Convene and confer

Jessica Shea, director, global brand spa at Hilton Hotels & Resorts, is joining the Solving the Staffing Crisis panel on Monday, February 26.

What would you like delegates to take away from your presentation?
I think it’s important for the industry to share universal challenges and hear potential solutions. We’re all facing a staffing crisis and can benefit from different organisations’ perspectives on what to do about it. I would like to share some of the tactics we’re implementing at Hilton to remain a top employer of spa and fitness professionals.

What are the key reasons you want to speak at the convention?
As a spa leader, I find so much value in listening to industry experts. When you work in a hotel spa, you often feel like you’re on an island with little understanding of your department from other colleagues. Solutions that apply in other areas of the hotel don’t always work in the spa and real empathy comes from your friends in the industry and the leaders who inspire ideas and solutions.

Why is Solving the Staffing Crisis: Advances in Flexible Working and Leadership Development, an important topic to address?
The industry can’t thrive without providing continuous growth and development opportunities for spa and fitness professionals. We need to attract and retain caring, talented professionals into service provider and management positions to meet the increasing demand for wellness services.

How do you feel about public speaking?
I enjoy it. When I’m passionate about a topic, it’s a gift to be able to share my perspective.

Why is it important for industry professionals to attend events like the World Spa & Wellness Convention?
It’s the best way to feel supported, inspired and refreshed. Hopefully knowledge and insight is gained and delegates can then return to their spas with a clear vision and new motivation. Caring for the wellbeing of others can be draining; it’s so important to recharge at these events.

What do you look for from the industry events you attend?
I look at who will be attending; the suppliers, speakers and colleagues. I want to be inspired by the speakers, learn what’s new from suppliers and network with the attendees.

In what direction do you anticipate the spa and wellness sector moving in the next 10 years?
We can see wellness moving to the forefront of consumer choice, more than ever playing a central role in people’s decisions about travel and leisure time. As an industry, we have a great opportunity to capitalise on the demand by providing spa and fitness experiences that match consumers’ desire for convenience, accessibility and meaning.

Jessica Shea is on the Solving the Staffing Crisis: Advances in Flexible Working and Leadership Development panel at 14.15 on Monday, February 26.

Hans-Peter Veit is director of spa at Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa in Switzerland. He’s speaking during the Breakfast Club session on Exchange Best Practices that Worked Wonders for You This Past Year, and the Creative Networking Session on Diamond Secrets to Boost Retail – both on Monday, February 26.

What would you like delegates to take away from your two sessions?
I want to share my experience on these topics with colleagues on stage and in the audience because everyone is seeking new ways to exceed guests’ expectations and achieve happy clients and happy figures. Hopefully it will be interesting for the audience, and also interactive.

What are the key reasons you want to speak at the convention?
Our industry is still small, a niche business for most hoteliers, but it’s a close-knit family and together we are strong. If we learn from each other and share our experiences, wins and losses we can make our spa world a bit better every year.

Why are Exchange Best Practices and Diamond Secrets to Boost Retail important topics to address?
The spa industry is a rapidly changing business and we have to anticipate what direction it will move in and respond to that, rather than follow old habits. Our clients know exactly what they want now and they compare and make judgements.

How do you feel about public speaking?
Although I’ve done quite a lot of public speaking for the past 15 years, it’s still not easy and it’s not at all routine. I’m not a “stage guy” and I’m always nervous – but I like it.

Why is it important for industry professionals to attend events like the World Spa & Wellness Convention?
In our business, there is nothing more important than personal relationships. And it’s great to meet with hundreds of colleagues from all over the world, as well as with representatives from various companies; to get to know people and create memories.

What do you look for from the industry events you attend?
It’s about the whole package, the balance between cost and benefits, and the WSWC probably offers the best such ratio worldwide.

In what direction do you ancitipate the spa and wellness industry moving in the next 10 years?
Clients’ expectations will change even more drastically in the years to come. Although spa- goers are still looking for relaxation and an escape from our hectic world, they are becoming more focused on the holistic, blending treatments, fitness and nutrition. I also think personalised medical and psychological solutions will become increasingly important. This is what the Nescens Better-Aging-Programmes at Victoria- Jungfrau offers; efficient, individualised healthcare in a luxurious environment.

Hans-Peter Veit is joining the Breakfast Club discussion on Exchange Best Practices that Worked Wonders for You This Past Year at 9am on Monday, February 26. He’s also taking part in the Creative Networking Session on Diamond Secrets to Boost Retail at 15.15 the same day.

Neil Jacobs, chief executive of Six Senses, is delivering one of the keynotes at the World Spa & Wellness Convention 2018. He will be speaking on the topic of Make Wellness the Key to Repeat Business on Sunday, February 25.

What would you like delegates to take away from your keynote?
I’m not sure of all the details yet, but definitely something centred on wellness and sustainability, wellness and hospitality and how everything is converging.

What are the key reasons you want to speak at the convention?
It’s a great event with an excellent reputation. I have never been so want to experience it myself. Plus, all my wellness friends are there.

Why is Make Wellness the Key to Repeat Business an important topic to address?
The importance of wellness in hospitality is finally being acknowledged globally. That said, hospitality investors often remain fixated on revenue per square foot, rather than looking at other business metrics. However, repeat business is an important element that reduces cost of sales and the right wellness product can make a meaningful contribution to this.

How do you feel about public speaking?
I’m on a mission and I have a message and the more people that hear it, the greater the chance of improving people’s lives. That’s the point of doing it, rather than the speaking itself.

Why is it important for industry professionals to attend events like the World Spa & Wellness Convention?
It’s about the education and the networking and both must be excellent.

What do you look for from the industry events you attend?
I look for meaningful, relevant and edgy content.

In what direction do you ancticipate the spa and wellness industry moving in the next 10 years?
I could talk about this for hours. I think we’ll see further convergence of alternative approaches and more integrated wellness. I also think there will be a greater understanding of the importance of sleep and of microbiomes and their impact – as well as a new approach to anti-ageing, and some amazing technology.

Neil Jacobs is delivering the first keynote at the 2018 World Spa & Wellness Convention. He’s speaking on the topic of Make Wellness the Key to Repeat Business: Approachable, Affordable Options for your Clients and your Team at 11.30 on Sunday, October 25.