage of during breaks. It also has dedicated places for outside meetings, offering organisers the opportunity to create a truly unique agenda.

Outdoor meeting spaces, such as the Woodland Retreat and Haven, provide a natural setting that inspires and encourages delegate engagement.

Launched in 2019, the Woodland Retreat is surrounded by trees and shrubbery and allows delegates to truly connect to nature. Themed around a campfire, it includes wooden railway sleepers and cushions for seating, evoking childhood memories. The sound of rustling leaves and the birds in the sky, coupled with the sun beating down, helps create a calming atmosphere. It also has a fire pit and outdoor games to present team building experiences with a difference.

Similarly, the Haven is a green space where colleagues can relax and search for inspiring ideas. It also has casual seating in a covered area and is perfect for engaging team building activities.

Delegates visiting Warwick Conferences can also take advantage of a 700-acre campus, which includes natural countryside. The team has developed a number of natural walks and cycle routes which both event organisers and delegates can take advantage of during their visit.

Final Thoughts

There is no denying the links between nature and mental health. Ensuring that delegates can take advantage of outdoor spaces during long conferences or meetings can really boost the overall experience. While this may add to the growing list of actions for an organiser, speaking to your venue to see how fresh air can be incorporated effectively should be a priority.

Have you ever seen a difference when introducing outdoor activities or breaks into your agenda? Let us know, by getting in touch with a member of the Warwick Conferences team.

Catherine GreenhillCatherine Greenhill

Catherine specialises in the financial, legal and pharmaceutical industries. With over 30 years of experience in conference and events and business development, she is passionate about forming new and valuable relationships, and connecting clients to the solution that generates the best results for them.

Catherine dot Greenhill at warwick dot ac dot uk

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