Spas Sans FrontieresReading Time: 3 minutes
How spas are crossing international borders
At Fashionizer we have a specific interest in spa uniforms. Since we started designing and supplying health and beauty wear to the spa market, we have developed our own exclusive fabric and over the years have become the only specialist player in the global supply of uniforms.
This involvement led us to The Professional Spa and Wellness Convention in London this weekend, which, we observe, had a very cosmopolitan flavour to it this year.
Originally a UK forum, it appears to have become very much an international affair, if the delegate and speaker list are anything to go by. This was reflected in the subject matters presented and discussed during the conference itself.
Three topics in particular captured the imagination of our delegates, MD Debbie Leon and Account Manager Dorota Ziolkowska: the importance of sustainability, the challenges facing the introduction of medi-treatments into the traditional spa environment and the power of social media to communicate with your customers and to reach new ones.
Sustainability has been a buzz-word for some time. But does that translate to reality? In some cases, yes. There are examples of where spas and hotels have integrated the surrounding community into their business objectives, whether that be assistance in developing a water supply or simply giving local businesses the chance to showcase their crafts and skills to guests. It can also make financial sense with savings to be made in energy and water consumption: sustainability can be good business if thought through.
This is not a universal philosophy, though, and conference speakers identified that there is too often a disconnection between the stated aim of the wellness business and the execution of sustainable responsibilities. This might be because the task seems overwhelming, but the message was this: you can’t change the world overnight. Just start somewhere.
Responsibility featured too in the discussions around medi-spas. With medical tourism running hand in hand with this development, the focus at the conference was on the need for doctors and those running the hotels and spas offering these services to be accountable and to do so in a way that is both structured and transparent for the client. At the core of the argument is the need for proactively increase awareness of the implications of medical treatments, from warnings about having Botox and avoiding flying to advising clients – or patients – of the need to stay out of the sun or water after certain treatments.
It’s a question of communication, a subject at the heart of the conference session on the exponential change in the access to social media, its influence and the opportunities that it presents.
When Fashionizer started out 20-odd years ago the idea that you could attend a conference one day and the next day tell the world about what you thought about it through blogs, newsletters, tweets and websites would have been unthinkable. Now, it’s possible to engage in a community locally, nationally and internationally in a very immediate way. And that’s got to be a good thing.
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