Second full day of conference began with early morning Professional Development Sessions. Well, truth be told, it actually begins even earlier in the morning in the Precor Experience Center, or at the Greet the Day session, but due to the all of the parties and dinners the previous night, 6:30am does not have a lot of takers. Excellent morning sessions were offered, including timely, actionable advice on using social media from Kathleen Turpel of Imaginal Marketing, who works with many beauty and spa businesses, and suggestions on incorporating stress management therapies into your life and spa menu from Brent Bauer, ISPA Board member and Mayo Clinic Associate Professor.
After the morning sessions, it was time to review and bid on Silent Auction items, which were incredibly numerous, and hit the show floor. One of my interesting finds included Kumani Essentials, a new line of skin, body and haircare started by esthetician, massage therapist, aromatherapist and Spa Director Stacy Fader that is made with Fair Trade Certified shea butter, sourced in Burkina Faso. These high-quality products allow spas to create effective signature treatments and address social responsibility concurrently. Another new introduction is the Sidekick sunless tanning unit from Evolv, which along with advanced chemistry and engineering, offers the first-ever heated airbrush tanning technology. Several vendors still had missing booths, due to a shipping snafu, but leave it to Boldijarre Koronczay of Eminence to turn that into a humorous marketing opportunity!
Afternoon Professional Development Sessions were all excellent, and I found myself bouncing among three topics; an up-to-the minute Global Trends panel moderated by Susie Ellis of SpaFinder and featuring Andrew Gibson, Liz Terry & Andrew Jacka; “Seven Financial Habits of Highly Successful Spas,” always timely and relevant financial advice dispensed by John Korpi and Ryan Crabbe, and a very informative Risk Management lecture by field experts Lori Wood and Tony Hirsch of the Resort Hotel Association. All of these sessions were valuable, and in particular Ellis’s just released 10 trends to watch for 2011 gave us a taste of the year ahead. Keep your eye out for the list, which is usually released in early December. There were additional breakouts on social media and loyalty which were also reportedly terrific. As usual, too many topics for one person to cover, you really do need to bring a team.
Our afternoon General Session featured the truly inspirational Doc Hendley, a tattooed bartender who, at the age of 30 started his own non-profit, Wine to Water, and to date his group has dug, repaired and sanitized drinking wells to supply water for 25,000 people in 5 Third World countries. Hendley is a self-described “average guy” who took what he saw around him and turned it into something to benefit thousands of people and make a difference in the world. His story of determination and willingness to undertake personal risk to accomplish his goal was one that made me think about the power that we all have within ourselves.
The 2010 ISPA Foundation Silent Auction took place after the general session, and raised more than $70k for the ISPA Foundation, which funds educational and research needs for the spa industry, and then everyone dispersed for more parties and dinners.