It’s always a pleasure to meet up with other spa insiders at the UK’s main industry event, Spa Life. There’s the excitement of the Good Spa Awards where this year our client, The Spa at The Midland won ‘Best Urban Spa’ for the second year running, new discoveries from suppliers and the opportunity to network and discuss hot topics.
This year, at the CEO Summit attended by many leading spa operators, we discussed ‘The challenge of attracting and retaining good therapists into our industry’. There were four main points of discussions: Industry Image; Remuneration; Career Pathways; Training & Development.
On the subject of Industry Image we all agreed that there is a job to be done with elevating the reputation of a spa therapist. Ideas discussed included educating the influencers such as careers advisors and parents on the value and opportunities; elevating the position of spa therapists by moving it away from beauty; telling the success stories; introducing a strong message around the ‘power of touch’ which demonstrates the difference spa therapists make to people’s lives; and running a national spa recruitment week and awards scheme. We’ll keep you updated on how actions from the CEO Summit unfold.
It was also interesting to hear from Anna Ramsey at The Good Spa Guide who led us through the findings of their 2018 spa and wellness report. While the results were not too far away from what we predicted, it was reassuring to see that the overriding reasons for people visiting a spa was for one of the following; wellness, reward, social or to reconnect. With 70% of spa-goers choosing to go to a spa to ‘treat myself, I deserve it’, the indulgent side of spa is still very much important in a world of ‘green wellness’.
It was also clear to see that the term wellness is in fact changeable with the definition varying vastly amongst the survey participants. The results showed that 40% of participants agreed that wellness was about the mind and the term then shifts between being able to indulge, the entire spa experience and eating clean. It was also interesting to hear that spa goers value time over physical extras. For example, an extended massage would take precedence over a complimentary glass of champagne – this is something to keep in mind when creating new spa packages.
On the supplier side of things, we had our eye out for exciting new brands and product developments which were found aplenty. Set against a stunning floral wall was new organic brand Kypwell, bringing the natural skincare benefits of the Cypriot shorelines to spas and consumers in the UK. Harnessing the power of Cyprus’ locally grown herbs and flowers, many of Kypwell’s formulations are based on the skincare recipes that were used in ancient monasteri
Particularly innovative were the offerings at the FOREO stand, whose unique, gently vibrating range of facial and massage tools are picking up hosts of awards with consumers and are now set to take the spa world by storm. On the wellbeing side we found HECH Nutrition, the brand crafting quality sports and beauty supplements in a seriously beautiful way. We tried the Catwalk Booster, dubbed as ‘While-You-Walk Liquid Metabolism’ which promises to stave off jet lag and prepare you for the runway – supermodel or otherwise.
It was also good to catch up with colourful SOFRI which utilises the energy potential of colours, plants and gems; VOYA, the luxury organic skincare company from Sligo making waves around the world. Their products, enriched with mineral rich seaweed, just get better and better; and our friends at The Natural Spa Factory who make our lives easier when it comes to interesting spa treatments!
Thanks to Andrew and Mike at Spa Life in making 2018 a great success for us all.