Smart Meetings: A Boost for Health and Wellness

Delos offers cutting-edge program at MGM Grand in Las Vegas By Dan Johnson

The unveiling of a new health and wellness program at a hotel ordinarily wouldn’t be big news, given that such programs are rapidly becoming a staple at properties throughout the world. But a program recently implemented at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is particularly notable because it is designed specifically for meetings and is so thorough and well-designed that it is likely to serve as a model for the industry.

Stay Well Meetings, which debuted at the hotel on Aug. 18, was designed by Delos, which since 2007 has focused on creating homes, offices, schools and other indoor environments that nurture and promote health and well-being. Delos partnered with MGM Grand in 2012 to transform 42 hotel rooms into Stay Well Rooms, each containing features designed to enhance the quality of air, light and water and to promote better sleep, comfort, mental acuity, nutrition and overall health.

Delos collaborated with doctors, scientists, architects, designers and thought leaders to identify, develop and integrate the features—including water and air filtration systems, healthy snacks and natural cedar closets. The rooms have become very popular, sparking the hotel to add 129 additional Stay Well Rooms this year. In fact, they now take up the entire 14th floor of the MGM Grand.

Stay Well Meetings Features
The Stay Well Meetings program incorporates some of the same features as Stay Well Rooms. Here are some of the highlights:
• Air purification: the most advanced HEPA-standard system for better air quality and breathing
• Well Shield: a self-cleaning, photo-catalytic coating applied to high-touch areas that results in cleaner surfaces and destroys odors
• Cleaning protocol: the use of hypoallergenic products and a wand clean-ing tool that neutralizes bacteria, viruses and other microbes.
• Circadian lighting: a system that emulates the properties of natural light, thereby enhancing productivity and energy
• Chromotherapy: the use of dynamic color designs to allow for themes in meeting rooms
• Biophilia: incorporation of elements such as greenery and art that are evocative of nature, to produce a calming atmosphere
• Virtual biophilia: virtual window lights that bring an element of the natural environment into rooms
• Aromatherapy: optional use of scents to create a relaxing, mood-enhanc-ing environment
• Stay Well Meetings app: a specially designed tool that helps attendees make the most of their experience; options include an innovate Jet Lag tool, tips on generating sufficient Vitamin D, a hydration tracker and a personalized wellness index.
• Healthy menu options: a curated menu of food, including nutritional and dietary content
“Everything possible should be done to make sure that the places where

people meet are conducive to output, because meetings are a huge invest-ment for companies and organizations, ” says Paul Scialla, founder and CEO of Delos. “Some specific things, such as air purification and circadian light-ing, can have meaningful impacts on a body’s cortisol and melatonin levels.”

Wellness Moment Programming
Stay Well Meetings also contains a component, Wellness Moment Programming, consisting of short activities designed to engage the body and mind, including brain teasers, guided meditations, opportunities throughout the day to disconnect from technology, and physical activity breaks.

Dr. Deepak Chopra, the author of more than 75 books and an influential pioneer in the promotion of alternative medicine, lauds Stay Well Meetings. “Delos is a pioneer, particularly in the whole area of Stay Well Meetings, which creates an environment that makes a meeting much more productive,” says Chopra, a member of the Delos advisory board. “If your body is energetic and joyful; if your mind is restful, alert and sharp; and if you experience some lightness in your being, then you’re going to be much more productive.

“Stay Well Meeting rooms facilitate this in everything from the air you breathe to the water that you’re drinking, the food that is offered, the lighting and the breaks for meditation, movement, breathing and mental exercises.”

Delos’ Stay Well Rooms and Stay Well Meetings have been implemented only at the MGM Grand, but this could soon change.

“I’m not prepared to announce anything yet, but I would like all of our luxury hotels to have a Stay Well component, whatever it may look like,” says Mike Dominguez, senior vice president of sales for MGM Resorts International.

Dominguez views Stay Well Meetings as a vital addition to the hospital-ity industry. “Through implementation of its programs, Delos is helping us to educate a community of people,” he says. “And as a thought leader in the industry, we’ve felt the need to introduce Stay Well Meetings to build momentum for it.”