W³ – World Wellness Weekend, inspiring millions across the globe to a healthier lifestyle

World Wellness Weekend Anja Eva Keller TalkWellness

W³ – World Wellness Weekend, inspiring millions across the globe to a healthier lifestyle

Have you heard of W³ – World Wellness Weekend?

W³ – World Wellness Weekend is in its second edition in September 2018. The initiative is gaining momentum with participants expected from over 60 countries. 

Is your Spa & Wellness Business participating yet?

Reports from the World Health Organisation about the general health of the public are scary. We hear of alarming rates of obesity, chronic diseases and the gloomy prospect of growing old with sickness. This outlook prompts the urge of people to visit doctors, run check-ups, and DNA tests.

I just read an article about increasing rates of suicide in the US. Not good.

Still, prevention is hard to sell and not attractive to most. 

However fun is!

And this is the aim of W³ – World Wellness Weekend: to touch the hearts & minds of millions across the globe to inspire them to switch to healthier lifestyle because it feels GREAT to be WELL.

I am ever so thankful to Jean Guy de Gabriac from TIP TOUCH International. He has taken a great deal of time to tell me all about his newest brain child: W³ – World Wellness Weekend.

If you are in the Spa & Wellness Industry, this is a must read!

World Wellness Weekend Anja Eva Keller TalkWellness

Jean Guy de Gabriac

Jean Guy, how did the initiative of W³ – World Wellness Weekend start?

In March 2017 several Spa & Wellness associations asked me to create an event in September around the time of the equinox. This time of year, is rich in symbols when day & night are equal, encouraging people to optimise work-life balance, boost vitality to enjoy life’s potential while in the same time gain more serenity and resilience, as mental health & mental strength are key for longevity.

Incidentally, September is also a very busy month when people renew their spa’s or fitness club’s membership. They keep enjoying the benefits of the summer holidays, before days get shorter, darker and colder. 

With only six months to prepare, the first Wellness Weekend was celebrated in France & Belgium. Over 160 properties in September 2017 benefited from media visibility and attracted new clients.

Who started it?

I did, using my experience as consultant & educator since 2001. I contacted my network of Spa, Wellness & Tourism professionals and mobilised several leading associations in France, like ANETT (gathering 900 Mayors of touristic cities) and Auvergne Thermale (which coordinated creative activities in 12 thermal cities).

Thanks to the success of the first edition, and more time to plan ahead, for the second year we should reach 60 countries participating. This means hundreds of properties with the support of 35 associations on all continents, major hotel groups and spa operators. 

World Wellness Weekend Anja Eva Keller TalkWellness

GOCO Spa Venice

What is the idea behind W³ – World Wellness Weekend?

Scary reports from World Health Organisation, with alarming rates of obesity, chronic disease and the gloomy prospect of growing old with sickness, prompt the urge to visit doctors, run check-ups & DNA tests. However, joy seem to be a much stronger driver than fear to encourage people to implement sustainable lifestyle changes. When people are having FUN in Spas, Yoga studios, Fitness clubs with inspiring instructors, not only do they come back frequently, but also encourage their friends to join and become their “Wellness buddies”.

W³ – World Wellness Weekend is a pro-bono event that takes Wellness to the 3rd degree, inspiring spas, salons, yoga/Pilates/dance studios to organise FUN & creative activities to showcase the talent of their teams, catch the attention of national & local media, while attracting lifestyle-oriented guests. We encourage properties not just to organise “free” activities, but also bounce-back offers as “3-steps to wellness” with 2 other reasons (packages, programs) for people to come back before December.

When people smile & have fun, their body chemistry changes & flourishes with serotonin & oxytocin.

Therefore we want to touch the hearts & minds of millions around the globe to encourage them to experience how GREAT it feels to be WELL. Once they start enjoying moving, running, dancing, stretching… why not continue to enhance one’s range of motion, one’s flexibility, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Inspiring millions to switch to healthier & more fun lifestyles

because it feels GREAT to be WELL!’

Discoveries in epigenetics show that although people may have a genetic predisposition to certain pathologies, their lifestyle has the biggest influence on how genes express themselves. In a way, our DNA is like a loaded gun, but it is really the way we sleep, eat, exercise, cope with stress and engage in social activities with friends & family that eventually pulls the trigger… or not! What NATURE gives us, grows or blooms in the way we NURTURE ourselves.

World Wellness Weekend Anja Eva Keller TalkWellness

Marriott Dead Sea executives

Jean Guy, we have all heard about the Global Wellness Day GWD. How does W³ – World Wellness Weekend differ?

Celebrating Wellness around the world and around the year is an great idea. Wellness should be practiced every day, or every weekend, to implement lasting changes in one’s lifestyle and to fully become the best version of oneself. Clearly one day is a good start but it is not enough.

World Wellness Weekend is very easy to implement in any Wellness-related property (spa, hotel, yoga/Pilates studio, fitness club, sport association, martial art dojo…). There is no need to spend any money printing paddles. People can wear whatever colour they prefer.

The big advantage of World Wellness Weekend (or W³ as people call it) is that we elevate the perception of what Wellness is and feels like. First we focus on the associates so that their manager encourages them to be as creative as can be, to unleash their passion and use their expertise to create new surprising FUN treatments & activities to catch the attention of the media. I believe that is what sets their hearts on fire. And putting a big smile on their face will attract journalists, influencers, bloggers.

Examples

Here are a few examples: trying aerial yoga for the first time ; a sunset yoga session with a live musician on a terrace ; Yoga & Wine to practice for 45 minutes before tasting bio-dynamic wine with the group in a social way, or organising a treasure hunt for parents & kids in the neighbourhood; implementing a personaliTEA quiz recommending the most appropriate blend of tea with the right treatment depending on the core energy type of each visitor.

Some Spa Managers had a really hard time convincing their GM to run activities for FREE on a busy Saturday. For World Wellness Weekend we encourage Managers to work hand in hand with their Marketing & Communication departments to promote some “Wellness Weekend packages”, organise specials and implement bounce-back offers to have visitors come back with deals like “3 steps to wellness” or double bookings with their Wellness buddy.

World Wellness Weekend Anja Eva Keller TalkWellness

W Ram Chatterjee Accor Azerbaijan

Who can participate and what is in it for them?

There are two types of “participants”: properties & the public at large.

In order to participate, properties register for free and appear on the World Wellness Map. The public can then locate them on their smartphones and discover their fun wellness activities on a full page for each property.

Both the World Wellness Map and the NEAR YOU listing contribute to their Search Engine Optimisation. This is a real plus in comparison with other wellness events which give little useful online visibility to properties. World Wellness Weekend focuses on giving SEO exposure to all properties registered online. We have a transparent, participative organisation with real disclosure of the number of participating properties. Not all wellness events offer that.  

Moreover, by encouraging their associates to brainstorm and then express their talent, passion and uniqueness with creative activities, participating properties benefit from the dynamics of team-building where all associates take part with joy & pride to showcase the best of what their activities, and their property can be.

Last but not least, World Wellness Weekend is generating significant visibility in the media with articles in the press, on webzines, radio & television. See our media page. 

Participating in World Wellness Weekend and showcasing the talent, expertise and social skills of a team is great branding for properties, and it is also great to boost footfall & repeat business. To be clear, next to these fun & highly creative wellness activities open to guests, locals & community, the weekend is “business as usual”, with treatments charged at regular prices (although some participating properties run promotions on certain modalities, and special packages to bundle treatments with retail products).

Some DAY SPAS are partnering with local wellness-related businesses (yoga/Pilates/dance studios, fitness clubs, restaurants…). This helps in garnering more media attention and creating a memorable Wellness Weekend Agenda in their community. With fun workshops, talks, try-outs from sunrise to sunset throughout all participating locations.

Some HOTEL SPAS are implementing a half-board Wellness Weekend package. And add subtle bounce-back offers to encourage clients to come back two more times before end of December (“3 steps to wellness”). Or stimulate future double bookings (“better together with your Wellness Buddy”). 

As for the public at large, they are invited to enjoy, at no charge, exciting, original, fun & creative wellness activities where they live or where they will travel on Sept 22-23 (see the NEAR YOU section of our website). They are encouraged to book in advance with the properties, as seating may be limited (especially on peak time). They can join with their friends, their Wellness Buddies, their family, or by themselves. This is an opportunity to meet like-minded wellness aficionados.

Yes there are scary statistics about chronic disease, obesity, loneliness. World Wellness Weekend prefers to focus on engaging the public at large in FUN, creative (and free) activities. This way they discover how GREAT it feels to be WELL. And that they want to do it again, and again, and again.

Discoveries in epigenetics show that although people may have a genetic predisposition to certain pathologies. However their lifestyle has the biggest influence on how genes express themselves.

In a way, our DNA is like a loaded gun, but it is really the way we sleep, eat, exercise, cope with stress and engage in social activities with friends & family that eventually pulls the trigger… or not! 

What NATURE gives us, grows or blooms in the way we NURTURE ourselves.

When people smile & have fun, their body chemistry changes & flourishes with serotonin & oxytocin. Instead of talking to people about depression, which can be ever more depressing for people to listen to, we encourage them be more active, and taste the full flavour of Wellness “with gusto”, with a zest of creativity, and a twist of fun!

For an experience to be transformative, it needs to make a difference in how people FEEL. Before they process and THINK about it. 

How to take part and take action?

check this out, it is super easy: https://www.world-wellness-weekend.org/portfolio-item/take-part-take-action/

all pictures credit Jean Guy de Gabriac

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