Social media, employee engagement and treating cancer patient on the agenda at Spa Life

Industry networking event Spa Life UK returned to the UK last week. The event, which annually attracts around 400 delegates, was this year held at the Holiday Inn in Stratford-upon-Avon. Day one, Tuesday November 10, saw one-to-one meetings between buyers and suppliers, held in a “speed dating” format.

For the second year running, the Good Spa Guide Awards ceremony, at which leading spas across the UK were honoured, was held as part of the event, in the evening of day one.

Day two saw a full programme of keynote presentations and other sessions, covering topics ranging from social media and employee engagement, to preventing therapist burnout and working with cancer patients.

The opening keynote address was delivered by entrepreneur Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green & Black’s organic chocolate and author of a series of books, including The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible and The Green Beauty Bible.

Speaking on the topic of Sweet Dreams: Building An Ethical Global Business, Fairley emphasised the importance of regularly clearing your mind and finding ways to relax and unwind in order to be productive and successful in your professional life. Fairly also advised budding businessmen and women to “be authentic, don’t try to be something that you’re not”.

In The CEO Personal Touch session, Andrew Graves, chief executive of UK consultancy Trends Business Research (TBR) outlined the results of research into the impact the social media presence of the head of a company can have on the business.

Graves explained that the most successful form of social media communication by a leader is to engage with consumers and talk to them about topics they are interested in, rather than simply overwhelm them with aggressive marketing messages about the superiority of the company's products. 

He said: “It’s about two-way communication. It’s not about just putting content out there. Pick up on what your audience wants to talk about and what interests them, rather than push things out to them.”

This year’s Spa Life also saw an entire track of sessions dedicated to dispelling the myths surrounding treating cancer patients in spas and salons. Presentations included talks by spa consultant Michelle Hammond, one of the founders of TPOT – The Power of Touch.

Spa Life UK marked the official launch of TPOT, a non-profit initiative focused on ensuring no-one suffering or in remission from cancer is denied treatment in a UK spa or salon. Hammond said: “By the end of 2018, no-one with cancer should have to be turned away from a UK spa or salon, that’s our pledge.”

The track dedicated to working with cancer patients in the spa and wellness sector also included talks by Jennifer Young, founder of the skincare brand of the same name. Young works with a number of charities that lend support to cancer patients, and is active within TPOT.

The closing keynote was delivered by advisor Andrew McMillan on the topic of How to Make your Spa a Fun Place to Work. McMillan, who spent 28 years with John Lewis, including eight as manager of customer services, shared lessons of how to create a positive customer experience for your clients.