SPATRADE VISITS THE IHRSA CONVENTION IN SAN FRANCISCO

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This week, over 10,000 health and fitness professionals from 64 countries arrived in San Francisco for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association's annual convention and trade show — and SpaTrade's Vice President of Marketing, Laura Higgins was one of them. Below is her quick dispatch from the show floor at Moscone Center in SF:

I've been a fitness junkie for many years, though you might not think that to look at me — I often describe myself as a "big Irish peasant woman," because I'm 5'11", have red hair, and am built like a linebacker with boobs. Like Norm Cates, the publisher of Club Insider News (one of the leading monthly fitness club industry publications), I've always battled with weight issues and the desire to "fit in" and be healthy. Even though I'm at IHRSA to represent SpaTrade with two key missions (to promote our new "Path to Profitability for Day Spas" report, and to collect research and interviews for an upcoming report, "Path to Profitability for Fitness Club Spas") I admit I have an ulterior motive for attending the convention: I have a longstanding passion for finding ways to get inactive people up off their butts and into activity. I figured that there might be some pretty great sessions this year on that topic — and I was right.

You may be thinking, gee, Laura, but what does that have to do with spas? I ask you to look at the Big Picture. What's the goal of your spa business? To earn a solid, consistent, growing profit from people who have a focus on consistent, comprehensive self-care for health and beauty. And as you know, health isn't "skin deep" — simply put, if you don't exercise and eat right, you're NOT going to be healthy, period. Viewed in that light, spas and health clubs aren't just natural partners — they are essential allies.

In our next SpaTrade Newsletter in mid-March, I'll deliver a full review of the conference and trade show, with a focus on what it means to you as a spa professional. However, in the next couple of weeks, I'll ask you to simply mull over these startling statistics, that I gleaned from one of the great IHRSA presentations yesterday:

61% of US adults are overweight or obese
25% of white kids in the US are overweight; 33% of Hispanic and black kids are overweight
73% are not meeting the Surgeon General's minimum activity requirements
the fastest-growing segment of the population joining health clubs is the over-55 age group — with 379% growth (by the way, the oldest Baby Boomers are turning 57 this year)
1.3 million Americans had plastic surgery last year by board-certified plastic surgeons
Nearly one-third of health club members earn over $75,000 per year

Clearly, there is both a need and a market out there to target certain niche markets — teens, older adults, and sedentary people who are moving into a new fitness regimen are likely targets for spa services, as they strive to improve their overall health and well-being. There are tremendous business opportunities for spa professionals in the health club environment, as more and more people begin to understand the true benefits of full, comprehensive self-care services that include spa treatments.

ARE YOU WORKING IN A FITNESS CENTER OR HEALTH CLUB SPA — OR DO YOU WANT TO BRING A DAY SPA INTO YOUR FITNESS FACILITY? EMAIL LAURA@SPATRADE.COM -- I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND WHAT YOU'RE DOING. IF YOUR FITNESS CENTER SPA IS USING SOME STRONG, INNOVATIVE BUSINESS TACTICS, WE MAY WANT TO WRITE ABOUT YOU IN OUR UPCOMING "PATH TO PROFITABILITY FOR FITNESS CENTER SPAS" REPORT.