Meeting point

Following the ninth annual Spatec Europe, held in Alicante, Spain on June 3-6, we speak to David Zarb Jenkins, event director at Spatec organisers Questex Mclean Events, about the concept behind it, and plans for the future 

Spatec is seen as one of the key global spa and wellness industry events to attend. How has it managed to retain this position? 
The key to making the events work is to carefully [look at] the companies we invite and to ensure that more than half of the attendees are new to the event every year. This means suppliers are guaranteed to meet new people, while also being able to maintain relationships with existing clients.

Our main focus is to bring new people to Spatec. We can’t have the same buyers and suppliers meeting every year, as that would devalue the benefit of attending. So keeping it fresh and effective is all part of our strategy.   

What feedback have you so far received about this year’s event and how delegates found it? 
So far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with many returning delegates saying it was the best event so far. The mixture of many new faces and a lovely resort was instrumental. Delegates enjoy being able to do business in a relaxed 5-star environment, away from the stresses of the office, and they also appreciate having the opportunity to meet with a number of quality people over a few days. 

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What are the key things that you and the Spatec team hope delegates, both buyers and suppliers, will have taken away from the event? 

Spatec brings together Europe’s most prominent spa operators and international suppliers. Through the face-to-face meetings and networking opportunities, suppliers are able to meet a number of key clients in a short space of time. We believe in forging friendships to achieve business [goals] and Spatec provides the perfect platform for this.     

You launched Spate Middle East last year, and also run Spatec Spring North America and Spatec Fall North America. Are there any plans for additional Spatec events in the future? 
Spatec is now well established in the US and Europe and we anticipate that Spatec Middle East will reach [the same level] within the next two years. Next on the cards is Spatec in Asia and we are currently doing extensive research to facilitate a launch in the near future. 

The Spatec format, one-to-one meetings mixed with social events and additional networking opportunities, has proven very popular. Are there any plans to tweak or add to the concept at any stage? 
The one-to-one meetings and networking will always be the key components of our events. We will look to tweak the programme, functions, keynote sessions and activities to keep it attractive and varied. However, the current concept works well and I therefore don’t anticipate major additions to it. 

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What have been the biggest changes in the industry since Spatec launched in 2006? 

A lot has happened in the industry in the last 10 years and with the economic crisis a few years ago, many companies have come and gone. I believe that the perception of spa and wellness has evolved from being a luxury to almost being a part of everyday life. As a result, I feel the industry is now in a much stronger position than it was 10 years ago. 

Can you reveal any details of what is planned for Spatec’s 10th anniversary next year? 
The dates for next year are June 8-11 and to mark it we will organise innovative social functions to enhance the Spatec experience. The location has not yet been confirmed, but you can count on a spectacular venue, a seaside resort and a warm and sunny climate.