Business, networking and education at Spa Life UK 2016

Managing a multi-generational workforce, workplace wellness programmes and digital marketing were some of the topics on the agenda at the 2016 edition of Spa Life UK, held this week.

The two-day event, which this year took place at the Telford International Centre, drew spa operators and suppliers from around the UK and overseas.

Spas and resorts represented included Sequoia Spa at The Grove; Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall; Handpicked Hotels; Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall; The Spa at Blythswood Square; Champneys; the spa at Rockliffe Hall; and the spa at Pennyhill Park.

Among the suppliers present were Elemis, Temple Spa, Caci, Gharieni, Klafs, Nimue Skin Technology, Germaine de Capuccini, Natura Bissé, Drom UK, Caudalie and Babor.

The first day, Tuesday November 15th, saw a full day of one-to-one meetings between buyers and suppliers, followed by a gala dinner and Good Spa Guide Awards ceremony in the evening.

Day two, Wednesday November 16th featured the Spa Life UK Conference, covering a range of topics of relevance to the industry.

The opening keynote address was delivered by Tamara Lohan (above), co-founder of boutique hotel travel guides and bookings website Mr & Mrs Smith.

Lohan revealed how an interest in spa helped spark the foundation of Mr & Mrs Smith and explained the setbacks and battles involved in getting the business set up and flourishing.

Lohan emphasised how important attention to detail is for spas and hotels and highlighted the key role of the spa and wellness sector today.

“In a world where people feel disillusioned and disenfranchised they want to really get away and forget about the outside world,” she said.

Other conference speakers included Fred Hoffman, founder of education and consultancy company Fitness Resources, who spoke on the topic of Five Winning Strategies for Managing a Multi-generational Workforce.

Hoffman explained how the different generations currently of working age: baby boomers, Generation X, millennials and Generation Z – the latter just about coming into the workplace – function at work. 

Covering what staff are likely to look for, respond well to and react against based on the generation they belong to, Hoffman advised delegates on how to create a workplace in which all age groups are happy.

Baby boomers, he suggested, want to be recognisecd for their work but are also focused on money, while Generation X dislikes to be micromanaged and look for a good work-life balance. Millennials search for purpose in their jobs, and not just a high salary, and expect flexible working hours.

Other speakers and topics included SpaBreaks founder Abbi Wright and spa consultant Liz Holmes, who talked about Online Marketing Strategies for Digital-Savvy Spas; and Kim Johnson and Philip Jones, co-founders of Wellness London, addressing Improving Productivity with Workplace Wellness Programmes.