Spa Events in the News
Report on the International Spa Association (ISPA)
Conference and Expo 2006
The theme of the four-day ISPA Conference and Expo (November 6
- 9, 2006) was Harmony. I look back on
my experience there and realize my own personal theme was Balance
(I am never quite in sync with these themes!). This year, although
I could attend only three of the four days, I felt I balanced my
time well among meeting and interviewing other spa professionals,
the General Sessions, Professional Development Sessions, bidding
on auction items, enjoying the relaxation area, visiting the Expo,
and visiting a couple of new Las Vegas spas.
sat in on two General Sessions. The opening session presented trends
research and the Visionary Award was presented to Sylvia Sepielli.
Dan Burris presented a fascinating peek at what lies in the future
(and spas should be a key player in wellness). In the second general
session, the Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award was presented to Dr.
Michael Jacobson for his work in food labeling and awareness. The
visionary panel was composed of Dr. Michael Jacobson (who spoke
about the need for a greener diet with fruits, vegetables and whole
grains and recommended the books Six
Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a Plant-based Diet Could Save
Your Health and the Environment and Night
comes to the Cumberlands), Ginny Lopis (who spoke about
mindfulness - the need for a greater focus on developing individual
and collective consciousness and recommended the book In
the Seat of the Soul), Sylvia Sepielli (who, in reference
to the large number of spas, said "there is enough for everyone
- the universe will provide" and recommended The
Tibetan Book of Living and Dying), Arch Stokes (who talked
about seeing the world as it should be - like Cervantes' Don
Quixote and Aristotle's ethos, pathos and logos as they
apply to spas and recommended the book The
Longevity Strategy: How to Live to 100 Using the Brain-Body Connection)
and Deborah Szekely (who spoke about the loss of leisure time, taking
ownership of your own time, deflecting stress, the benefits and
delights of slow foods and slow sex, and "The secret we share
is our delight in and being part of the healing profession...the
importance is people helping people."). This short presentation
alone was worth the trip.
Professional Development Sessions
attended a number of Professional Development Sessions this year.
The first was Understanding Your Financial Results and Developing
& Action Plan presented by Anthony Cassar CPA of the Spa
Resource Group. I thank Anthony for providing each attendee
with a full printout of the slide presentation. He was the only
one that did of the sessions I attended. In this presentation, Anthony
took a look at Financial Ratios, a Profit & Loss Statement,
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement. While he reviewed what was
in each, I found the analysis of data from these report the most
interesting. Just a few of the questions answered were How liquid
am I?, Do I have the cash to pay my bills currently? What is my
ability to pay my long term debt?, How leveraged am I?, What percentage
of revenue is left to cover my bills?, What percentage of revenues
is available to pay debt or owners? From the P&L - How is the
spa doing? How do service and retail compare? How much of my revenue
is discounted or refunded? What are my most profitable services?
What can I do to change my service mix? How do packages affect my
pricing? Are the numbers good or bad? What can I do to impact my
numbers? Great questions and good, but short answers. A whole day
on this would be well worthwhile.
Top 10 Operational Offenses: Stop Confusing What is Wanted with
What Actually Works! by Leslie Lyon of Spas
2b also covered a lot of ground such as services and profitability.
She provided the way to determine the average service price, cost
of goods sold, gross margin, gross margin %, hourly service $, average
hourly service (to be calculated for each service by department).
She talked about how profit is impacted by promos, discounts, room
layout, staff, menu design and upselling packages. She talked about
KPIs (key performance indicators) and the things you must excel
in to succeed in business - staff productivity, average service/retail
sales per staff, average ticket price, % success rate from appointments
(items/transaction), client retention, inventory turnover, customer
conversion and much, much more. All great stuff. Another day probably
would not do justice to all the material outlined here.
Marketing Advantage - Tips and Tricks from Spa Industry Professionals
was a panel discussion featuring Angela Cortright, Erika Mangrum,
Nina Smiley and Maurice Voce. Lots of tips and info was provided
here...For instance, creating a memorable spa experience is 80%
about how your clients FEEL and 20% about the service or product.
The #1 form of marketing is Work of Mouth. Customer retention is
customer acquisition. Brand from the inside out. Brand clarity is
very important. There are 5 retail strategies that connect with
the consumer: 1. Choose products that make a difference to your
clients; 2. Integrate treatments and products so clients can buy
products they used in the spa to take home; 3. Hire passion not
technique; 4. Follow the client home with mailers, phone follow-ups,
etc.; 5. Don't sell, educate!
SPA ER: Identifying Risks and Handling Incident Investigations
by Tony Hirsh of Resort
Hotel Association and Calvin Martin of Spa
Guardian. This was, perhaps, my favorite presentation - probably
because it aligns so well with SpaQuality's work. It's all about
prevention!!! Among the things that your spa needs (and it was a
long list) are a mission statement, org chart, personnel files,
intake form, and an up-to-date policy and procedures manual. Your
staff and service providers need to have credentials and certifications,
safety training, knowledge of the spa's rules, procedures and protocols
and more. Do they actually follow procedures? They must!!! There
a lots of facility risks - slips and falls (a huge cause for litigation),
fire hazards, electrical hazards, building security and lighting
and more. Product liability was discussed as well as staff using
their own vehicles for spa business. They discussed what it was
like to go through a lawsuit against a spa and the experts you would
need to consult - risk managers, spa attorney, spa accountant, service
provider experts, product experts, physician, police reports, and
more. "There is always one more idiot than you counted on."
They talked about what to do if there is an incident and why conduct
an investigation - to understand, determine the facts, preserve
information, conduct a professional incident investigation, and
determine if you have exposure. Details were provided. This is another
topic that at least a day could (and should) be devoted to.
If you are a member of ISPA, you can see the speakers' PowerPoint
Anyone can purchase audio
recordings and view photographs
(password: spaexperience06) from the conference.
Items up for Bids at the Silent Auction
Items up for Bids at the Silent Auction
Bidding at the Live Auction
This was the first year I actually lingered in the Relaxation
Companies provided warm neck pillows and PerfectSense Paraffin
hand treatments to anyone who wanted to take a truly relaxing break
- even if they didn't have an appointment for a treatment. Fortunately,
I enjoyed both.
|I had an appointment with Actifirm.
Entering their treatment room was like walking into a forest.
The mini-facial was excellent. While it lasted only about 20
minutes, my skin felt tighter, yet moist and soft - as good
as or better than it feels after most 60- or 90-minute facials
I've had. Most Actifirm's products are provided in calibrated-dose,
syringe-like applicators or airless pumps. While the syringe
delivery system may ensure the correct amount and minimize outside
contamination, I personally find its use in the company's "addiction"
theme distasteful. However, I do think product inside is good.
The company's keystone is Actizyme, a patented enzyme derived
from mushrooms. Used in the Actifirm Z-Peel Treatment, it allows
for a non-irritating, uniform cellular peel and in the Acticlear
Spot Stop Lightening Kit to treat hyperpigmentation. The Actifurm
Skin Renovation System helps reduce the appearance of aging
(loss of elasticity, sagging, wrinkles, redness) and includes
Actifirm Antioxidant Morning Cleanser, Actifirm Z-Peel, and
Actifirm Antioxidant Day Cream for use in the morning and Actifirm
Antioxidant Evening Cleanser, Actifirm Renovation Serum and
Actifirm Renovation Cream for use at night. Other products include
Actifirm Sun Stop Sunscreen SPF 30+, Actifirm Renovation Eye
Cream, Actifirm Renovation Mask, Post Laser Gel, Hot Stop after
sun flame quencher, Lip Definer and massage creams - Elysian
Drams Crème de Massage, Mango Tango Crème de Massage
and White Chocolate Crème de Massage.
The remainder of my time at the conference was spent on the
Expo floor. Over 240 vendors were there. Here are six that caught
Revolutions will release LavaShells
and GlacialShells in January 2007. These are similar to hot
stones but with a major difference - they are self-heating
and will remain hot for a half hour. Additionally, Spa Revolutions
has added two types of paraffin to their PerfectSense Paraffin
line - PerfectSense Nourishment - a topical infusion with
11 vitamins and the mineral selenium and PerfectSense RedRock
Detox - the Nourishment blend enhanced with detoxifying elements
such as Arizona red rock clay and renowned green silts from
Peace Patrol has been touring to educate consumers on their
Outer Peace acne fighting products: Outer Peace Acne Relief
Lotion, Outer Peace Acne Relief Pads, Outer Peace Foaming
Cleanser, and Outer Peace Spot Relief.
Moisture Jamzz Inc.'s
Moisture Gloves, Moisture Socks, Reflex-Ahh-Logy Socks and
Hand & Foot Rejuvenation Kits target dry hands and dry
feet. Fun, original designs as well as private label.
tag line is "Find Your Happy," and I have to say
the product made me smile. The lavender, mint, lemongrass
or milk scented powder turns warm water into a translucent,
fluffy jelly that retains heat up to 4 times longer than water
alone. Use it in a bath to relieve stress and aching muscles.
Use it for a pre-soak for pedicures and manicures.
Fiji's demonstration of a Pure Fiji
massage by two therapists was fabulous. Although I'm sure
the massage felt terrific, it was also very enjoyable to watch!
I also got to see the demo at the soon-to-open Qua Baths and
Spa at Caesars Palace. Pure Fiji's Coconut Infused Body
Butter, a thick, rich body butter with a luscious coconut
aroma, Coconut Sugar Rub, and Coconut Milk Bath Soak continue
to be on my favorites list.
New this year from Pure
Inventions, LLC, makers of delicious and healthful
tea concentrates, is Fit & Slender. This tea can be used
in conjunction with any optimal weight management food plan
to curb overeating and replace snacking. It's a delicious,
gingery tasting liquid dietary supplement containing apple
cider vinegar (helps remove toxins), garcinia cambogia (increases
metabolism), green tea (antioxidant and thermogenic), l-carnitine
(helps fatty acids burn for energy), potassium pyruvate (fat
burning), lo han (helps with digestion), Chinese licorice
(supports weight control), chromium picolinate (glucose metabolism)
and ginger (aids digestion).
There were many more products that I enjoyed learning
about. Here are a few of them. Click on the photos below to go to
the companies' web sites.
While in Las Vegas, I had a chance to see the new and
Baths and Spa at Caesars Palace and experience the newly
redecorated spa at Treasure Island - Wet,
The Spa at TI.
I look forward to the ISPA conference next
year at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee,
Florida on November 12-15, 2007.
Spa Conference Reports
Lantana Spa at JW Marriott San Antonio
Farm to Treatment Table Lavender Experience
This package is available Saturdays only, May 12 – July 14 (excluding June 8), must be booked one week in advance and requires 48 hours notice for cancellation.
Hill Country Lavender Farm tour,
a bottle of organic lavender massage oil made at the farm,
lunch at Replenish Spa Café with items featuring lavender, and a lavender-based spa treatment featuring the organic lavender massage oil from the Hill Country Lavender farm.
You can clean your home, fruits, vegetables and meats with the same 'Aqueous Ozone' that spas and other companies use. Tersano's ‘Aqueous Ozone’ Cleaning Systemt is the world's most effective chemical-free cleaner. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ quickly oxidizes (kills) viruses and bacteria (including E.coli, Salmonella, MRSA, C-Difficil), mold, mildew and other contaminants on any item or surface - from toilets to bedspreads - before changing safely back into water and oxygen. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ is 3000 times faster and 50% more powerful than bleach and chlorine-based cleaners. It is 100% chemical free - no toxins, carcinogens or chemical residue - and safe for babies, pets and people with sensitive skin or those with strong reactions to normal cleaners. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ has long been used in water treatment, food sterilization and medical therapies for its remarkable anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. It sounds too good to be true, but the data show how effective the system works.
I'm a believer.
Hearth Health Month at mySpaShop including the best in health and wellness products from companies that give to those in need.