5 hot spa topics being discussed at the WSW Mentorship & Online Conference

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic radically changed what the spa landscape looked like, the entire industry was evolving and innovating in exciting new ways. Following a tumultuous year, the leaders of the spa industry now have a brand new rulebook for navigating the future.

For this year’s World Spa & Wellness Conference, being held during online global event Professional Beauty World on February 28–March 2, we rounded-up some of the modern pioneers of the industry and designated them the role of “mentor”. From there, they assembled an international team of “mentees”, with whom they invited to share their insights and expertise live at the three-day conference.

As a taster of what to expect, we break down the five key talking points from various mentees that are sure to be raised at this year’s Mentorship and Online Conference concerning the future of the spa industry.

5 key talking points to expect at the World Spa & Wellness Mentorship and Online Conference:

1. Spa teams will require more frequent and honest communication

“This extraordinary situation gave us an opportunity to question ourselves,” shares Isabelle Trombert, chief executive of Ahimsa Spa & Massage School. “Because of this, we worked individually with spa directors and managers to review all spa tools, analyse KPIs, run diagnostics of their business unit and more. Everything could be considered – readjustments, optimisation of management, requirements for materials, staff and training.”

Sandra Maria Perdigão do Vale, spa manager for Six Senses Hotels, Resorts & Spas, adds: “I believe in the individuality of human beings and their potential. I like to know what their expectations are, so I analyse the innate potential of each team member and elaborate a development plan according to the characteristics of each one. 

“What was truly transformative was knowing that every member of the team, from spa attendant to receptionist, was completely committed to this mission.”

2. Learning from weaknesses and mistakes is essential

“It’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up,” says Sabrina Zaczyk, spa manager for The Montcalm Luxury Hotels. “I was assuring my team daily that we will get up stronger, more experienced and more educated after Covid-19. We need to look around at who we work with as we are around smart, inspired and well educated people. I believe in creativity and like to practise IPA – idea, people, action.”

Daria Meyer-Ohle, spa manager for Kulm Spa Sankt Moritz, adds: “Each week I assigned one staff member to act as manager – we called it ‘Angel of the Week’. This was for them to gain an understanding of how it works when in charge. For me, this was also to check which areas of the operation they were strong in and opened up the honest discussion of areas for them to improve in.”

3. Managers will need a greater understanding of the spa’s client base

Getting guests back to spa in a safe and willing fashion will require an understanding of who exactly you’ll be welcoming through your doors. For most, it will be crucial to find a balance between reaching out to new clients, both local and afar, and maintaining an exclusivity with pre-existing members.

“We’ve been developing a unique Lifestyle Spa Membership in Vienna with exclusive benefits – not only within the hotel and spa but also within the city, including local partnerships with high-end hair salons,” shares Catarina Ferreira, spa manager for the Ritz Carlton. 

“We will also focus on keeping our members engaged by hosting exclusive events when possible, providing monthly giveaway luxury experiences and offering priority bookings with visiting masters and referral programme benefits.”

4. A greater focus on clients’ mental wellbeing must be considered

“With the aim to help guests tune back in to themselves after this time in isolation and give themselves a boost both mentally and physically, we introduced two packages (a three-day and a five-day) which blended outdoor activities, TCM practices, energy healing, meditation, breathing exercises and wellness treatments,” shares Maria Kalogeraki, spa manager at Euphoria Retreat.

“Our new menu is all about selling experiences not spa treatments,” says Tina Seetaram, spa, wellness and boutique manager for The Lux Collective Resorts and Tamassa Resort in Bel Ombre, Mauritius. 

“For example, each treatment has been revised with an add-on – either a pre-treatment breathing session or post-treatment making of homecare products. There is a huge competition on social media between hotels seeking locals, so the added value creates that good impression without compromising on prices.”

5. Influencers are a great way of gaining new social media followers

“2020 was the year of micro-influencers. We took a look at those creators who have less than 100,000 followers, found someone who aligns with our brand image and values, and then reached out to them for a potential collaboration,” says Andrei Fomin, owner of the Russian Banya in London. “After we mastered the social media algorithm, we started seeing the results of working content. It helped us understand what our audience looks for and is a huge help while planning for the future.”

Joy Alabi, owner of an in-home beauty room, adds: “Posting pictures of influencers getting treatments done will increase your audience’s perceived value of your spa, which will allow the salon to keep full prices because, in the eyes of the client, only a certain standard of people get treatments done there. 

“Another way to do this is to have a virtual walk-through. This can clearly break down the client’s journey into the spa, what their treatment will entail and leave them, as well as how the therapists uphold a certain standard.”

The World Spa & Wellness Conference will take place at three-day online virtual event Professional Beauty World on February 28–March 2. 

Check out the full programme and sign up for free now.

Will you be attending the conference? Comment below.