Global spa leaders flock to WSW London

One of the key events in the worldwide spa calendar, the WSW London 2019 conference featured an exceptional speaker line-up and ample networking opportunities. 

Delegates from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the US converged at ExCeL London on February 24 and 25, to gain insight on the most important issues affecting the industry.  

Highlights included founder of Space Cycle Matthew Allison’skeynote on “How to disrupt an industry that doesn’t know it needs disrupting”

A great opportunity for forward-thinking spas, Allison explained that fitness, especially for millennials, is becoming the new “third space”: 

“During the rise in popularity of coffee shops, Harold Schultz, the former leader of Starbucks, talked about how coffee shops had become the ‘third space’ after the family home and then work,” he said. “Now I believe fitness areas are becoming the third space.”  

His sentiments were echoed in a panel on the rise of boutique fitness led by James Blower, sales director of Matrix Fitness and Dean Hodgkin, senior manager at Ragdale Hall Spa. Driven by the demand for exceptional group fitness experiences from millennials, the pair underlined how it is no longer enough for spas to offer just “traditional” gym equipment. 

“Boutique brands are now offering sessions such as burpees and bubbles… working out is the new going out,” said Hodgkin. 

On her panel, Susan Harmsworth, founder of Espa, explained the importance of spas learning how to treat cancer patients effectively. According to Cancer Research UK, half of people in Britain born after 1960 will get cancer. In the face of such statistics, the panel discussed how spas could best equip themselves to help guests with cancer. 

Daniel Friedland, chief executive of Super Smart Health, gave a rousing keynote on “The power of Conscious Capitalism to transform the business of Spa and Wellness”. Focusing on the impact of leadership, Friedland’s talk explained how high performance leaders could transform a spa, thereby hugely differentiating it from its competition. 

In addition to networking events and the speaker programme, delegates also enjoyed discovering new spa innovations in the 360 Wellness area of the Professional Beauty exhibition, where spa, nutrition and wellness brands came together. 

The winners of the WSW Awards 2019 were announced at a ceremony on February 24. See who took home the trophies.