American Spa Expo in NYC
The third annual american spa expo & skin care congress was held this past April in conjunction with the International Beauty Show (IBS) at New York City's Javits Center. Approximately 52,150 industry professionals attended to experience new products, services, and educational seminars on a variety of topics. The American Spa Expo featured more than 200 exhibitors, including a range of skincare, nailcare, equipment, and other spa-related companies. "We've been a part of the American Spa Expo since its inception, and I have to say that this year offered the best classes and educational opportunities yet," says Elizabeth Myron, vice president of Amber Products. With its own identity, the Expo provided a more spalike ambience than that found on the IBS tradeshow floor. "We had a good show and will come back next year," says David Webster, owner of Lisan Skincare. "We really like how the American Spa Expo is separated from IBS New York. It's a really good mix of people." '
Thomas A. Lisk, L.H.D., teaches a class on how to differentiate your spa from others.
Success With a One-Stop Spa Shophusband-and-wife team david and mary miller shared their thoughts on success in the spa industry during their seminar "Esthetics + Hairdressing = Profits." The Indiana-based couple started as day spa owners with a hair salon next door. But they soon discovered that having their own full-service salon could boost the spa's bookings. The idea was to give clients a one-stop shop. According to the Millers, clients who ordinarily got their hair styled next door might never have thought to have a facial, but with the elements all in one place, the profit potential was much higher.
Stressing the "Target and Wal-Mart mentality," the Millers noted that convenience is key for clients because it makes them feel like they have more time in their lives. "If you're not addressing that with your client, you're missing the boat," said Mary. More facilities, she continued, should put effort into all aspects of the beauty industry and not simply rely on skincare or hairstyling alone. Encompassing all of these factors will lead to greater profits. As David said, "You don't have to compete with another industry."
Larry Oskin, president of Marketing Solutions, lectures on strategic advertising.
Sales Hints for Fun and Profitin his lecture "how to increase sales by 400%,"
Thomas A. Lisk, L.H.D., discussed ways to develop habits for success and to create a booming business. His promise was, "make more sales, earn more money, and have fun doing it."
Lisk provided helpful hints for success such as recording statistics of previous sales, writing down goals, becoming a professional problem solver, and adopting a positive outlook. "After rejection, you can't give up," said Lisk. "You've always got to believe before you can do." He also recommended developing better interactions with customers and becoming a mentor to spa employees, which will offer rewards into the future.
Show and Tell to SellThe following day, Lisk presented tips for establishing a unique, memorable spa in his lecture "Differentiate or Die! How to Succeed Regardless of Competition." Planning ahead, investing a percentage in marketing, making clients feel important, and designing a distinctive image are just some of the points for success he discussed.
He also advised attendees to "show-and-tell to sell" because clients are 22 percent more likely to buy if they see and handle the products. Personal branding, like carrying exclusive product lines, can also leave a lasting impression.
Bryan Durocher, president of Durocher Enterprises, lectures on how to transform your spa’s vision.
According to Lisk, spa owners, like all people, are afraid of change, but they must conquer their fears in order to succeed. They must be willing to differentiate. Building on the word "business," Lisk offered the following tips: Be unique, be Understanding, provide better Service, Inspire, direct with Noble leadership, offer Excellence, Stay focused, and achieve Success.
Tips for Marketing Magic"the magic is in your marketing," said Marketing Solutions president Larry Oskin. In his lecture "Strategic Marketing," Oskin stressed the importance of making sure your spa is not the best-kept secret in town. While there is no one way to market, Oskin said, "The only wrong way is to do nothing."
Oskin recommended that spa owners create options for clients by doing something better and different from the competition. "The secret is to stay one step ahead," he said. Oskin also encouraged owners to display visuals of spa treatments throughout the spa. "Perception is reality to the client," he said. He also suggested doing focus groups to find out what clients want from a spa experience. He highlighted the fact that clients like to go to day spas on nights and weekends because they work during the day, so it's important to remain open during those hours to increase profits. Oskin also emphasized the importance of having a mission or vision statement as well as creating a list of services or retail products to promote.
Media Coverage How-ToOutlining a plan for success in his seminar, "Media Relations," Oskin noted that public relations and marketing your spa to the media is essential and requires a long-term commitment. "You need to be a beauty-care resource for local and national editors," he said.
According to Oskin, creating a public-relations plan with quantifiable goals is key. He advised spa owners to first try to achieve credibility and name-brand awareness. To do this, owners must continually improve spa-service sales. And, creating a distinct and unique business will make it easier to capture the media's attention. "Do something you can wave a flag about," said Oskin.
In addition, Oskin recommended spa owners create target media lists, updating names and phone numbers regularly. To create these lists, he suggested looking on the Internet, in the Yellow Pages, and in the local library. Not only should consumer magazines be approached, but also trade magazines and local press. "Don't leave anybody out," he said. "National consumer magazines don't care about you or your place until you've been in the trades for a while."
Another key point Oskin stressed was to always have materials ready to send to writers and editors. He noted the importance of press kits and high-resolution digital images for getting coverage.
Four Keys ForBuilding Businessspa owner and motivational business coach Bryan Durocher spoke on how to improve business in "Transform Your Spa's Vision into a Powerful Market Position." Durocher's philosophy holds four keys for a business's successful client experience: retail, referral, pre-booking, and role-playing.
Lyn Ross, president of Institut’ Dermed, lectures on medical spas.
"If your client leaves with one retail product, the chance of them returning goes up thirty percent," said Durocher. "If they leave with two, the return rate goes up sixty percent." He told attendees that retail sales are the highest profit center for a business, an unlimited potential for income, and integral for client retention.
Durocher also discussed the importance of referrals, saying that in his own spa, he uses referral cards regularly. According to him, they are the fastest way to grow a spa business. Additionally, referrals are traceable and cost-effective-it takes seven to 15 times as much energy, money, and time to get new clients any other way.
Durocher stressed the importance of pre-booking. "It generates your future in advance," he said. "You want to pre-book at seventy-five percent or higher." This allows spa owners and directors to forecast numbers and to stay in control of the business.
Regarding staff motivation and relations, Durocher spoke about the importance of role-playing. This allows therapists to become equipped with the right tools to promote retail sales and pre-booking. "Role-playing," said Durocher "increases confidence, helps you learn through repetition, increases skill level, and takes away the fear factor."
Marketing Ideas for the Agesin "it's the 21st century, do you know Who Your Clients are?" Dee Deluca-Mattos, president of the Medical Spa Society and vice president of Avancé, gave attendees tips on marketing and branding. She emphasized emotional branding and understanding clients as essential to the success equation.
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"A brand engages consumers on the level of the senses and emotions," said Deluca-Mattos. "You are the brand." She noted that by connecting emotionally with consumers, brand loyalty is stronger and clients will keep coming back.
In getting to know clients, Deluca-Mattos said that it is imperative to know their buying habits, what triggers their urge to buy, and how a business can reap the rewards. "If we don't know who we're marketing to," said Deluca-Mattos, "we can't come up with a marketing plan." She suggested that better understanding the segments of the population will increase the likely effectiveness of reaching your target clients. Baby Boomers, Deluca-Mattos pointed out, have large disposable incomes and are big buyers. They don't have a lot of time, but they're all about comfort. Having worked hard for many years, they feel they've earned the luxuries and are willing to spend for them. According to Deluca-Mattos, members of Generation X should be targeted through the Internet. This generation is primarily concerned with themselves, and they need to see a business as a self-reflection to become clients. In contrast, members of Generation Y respond to companies with a philosophy. Multisensory experiences are important to this group, and if a business caters to them, they are more inclined to become clients. According to Deluca-Mattos, great marketing ideas are easy to find once you know your client. Said Deluca-Mattos, "I'm a firm believer that the best ideas are recycled. We don't have to reinvent the wheel."
Success = Service,Service, Service repêchage president and ceo lydia sarfati presented "Success at Your Fingertips," a lecture offering ways to improve spa business and maintain clientele.
Sarfati recommended understanding and attending to current clients to increase their number of yearly visits, which she suggested should be short and frequent. "Focus on the clients you have and stop advertising," she said.
Multitasking treatments, or Ménege-à-Spa, can be a valuable time-saver because today most people have so little of it. Pampering a client with a massage and facial simultaneously will help prevent boredom and get him or her out of the spa more quickly. Sarfati also recommended delivering spa services to clients. "It's not about price, it's about service," she said.
Creating the "want" factor is crucial in client retention. She suggested delighting them so they'd want to come back again and again. She advised spa owners and managers to be flexible and to give their clients small luxuries. Said Sarfati, "If they want a double espresso, give it to them."
Medical Spa Updatein "medical spas: the next generation," Institut' Dermed president Lyn Ross spoke about the value of offering medical services in a spa or medical office. "People are not interested in aging," said Ross, "and there is more and more acceptance of plastic surgery." She said that involving physicians in the spa industry lends it credibility from medical science. Stressing the importance of post-op services like manual lymphatic drainage, Ross notes that such treatments deliver better post-surgical results. These types of services also increase client-patient retention and allow the spa to charge more per treatment.
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"Competition is becoming very thick," Ross said. She told attendees that clients are faced with a choice of deciding where they will receive the best care. As a result, educating the front desk about procedures and training staff are essential for an efficient, successful spa.
Experts Panel Stresses Marketing Strategiesin "ask the experts and learn how to increase your Business Knowledge," Lydia Sarfati, president and CEO of Sarkli/Rep風age, led a panel discussion in which audience members posed questions to Robert James, president of the National Cosmetology Association (NCA); Bruce Schoenberg, president and owner of Oasis Day Spas; and Jude Labarca, CEO of Pilo Arts.
The experts shared answers from their own experiences and offered advice. Topics included the greatest challenge in opening or expanding a spa (modernizing, retraining, and more), the need to expand (based on capacity, cost, and evidence for success), and choosing the right product lines (results and education were emphasized).
The value of marketing was touched upon several times. To increase retail sales, Schoenberg recommended seasonal promotions. According to him, partnering with skincare manufacturers is a great opportunity to advertise. James recommended a hands-on approach with word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are told about new products.
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Stressing staff involvement, Labarca cautioned that employees need to believe in the products if they are going to sell them. In addition, Sarfati urged spa owners to market and cater to existing clients while making them feel like royalty.