Behind the Scenes at the Inaugural Global Wellness Summit for Event Organizers

June 18, 2024

Reaching $480 billion, the U.S. wellness market is growing at 5 to 10% per year, according to research by global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. In fact, 82% of U.S. consumers consider wellness a priority in their everyday lives.

As wellness trends up on the consumer side, how can business events incorporate healthy activities and food and beverage into their packed conference, networking and trade show schedules?

To find out, more than 120 industry professionals — including meeting planners, press and Caesars Entertainment staff — gathered at the inaugural Global Wellness Summit, held June 4-7 in Las Vegas. The event featured wellness experts on a variety of topics — from mindful meditation and somatic breathing to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping and Water Up, Fire Down exercises. (Stay tuned for our story next week on five wellness speakers to consider for your next event.)

“The overarching purpose of this event was to showcase the new wellness elements of our meeting planner menu,” said Caesars Entertainment Director of Marketing Reina Herschdorfer. “This integration of wellness into our menu aims to provide our clients more options to delight and engage their attendees by implementing on-trend wellness activations at their events.”


Want to know what to plan for wellness? We’ve got 20 ideas for you.

Caesars Wellness

Warm welcome. Transportation was provided from the airport to the hotel, with a driver waiting at baggage claim to whisk attendees off to the Nobu Hotel Las Vegas. Pick up at the airport is a nice gesture — if you have the budget or can get it sponsored. If you don’t have the budget for transportation for all attendees, consider offering transportation for VIPs.

Swag. Before the event, attendees were sent a link and invited to select styles and sizes for t-shirts or tank tops and sweatshirts for wellness activities. I selected a Lululemon Swiftly Tech Short-sleeve shirt (nice breathable, quick-dry fabric) and Ogio hoodie sweatshirt (super soft).

Lunch for early arrivals. Caesars provided light bites (think charcuterie, finger sandwiches and fruit) for those who arrived before hotel check-in. Lunch and badge pick-up were available in the Nobu Villa, a penthouse suite that features 10,300 square feet, rooftop patio and impressive Las Vegas Strip views.

Spa treatments. Massages and facials were available for attendees at the Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. With 56 treatment rooms, Qua provides a luxury spa experience for the right incentive group or meeting. I opted for the facial, and my esthetician said he had been with the company for more than 10 years because they are so good to him.

Caesars Wellness
Somatic Breathwork Session

Rooftop reception. The opening reception and dinner was held at Nobu Villa. Sushi chefs made fresh sushi for guests who could dine in the villa’s ample indoor and outdoor spaces. Some fun wellness activations during the opening reception: Design Your Diffuser Station by Scentex, aura readings and crystal selection. These activities provided nice icebreakers with other attendees while waiting in line.

Morning meetup. Attendees met at 6:45 a.m. to fill up refillable cups with coffee and water before the 7 a.m. departure on motor coaches to Mount Charleston, about one hour away from the Strip. Some attendees got to know the person sitting next to them on the shuttle while others caught up on email or news before losing cell service in the mountains.

Yoga in the Spring Mountains. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the Springs Mountains National Recreation Area provided a beautiful backdrop for yin yoga, led by Zeeta Body Founder Christine Frazzitta. Yoga mats with fresh flowers, eye masks and wraps were set up in a parking lot, featuring views of snow on the mountaintops and towering pine trees nearby. Despite record-breaking heat in Las Vegas, temperatures were about 20 degrees cooler in the mountains. 

Breakfast in nature. After yoga, attendees chatted during breakfast at one of two picnic areas. Caesars provided reusable lunch totes with a Naked Smoothie, breakfast burrito, handmade granola bars and cashew yogurt with fresh fruit. 

Caesars Wellness
Yin Yoga Session Breakfast in Mount Charleston

Hiking. Before the event, attendees were asked if they wanted to participate in an easy, moderate or challenging hike, and colored stickers on badges indicated which group attendees should join on designated buses. With more than 50 miles of maintained trails winding through the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, each group was guided by a knowledgeable park ranger. Some listened to the guide talk about local history, plants and wildlife while others made connections with other planners who share the same interests. Our challenging hike was indeed challenging at 2 miles — a descent and then up. 

Healthy lunch menu. One of the highlighted items on Caesar’s wellness menu was the Mediterranean Chopped Salad with romaine lettuce, feta, red onion, cucumber, Castelvetrano olives, pepperoncini, parsley and heirloom tomatoes. For dessert, Caesars Executive Pastry Chef Dorothy Pace whipped up crispy clouds with fresh berries, meringues made with half the sugar. She shared the recipe with attendees.

Breaks with healthy snacks. During one break, Caesars served up immunity shots made with lemon-cayenne, honey-orange, turmeric, black pepper, pomegranate and vinegar-ginger. Attendees could also build their own trail mix with a selection of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and granola. 

Caesars Wellness

Unique meeting spaces and seating. One afternoon, sessions were held at MR CHOW, a restaurant that features an elegant white, modern décor with one-of-a-kind design elements, including a kinetic moon sculpture that hangs over the main dining room. After all of the seating was removed in the main dining room, the plush blue carpet provided ample seating for meditation chairs. 

Water drop bar. Caesars provided attendees with refillable insulated water bottles, and a movable water drop bar, sponsored by tabl’eau, offered still and sparkling water on tap throughout the event.

Dinner not in a ballroom. Following the afternoon sessions at MR CHOW, the space was cleared for dinner. The sculpture at MR CHOW is suspended from a domed ceiling in the center of the room, and it comes to life every 20 minutes, slowly morphing into different shapes. Attendees noshed on some of the restaurant’s signature dishes, including chicken satay, green prawns, noodles and Beijing Duck.

Caesars Wellness

Helicopter ride. Where’s the ultimate view of the Las Vegas Strip? From the sky, of course. Maverick Helicopters hosted attendees at its headquarters, adjacent to Harry Reid International Airport. During the 15-minute ride above the Strip, our group of five took in views of the Sphere and the Stratosphere. Maverick provided a framed and mounted photograph of our group as we exited.

Rafting. On Day 2, attendees arrived at 6:45 a.m. to grab a to-go breakfast for a 7 a.m. departure with Hoover Dam Rafting. Waivers were sent via email before the event for a fast and smooth process on site. Attendees enjoyed a unique and awe-inspiring half-day trip aboard a motor-assisted inflatable raft through the spectacular Black Canyon – the natural gorge of the Colorado River immediately below Hoover Dam.

Lunch not in a ballroom. Following the rafting adventures, attendees gathered for lunch at Brasserie B by celebrity chef Bobby Flay. Across from Nobu Hotel, the restaurant, which can be bought out for groups up to 300, offers delicious and distinct French-inspired brunch and dinner dishes at Caesars Palace. The family-style lunch menu featured a Nice chopped salad, Salad Verte, slow roasted salmon, Chicken Paillard, sauteed spinach, pomme puree and roasted asparagus with profiteroles, creme brulee and a thin apple tart for dessert.

Caesars Wellness
Sound Bath at the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis

Comfortable seating for sessions. The second day’s afternoon sessions were held in the Milano I ballroom. With furniture provided by AFR, the ballroom was set with a variety of seating options — from comfortable couches to plush chairs.

Wellness dinner menu. Some of the highlighted items on Caesar’s wellness menu served included gazpacho with diced tomatoes, peppers, red onion, hard boiled egg, avocado and lobster chunks; a marinated tomato and mozzarella salad; and a micro fruit plate with pineapple, cantaloupe, berries, pomegranate and Madagascan vanilla bean syrup.

Sound bath. Under the new moon in Gemini, attendees practiced breathing and sound healing with a guided meditation by Dani Kilpatrick in the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis. With music and mood lighting, some attendees floated in the pool on oversized mattresses while others stretched out on yoga mats on the pool deck.


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