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March 22, 2016 Amelia Wilcox

Conference Chair Massage Pros and Cons

Are you considering bringing chair massage to your next conference? Many conference planners use chair massage as a way to break up the event, provide some stress relief to attendees, and create an interesting and memorable perk.

But you may be wondering if there are any downsides to having chair massage therapy at a conference. In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons to conference chair massage.

chair massage for a conference


Conference Chair Massage: Pros and Cons


Nearly every industry has at least a few conferences every year — locally, regionally, and nationally. These conferences draw people who are eager to learn more about their field, gain experience, or network with like-minded people. And there are countless conferences about personal hobbies, interests, and creative pursuits.

Bringing a team of massage therapists with their massage chairs is a nice perk for attendees, but there are potential downsides too.

Get started planning chair massage for your next conference here.



CONS: What are Some Problems with Conference Chair Massage?


As great as we think chair massage is, there are times when it just doesn’t work. Here are some reasons having chair massage might not work at your next conference. You’ve got to consider the schedule of your event, the venue layout, and the cost.


There’s no time in the conference schedule for seated massage. 

When you have back-to-back breakout sessions and keynote speakers, conference attendees won’t have time for a chair massage. A tightly packed conference schedule with minimal break times won’t give your attendees an opportunity to mill around and enjoy a massage.

Shorter conferences of a day or two might not benefit from chair massage if there’s no time for attendees to get them. Longer conferences of closer to a week will offer more opportunities for attendees to slip out for a quick massage.

Related: 4 Keys for Smooth Chair Massage Event Scheduling


Your conference venue doesn’t have room for chair massage.

Another reason chair massage might not work for your conference is the venue. If the location of your conference is small, there may not be room to set up chair massage. You don’t want massage chairs in the way of people going to and from their sessions.

But you also can’t put the massage session in a hidden corner that no one can find.

The ideal space to set up your chair massage is in a location that can be accessed easily, yet where the line that forms won’t interfere with the flow of traffic — and believe me, there will be a line. If the weather is nice, you could even set things up outside.


You don’t have a budget for conference chair massage.

Finally, you’ll have to consider the cost of chair massage for a conference. Prices for chair massage will vary between massage companies, and its definitely something you’d need to budget for and plan.

Considering the other two points — schedule and venue — to make the cost of massage worth it, you’ve got to make sure there is sufficient space and time in the schedule for chair massage.



PROS: Why Have Chair Massage at a Conference?


 seated massge for a conference


The good news is that the portability of chair massage makes it easy to find nooks and crannies to set things up. And most companies can work with any size budget to make it work for your conference. Here are ways on site chair massage can make a big impact at your next conference.


Seated massage can boost attendance at your conference.

Having chair massage available for your conference attendees can boost your ticket sales and increase traffic at your event. When conference tickets cost a big chunk of change, attendees like having extra perks like lunch tickets, free gift bags, and seated massage.

Anything your attendees want to go home to tell their friends about is an added benefit for you. Plus, it makes it more enticing for attendees to come again next time.


Massage at conferences keeps attendees focused.

Even if the information at a conference is interesting, it can be hard to for attendees to remain focused and retain so much new information.

Chair massages can help break up the day with little relaxation sessions. Research shows that 15-minute chair massage can make a huge difference in energy level and focus. By giving attendees a way to sit quietly and absorb all they’ve learned and experienced, the impact of the conference will go much deeper.


Chair massage keeps your conference memorable.

Conference attendees who may not make time in their daily lives for a massage will greatly appreciate getting one at a conference. What better way to make the event more enjoyable than making people more relaxed and better off than when they arrived.

An extra perk like seated massage can help make your conference memorable and unique for all participants.

Related: What to Expect At Your First Chair Massage Event



How to Set Up Chair Massage for a Conference


massage therapy at a conference


Step #1: Research Massage Companies

So you’ve seen some positives and negatives around conference chair massage and you’re ready to give it a shot.

Your first step will be to do a little research on some massage companies to see who will be the best fit for your needs.


Step #2: Include Massage in Conference Planning

You’ll want to designate an area of your conference for the massage sessions. Depending on the massage company you choose, they maybe be able to help with ideas of where the massage chairs should be set up.

Vendor areas, hallways, parking lots or any spare room can accommodate massage chairs. Allow room for participants to set their bags and coats down, and give plenty of space for people to wait in line.


Step #3: Promote Seated Massage as a Perk

Mention that you’ll offer chair massage throughout all marketing of your conference. A unique perk like this might just be the thing that inspires some people to attend your event.

Following your event, send out a survey to attendees to see how they liked your conference. Include some questions about the chair massage aspect to make doubly sure it was money well spent.


Amelia Wilcox

Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement.

Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.

Recently listed as a Forty Under 40, Fast 50, Inc 5000 Twice awarded National Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Licenses, Certifications & Memberships
Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002
Member of American Massage Therapy Association
Served on Utah Worksite Wellness Council from 2012-2015

Attended Utah College of Massage Therapy
Educated in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah

Massage Magazine (AMTA's publication)