Spring is in the air, along with the new beginnings that come with it.
As we embark on one of the most beautiful and regenerative times of the year, we shake off the doldrums of winter and embrace the warmth of renewal.
A great way to start anew is by designing mindful events inspired by the season as well as personal daily rituals of mindfulness for yourself and your attendees, according to Deb Gee, experiential design lead, Lululemon.
“Spring is a time of growth and transformation and a time of invigoration and stimulation,” Gee said. “It’s a time to set the stage for the rest of the year ahead with intentions and a time for freshening and lightening up events after those long winter days."
[Related Content: Deb Gee’s 3 Daily Spring Ritual Tips for Event Planners]
Gee is a big believer in using Mother Nature as a springboard to weave the seasons into event design. She shared several wellness-inspired tips for creating standout spring events.
Ambience & Décor
With spring being a time to bounce back and rejuvenate, I like to incorporate a sense of freshness, energy and light. Pastels are always a good choice, as they are tones that are reminiscent of a baby and signify growth.
If you look at it from the perspective of Easter, think of little blades of grass shooting through the earth and a time to embrace the playfulness of the season.
It’s a great opportunity to use turf and bring in a lot of greenery, shrubs still on their stem and flowers. Not only do they look beautiful, but they can smell great. Certain lilies and lilacs smell amazing, and I’m obsessed with tulips, daffodils and baby rosebuds. Anything budding or about to is a great idea, such as dogwood blossoms and cherry blossom branches.
Think of new baby plants and flowers, which is implying that things are about to happen or take off. You can almost build a bit of an arc, so every day you add a little more blossoms and greenery to the decor, almost so your event itself is blooming.
Spring is also a great time to add mirrors and natural daylight, so guests are looking at the vibrance of self. Use the mirrors as a chance for guests to see themselves as well as beautiful spring-like quotes that reflect positivity and affirmations, such as “Hello gorgeous,” “Spring has sprung” and “There she glows,” reminding people to look at themselves—they’re glowing during this time of year.
Also use diffusers with awakening scents, such as rosemary, mint and bergamot, or you can also use calming scents such as rose.
Food & Beverage
Spring gives us the opportunity to make food and beverage all about keeping it light and fresh, and helping guests stay on track with their resolutions they may have set earlier in the year. And it’s important to talk to your chef about what’s in season.
Try to look at spring meal planning as if you were awakening a sleeping bear, trying to get bodies fired up again and rejuvenated by livening up their meals and awakening their senses for food with beautiful aromas and using some flavors that ignite. Integrate cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, ginger, cilantro and lemongrass to stimulate a sluggish metabolism.
[Related Content: 4 Healthy F&B Strategies to Infuse Into Meeting Agendas]
Having lots of comforting, light, warm elements is also great for this time of year, such as a spring soup station or a bone broth station. Go with lighter meats such as chicken or fish and utilize a very plant-based theme. Try to steer away from cheeses and meats.
This is a great opportunity to use lots of raw ingredients and add fermented pickled vegetables, for example, which helps with natural gut flora for metabolism.
Think of all the fresh greens you can incorporate, as well as mushroom, which can be a substitute for meat, offering a richness to dishes without the heaviness of meats.
Beverage-wise, I’m big into juice bars and smoothie bars at this time of year, particularly celery juice, which is proven to have incredible health benefits. Consider an interactive station where guests can add the greens or fruit to their own juices and blend.
Bright and colorful loose-leaf tea bars are also a great idea for spring. It’s something that is clear, light and detoxifying. It’s also a great time for matcha and chai teas, allowing guests to incorporate their own ingredients.
Loose Leaf Tea and Herb Station
I’m loving the movement toward nut milks and people trying alternatives like macadamia, so consider having these available.
Lastly, tap into local small-batch breweries to incorporate interesting lighter brew such as sour beer, which is quite refreshing and good for you gut health.
It adds an interesting element to the dining experience.
Spring is a time to set good habits and encourage guests to do something intentional. Building in time for movement is important to awaken the senses at this time of year.
Gentle yoga, stretching and tai chi are all good options.
Getting out into nature can be one of the most rejuvenating experiences for attendees, especially during spring wildflower season, so incorporate walks or hikes. Foraging is also a really big trend.
Spring Hiking at Vail Mountain Resort, Credit Jack Affleck
Following the theme of revitalization, great spring gifts include self-care items such as rose quartz and jade face rollers and beautiful loofahs. Living things are nice, such as an herb garden starter kit. A loose-leaf tea station can also be a place for attendees to build their own beautiful cannister of tea. You can also give sachets of seasonal herbs and spices inspired by your event menu.
ON DEMAND WELLNESS WEBINAR:
Mindful Events & Daily Rituals Inspired
by the Season (Presented by Deb Gee)
Original Air Date: February 27, 2019