SpaTrade's VP of Marketing Reviews Preston Wynne's Spa Directors Management Intensive Seminar

Since I'm still pretty new at SpaTrade, I was delighted when one of our resident SpaTrade Experts, Peggy Wynne Borgman, invited me to attend last month's Spa Directors' Management Intensive Seminar offered by her company, Preston Wynne Success Systems. Peggy is also the founder of the award-winning Preston-Wynne Spa in Saratoga, CA. Now, I've been to many, many management training seminars over the course of my career — many while I led marketing teams at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, WA — but the Preston Wynne Seminar ranks up there among the very best I've ever experienced.

I had heard wonderful things about Preston Wynne Spa over the years, from colleagues in Silicon Valley. Preston Wynne's corporate headquarters is located in the heart of California's dot-com boomtown area, and word gets around. Preston Wynne Spa has twice been named Day Spa of the Year by Spa Management Journal, and was named Distinguished Day Spa of the Year by the Day Spa Association in 1999. Clearly, Peggy Wynne and her staff understand what it takes to run a tight ship, and how to truly deliver over-the-top customer service — and now, I was going to learn all of her secrets in this four-day course. I was so jazzed.

The seminar started at 8:30 Sunday morning with a behind-the-scenes tour of Preston Wynne Spa, before opening. A beautiful two-story building right in the center of the village of Saratoga, the spa is huge, tastefully appointed and designed for efficiency and serenity. We got to see the laundry plant, the offices, and all of the treatment rooms, before heading over to a nearby conference center where we spent most of our time in class.

The class included people from all around the United States, and a few people from London as well; by the end of the four days we were all fast friends. Over the course of the four days, we had in-depth presentations from Peggy Wynne Borgman, Lisa Starr, and Douglas Preston, who co-founded the Spa with Peggy many years ago. Douglas now runs Preston Inc. Private Label Skincare, and he lectured the class on private labeling products, successful retail programs, and the client consultation. He was funny, sensitive, and very smart — quite impressive. Douglas did the most thorough client intake consultation role-play I've ever seen — I wish I had that kind of treatment when I hit a new spa!

Peggy and Lisa, however, stole the show. If you are ever at a spa conference, I highly recommend that you scan the speaker program for their names, as they are two of the best presenters I can remember seeing, EVER. I don't mean to hammer on the "gee, I'm a high tech refugee" angle here — but having spent the better part of the 90's working in the technology industry, one thing I can attest to is that I've seen speakers. Techies love their conferences, yes they do. Speaker after speaker after speaker! So I know good from bad at the front of the room, and Peggy and Lisa are gooooooood. And even better, the information they deliver is great.

I was blown away by the depth and breadth and overall quality of the material I took away from the Spa Directors Management Intensive Seminar. When we got to the classroom on Day One, we noticed a huge pile of handouts stacked on a side table; by the time I left, I had a three-inch binder that was so stuffed it was hard to close, and the notes I took were so dense, I ran through two pens (yes, I am serious). I keep this binder beside my computer, and I flip through it quite often — the Preston Wynne Success Systems Binder has become an essential desk reference for me. The ten areas covered in the seminar were Customer Service, Leadership, Financials, Compensation (and believe me, you WON'T want to try to run a spa in today's marketplace without this killer information!), Recruiting and Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Successful Spa Programs, Successful Retail Programming, Training and Appraisal Tools, and Quality Management Tools. The "Tools" included many templates that are currently at use within Preston Wynne Spas — so you know they work; they're practical, not theoretical.

Seems like everything I read about "hiring challenges" within spas, always boils down to one main thing: a lack of qualified Spa Directors. Well, Peggy Wynne Borgman has figured out exactly what it takes to BECOME qualified, and she's providing superb training to get you there. In today's hyper-competitive market, in order to survive and thrive, you really need to invest in training — and this fast-paced, information-packed program will give you tools you'll be able to put to use the day you return to work.

For more information, visit -- and click on Preston Wynne Success Systems.