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JP Lennard
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

'Optimism and innovation' at SPATEC Europe 2012

Image: Comfort Zone and Coworth Park meeting

This year's SPATEC Europe attracted 49 spa operators and 63 industry suppliers – for more than 800 one-to-one scheduled meetings – with a remit of conducting business as well as exchanging ideas with peers.

Held at the Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa in Marbella, Spain, on 18-20 April, the event welcomed the majority of its delegates from the UK but had a growing number from mainland Europe and – interestingly – international representatives from as far away as Australia, India, Hong Kong and North America.

"There is a general feeling of optimism in the industry" says event director Stephen Pace-Bonello, "although operators and suppliers are finding it increasingly necessary to take a more creative and innovative approach.

"Spa operators are seeking new revenue-generating and cost-saving products and services while striving to maintain their standards. Meanwhile, suppliers are coming up with new ways to promote their products and services."

The opening session, chaired by management consultant, Berni Hawkins addressed the question 'what do women want?' and provided statistics from Mintel and Global Spa Summit research. Over a third of women still want to age naturally, delegates heard. And these women are taking a more holistic approach – eating healthily, exercising more, staying out of the sun – and, of course, prefer natural/organic skincare products with nourishing ingredients coupled with home detox remedies such as supplement and cleansing juices.

Interestingly, it was also revealed that younger consumers, women aged 18-25, are most likely to believe anti-ageing skincare claims. This is a generation that's been bombarded with marketing messages about the importance of looking good and is a key target market for spas which is often overlooked in favour of the older age groups, says Hawkins. Adapting treatment menus and products houses that 'talk the language' of this age group might be a smart move for some operators.

Another element that resonated with the audience is that consumers don't trust spas – there's a need to build a stronger relationship with customers by improving the follow-up process post visit and opening up websites to consumer feedback. Older therapists, with more life skills who are able to better emphasise with clients, could also be a solution, one delegate said.

Meanwhile, from meetings with operators, two key trends stood out. Firstly, consumer demand for results-driven treatments continues to gather apace. While not new, medi-spa services – whether in the form of botox and fillers, or more machine-based microcurrent facials and laser treatments for cellulite – are becoming increasingly popular. "We're looking at what's the most invasive treatment that spas can do that's safe," says Sandra Sadowski, director of spa and fitness at Ritz-Carlton Spa New York Central Park.

Secondly, there's a growing demand for specialisation in treatments and therapists. "Consumers look to spas for expertise," says Ewa Goos director of spa control and development at Scandinavian chain Nordic Hotels & Resorts. "If they book an anti-ageing facial, for example, they expect a specialised, trained therapist who is excellent in anti-ageing treatments.

"It's the same as hairdressing where you have some staff focusing on colour and others in hair design and cutting. We're also seeing a demand for more specific, results-orientated therapies such as feet treatments, sleep treatments, jetlag treatments etc."

Liz Holmes, spa director at Rockliffe Hall, UK, adds: "While it's important to have therapists who can deliver exceptional core treatments, we've begun to separate areas of specialisation for therapists to allow their confidence and expertise to develop.

"We've recently promoted one therapist to a spa grooming specialist; while another, who had a background in sports therapy and relaxation, has just completed a course on palliative treatments which has allowed her to create a protocol for guests affected by cancer and life limiting conditions."

At the closing dinner, delegates heard that Noor Kassam, president of the organising company Questex-McLean Events, will be retiring at the end of the year. The rest of the Questex-McLean Events team remain, with SPATEC Europe being headed up by Pace-Bonello and SPATEC North America overseen by Michelle Gamble.

Finally, it was announced that SPATEC Europe 2013 will be held on 24-27 April at the Ritz-Carlton Abamar resort in Tenerife.

Details: www.mcleaneventsinternational.com

This year's SPATEC Europe attracted 49 spa operators and 63 industry suppliers – for more than 800 one-to-one scheduled meetings – with a remit of conducting business as well as exchanging ideas with peers.
SAB,EVT,SWC
43597_299414.gif
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'Optimism and innovation' at SPATEC Europe 2012

Image: Comfort Zone and Coworth Park meeting

This year's SPATEC Europe attracted 49 spa operators and 63 industry suppliers – for more than 800 one-to-one scheduled meetings – with a remit of conducting business as well as exchanging ideas with peers.

Held at the Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa in Marbella, Spain, on 18-20 April, the event welcomed the majority of its delegates from the UK but had a growing number from mainland Europe and – interestingly – international representatives from as far away as Australia, India, Hong Kong and North America.

"There is a general feeling of optimism in the industry" says event director Stephen Pace-Bonello, "although operators and suppliers are finding it increasingly necessary to take a more creative and innovative approach.

"Spa operators are seeking new revenue-generating and cost-saving products and services while striving to maintain their standards. Meanwhile, suppliers are coming up with new ways to promote their products and services."

The opening session, chaired by management consultant, Berni Hawkins addressed the question 'what do women want?' and provided statistics from Mintel and Global Spa Summit research. Over a third of women still want to age naturally, delegates heard. And these women are taking a more holistic approach – eating healthily, exercising more, staying out of the sun – and, of course, prefer natural/organic skincare products with nourishing ingredients coupled with home detox remedies such as supplement and cleansing juices.

Interestingly, it was also revealed that younger consumers, women aged 18-25, are most likely to believe anti-ageing skincare claims. This is a generation that's been bombarded with marketing messages about the importance of looking good and is a key target market for spas which is often overlooked in favour of the older age groups, says Hawkins. Adapting treatment menus and products houses that 'talk the language' of this age group might be a smart move for some operators.

Another element that resonated with the audience is that consumers don't trust spas – there's a need to build a stronger relationship with customers by improving the follow-up process post visit and opening up websites to consumer feedback. Older therapists, with more life skills who are able to better emphasise with clients, could also be a solution, one delegate said.

Meanwhile, from meetings with operators, two key trends stood out. Firstly, consumer demand for results-driven treatments continues to gather apace. While not new, medi-spa services – whether in the form of botox and fillers, or more machine-based microcurrent facials and laser treatments for cellulite – are becoming increasingly popular. "We're looking at what's the most invasive treatment that spas can do that's safe," says Sandra Sadowski, director of spa and fitness at Ritz-Carlton Spa New York Central Park.

Secondly, there's a growing demand for specialisation in treatments and therapists. "Consumers look to spas for expertise," says Ewa Goos director of spa control and development at Scandinavian chain Nordic Hotels & Resorts. "If they book an anti-ageing facial, for example, they expect a specialised, trained therapist who is excellent in anti-ageing treatments.

"It's the same as hairdressing where you have some staff focusing on colour and others in hair design and cutting. We're also seeing a demand for more specific, results-orientated therapies such as feet treatments, sleep treatments, jetlag treatments etc."

Liz Holmes, spa director at Rockliffe Hall, UK, adds: "While it's important to have therapists who can deliver exceptional core treatments, we've begun to separate areas of specialisation for therapists to allow their confidence and expertise to develop.

"We've recently promoted one therapist to a spa grooming specialist; while another, who had a background in sports therapy and relaxation, has just completed a course on palliative treatments which has allowed her to create a protocol for guests affected by cancer and life limiting conditions."

At the closing dinner, delegates heard that Noor Kassam, president of the organising company Questex-McLean Events, will be retiring at the end of the year. The rest of the Questex-McLean Events team remain, with SPATEC Europe being headed up by Pace-Bonello and SPATEC North America overseen by Michelle Gamble.

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Details: www.mcleaneventsinternational.com

This year's SPATEC Europe attracted 49 spa operators and 63 industry suppliers – for more than 800 one-to-one scheduled meetings – with a remit of conducting business as well as exchanging ideas with peers.
SAB,EVT,SWC
43597_299414.gif

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