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Embracing and caring at Caesars Entertainment’s Global Wellness Summit

By Blair Potter | Jun 16, 2024

Prior to attending Caesars Entertainment’s inaugural Global Wellness Summit—June 4-7 in Las Vegas—Lisa J. Ribacoff-Mooney hadn’t considered wellness as a factor in her day-to-day activities.

“I actually had a bit of a closed mind about the validity of daily wellness,” said Ribacoff-Mooney, MSEd., LPI, CPE, seminar program manager for the American Polygraph Association. “Having attended the summit as a meeting planner for two professional associations, I was able to experience and feel the benefits and positive attributes. As a ‘first-time participant’ to the somatic breathing session, I can recognize and understand the importance of such a session and how it would be applicable to the law enforcement attendees for our meetings. It did open my eyes to self-awareness on the social and emotional level as well as fostered a love for daily gratitude and appreciation for everyday occurrences.”

MPI’s monthly wellness spotlight brough to you by

The meeting and event industry is notoriously stressful, which is why investing in the wellbeing of teams and our attendees is extremely important, according to wellness summit attendee Rachael Riggs, CMP, DES, SEPC, general manager, environmental strategy for Maritz Global Events.

“As a career-long advocate for blending wellbeing and events, I am happy to see our industry really starting to embrace taking time to focus on the wellbeing of our professionals,” Riggs said. “Kudos to Caesars for embracing this and caring. We need more of this to sustain our future as an industry.”

‘Wellness is a core value’

The goal of the wellness summit was for 115 meeting professionals and members of the meetings media to experience “an unparalleled preview of Caesars’ new wellness offerings through a blend of luxury, relaxation and self-discovery.” And while the summit itself is new this year, Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to wellness is longstanding, and wellness weaves its way through the company’s identity and initiatives more each year. (One of the most relevant examples for meeting planners is the wellness menu, which features healthy F&B options, wellness activations and expert speakers—several of whom participated in the wellness summit.)

“We believe in wellness and want to share this passion with our clients, their attendees and stakeholders,” said Kelly Gleeson Smith, vice president of sales for Caesars Entertainment. “At Caesars Entertainment, we have a longstanding belief and investment in the wellbeing of our team members. Wellness is a core value for us and has been for many years now.”

According to Gleeson Smith, wellness menu offerings enhance event experiences, fostering lasting bonds and enriching learning.

“So, to hold an event dedicated to showcasing these new offerings and sharing our passion for wellness was important to us,” she said. “A lot of times we’ll go to events to learn and experience but then we don’t eat right. So, we included delicious meals and snacks that were crafted to keep that pep-in-the-step, so to speak, so attendees can really benefit from all that an event has to offer. Planners can pick and choose with greater ease these food offerings and tailor it to their attendee profile or educational programming.”

‘Truly connecting’

Wellness summit attendees got to know each other and bond through several engaging activations during a welcome reception and dinner at the Nobu Villa—a Japanese-inspired rooftop space at NOBU Hotel Las Vegas. Sensory experiences ranged from chair massages to scenting stations to a water sommelier.

Dami Kim, director of Body & Brain and a Caesars Entertainment wellness menu speaker, and her team regularly deliver wellness education and activations to events and workplaces. They brought an aura imaging and reading activation to the summit’s welcome reception.

“People can see their body-mind-spirit balance, their stress level, their relaxation level and their energy level,” she said. “Of course, they are all stressed, but we showed them how balanced or unbalanced they are and then helped them understand how to improve it through practicing mindfulness and meditation, focusing on themselves.”

Kristine Iverson, a mental wellness speaker, founder and visionary of CROW Practice and another wellness menu speaker, offered a crystal wave station during the welcome reception. Her team member Roman, an expert in crystals, asked attendees what areas they were currently working on—which ranged from forgiveness to grace to balance—and helped them select the right crystal.

“One of the things that that I enjoyed being a part of this experience was watching people truly connecting with themselves, connecting with Roman and connecting with the crystals,” Iverson said. “Some people shared about broken relationships or loved ones that passed on. I found it really beautiful. This crystal wave station was a great idea because we need to connect to ourselves and then connect to our higher powers, and I feel like this was one path to that.”

‘Outside of your comfort zone’

After bonding and getting into the proper wellness mindset during the welcome reception and dinner, summit attendees were ready for a wide variety of activities that helped the achieve better personal wellbeing balance while also demonstrating how to integrate wellness into meetings, whether in an around Las Vegas with Caesars Entertainment or beyond.

Kim and Iverson, respectively, walked attendees through stress management/brain boosting and finding calm in the chaos. Insights were also shared by Caesars Entertainment wellness menu speakers Pandit Dasa (creating a mindful and positive workplace culture), Nolan Nichols (infusing wonder into your life) and Sepideh Eivazi (the somatic breathwork sessions).

Much of the wellness summit took place in the great outdoors—from Yin Yoga and a forest bathing hiking tour at Mt. Charleston to a nighttime Maverick Helicopters tour of the Las Vegas Strip to a final night sound bath meditation at Caesars Palace’s Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis.

A favorite for many attendees was a Colorado River rafting trip through Black Canyon in the shadows of historic Hoover Dam, just a drive of 30 minutes or so from the Las Vegas Strip. Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures, which escorted wellness summit attendees, offers participants facts about the dam and the area, as well as the native flora and fauna, during 1.5-hour and three-hour rafting excursions.

“Strong relationships are built when you get outside of your comfort zone, whether that be through an adventure like river rafting or doing a breathwork session paired with a wellness break,” said wellness summit attendee Amber Lay, sales manager for Destinations by Design. “The quote, ‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation’ by Richard Lingard is very true!”

‘More engaged and efficient’

The wellness summit’s soundtrack, if you will, was curated by Jodi Harris, the event’s official DJ and also an attendee.

“With seminars, meals and breaks all centered around wellness, I aimed to create a modern, zen-like atmosphere through music,” said Harris, CEO of fun and event planner for Sight & Sound Events. (Check out the wellness summit SPOTIFY playlist!)

“My biggest takeaway is to recognize that wellness education and activities can be easy, viable options to incorporate into some of our meetings.” - Alicia Dimaio, CMP, wellness summit attendee and senior meeting planner for HMP Global

As an attendee, Harris discovered that integrating mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises can greatly enhance work-related outcomes.

“By taking moments to ground ourselves and pay attention to our breath it aids in lowering stress levels, improving focus and promoting wellbeing,” she said. “This mindfulness practice can boost our health, which allows us to be more engaged and efficient with our colleagues and customers, resulting in more prosperous and cohesive events where we can handle anything that is thrown our way!”

Photos courtesy Caesars Entertainment



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Blair Potter

Blair Potter is director of media operations for MPI. He likes toys and collects cats (or is it the other way around?).