Jean-Guy de Gabriac, founder of spa training and consultancy Tip Touch International and coordinator of the Professional Spa & Wellness Convention, outlines why the event is one not to miss
How would you describe this year’s Professional Spa & Wellness Convention?
A brief summary would be “must attend”. Delegates will have a unique chance to attend a spa business conference with 37 high-ranking speakers from 15 countries.
What do you hope attendees will take away from the convention?
The speakers – who are general managers, vice presidents, group spa directors and senior executives – have agreed to share fresh data, exciting KPIs and tried and tested best practices, so that the savvy delegates can go back to their spas infused with energy and a bagful of new tactics and strategies to boost their operations. It will be like attending a spa operations executive programme with some of the best players in the world.
The programme at the Professional Spa & Wellness Convention speaks for itself, with executives from Amanzoe, The Bannatyne Group, Clarins, Clinique La Prairie, Espa, Four Seasons, Goco Hospitality, Hilton Worldwide, Q Hotels, Hilton Head Health, Raffles-Fairmont Hotels, Rockliffe Hall, Six Senses, Spafinder Wellness, Steiner Leisure and Waldorf Astoria and more.
What did you enjoy most about putting the convention programme together?
It is a dream come true to be able to reach out to charismatic people with outstanding track records, to ask them to share and give back to the industry.
What did you want the convention programme to deliver?
We wanted to share a good mix of best practices for hotel, day, destination and club spas, bringing in a wealth of expertise from around the world.
What sets this event apart from other industry conferences and conventions?
The quality of networking is second to none with almost 400 delegates, all savvy and open to sharing tricks of the trade. The most efficient delegates maximise the convention opportunities by arriving in pairs, so one can scout the exhibition floor for innovations from product houses and equipment suppliers. There is also the pre-convention Negotiation Theory and Application workshop with Neil Orvay, founder and chief executive of Asia Spa and Wellness Limited, on Saturday February 21 and the World Spa & Wellness Awards gala dinner that same evening.
On Monday February 23 we have the Breakfast Club, where you have the opportunity to network with four world-class professionals: Elena Bogacheva, chief executive of Spa Priori and president of Spa & Wellness International Council (SWIC), Ryan Crabbe, senior director, global wellness at Hilton Worldwide, Charlie Thompson, group spa projects and support at Q Hotels and chairman of the UK Spa Association and Michael Tompkins, chief executive at Hilton Head Health and chairman of the International Spa Association.
What would you like to see happen in the spa and wellness industry in 2015?
Like Jeremy McCarthy, group director of spa at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, I strongly believe that the next revolution in programming is positive psychology. I hope to see the first psycho-aesthetician graduates in 2015/2016, to help guests bloom, flourish and thrive.
The Professional Spa & Wellness Convention takes places February 21-23, at London's ExCeL exhibition centre. To view the full programme, and book your delegate pass, click HERE