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Taking naps at a conference: improving the attendee's experience

Imagine this scenario, you wake up before sunrise to catch an early morning flight into a foreign city to attend an in-person conference on the latest business trends, pharmaceutical discoveries or financial technologies. When you reach the conference site, you dump your luggage in the cloakroom and rush off to your first session, but not without grabbing a free coffee first.

Some people find this to be exhilarating, fun and a great chance to meet and communicate with other people in the industry. Others are dreading the long days, the demanding environment and the need to just take a moment to themselves.

Relatable? Ultimately no matter which group you fall under, we are all human and we will get to a certain point during the day where we will start to lag. Our concentration and productivity dwindles and our eyelids become heavy; your feet start to feel the pressure and the only thing keeping you going is the next coffee break and the free lunch (sometimes underwhelming).

blue lights in a conference hall

At this point, what do you do?

We’ve all seen people sitting on their own in the corner of the conference hall, on sofas and sometimes in a quiet corridor trying to catch those 40 winks. Some even attend random talks and seminars sitting in the back row waiting for the lights to dim with their headphones on and cheekily closing their eyes.

In the past year, it was easy to attend online conferences. Everything is recorded so you could always go back to rewatch them or you could just turn off your webcam and passively take in the information. But as we return to our in-person fiascos, don’t you think the conferencing offering should change? With our new focus on our health and wellbeing, should conferences shift to cater for this too?

At Rest Space, we understand that no one is a superhuman as much as we all believe we may be. Susan Cain, author of the international best seller, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” says that 30%-50% of the workforce are introverts. Among what is already being done to make events more inclusive, including rest spaces will really make a difference to those that need it the most. This includes the people who are pregnant, carrying a hidden illness or experiencing stressful life events.

The benefits of having a quick nap can increase your creativity and productivity. It will also improve learning, aid memory formation and reduce sleepiness, which would be vital at an all day conference, don’t you think?

Imagine not dreading your red-eye flight to an event because you know you will have the opportunity to get a nap when it all starts to catch up. Imagine not worrying about overloading your brain because you will get a quiet space to take time out, imagine being more switched on because you got the opportunity to switch off.

With more conferences offering yoga, and group meditation. Speakers inviting attendees to take a breath or have a moment of calm before bombarding them with shocking facts and exciting discoveries, wellbeing at events is getting some much needed attention.

We have [Rest Spaces] for people to retreat into during the day for 10/20 minutes, allowing them to get the head space needed in the demanding environments we are surrounded by. Our aim is to enable people with a much needed tool to look after their wellbeing and make the most of what the day has to offer them.

We are now offering sleeping pod rentals to conferences in the UK; we are on a mission to provide the best space to rest and bring back the power nap to the people. Our new Rest Space Everest has been designed and built based on the latest sleep research and we want everyone at the very least to give it a try. We are changing the landscape of workplace wellness and we’re hoping conference organisers will come join the journey with us!

Get in touch with RestSpaceLDN if you would like to learn more about napping at conferences.


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