The Spa Experience Day 1: Media Preview, 20/20, Longevity, and Preventative BOTOX®!
By Susie Ellis
Just returned from Grand Central Terminal (I learned that it is incorrect to call it Grand Central Station – but not sure why) here in Manhattan where the Spa Experience Event
just got underway. It’s a four day event where consumers can sample free spa treatments from a variety of spas all over the world. It took the event team two full days just to set everything up!
It was a good sign that people were lined up behind the ropes waiting for it to open and that it has been crowded ever since. This morning was also the media preview and there were more than 100 media people there. The big news was that 20/20
is doing a Barbara Walters special on longevity next spring and they wanted to film footage of what spas are doing to help with longevity at the Spa Experience! They learned a lot and filmed a lot. It is exciting to know that when people think of longevity these days they are not just thinking medical and doctors but also the spa setting. A major angle for them is the fact that the interest in longevity is not just confined to the aging baby boomer, but that people in their 30’s, 20’s and even younger are already investing in longevity.
Indeed, one of the young 30’ish models who was with us on the photo shoot was telling me that tomorrow she is getting her first BOTOX
® shot. When I asked her why (clearly there was not a wrinkle on her face), she said, “prevention.” Well….there is some truth to that. All those years I spent squinting in the sun caused some pretty visible lines on my face. Preventative BOTOX® would have helped. However, I hate to think how much I would have spent on “prevention” twice a year, for 20 years (approximately $24,000!)
I am in Las Vegas at the ISPA (International Spa Association) conference. I always enjoy
catching up with colleagues and checking out the trade show floor. This year, there are 3,000 attendees. I remember when the conference had just a few hundred. The industry has really grown. The conferences keep getting better – and this one may have been one of the stronger ones.
Jim Root (left) is going to be the next chairman of ISPA, and he shared that his first order of business is going to be changing the commonly used term “spa industry” to “spa community”. That has a nice feel to it. And the timing might just be perfect.
It is interesting to reflect on the growth of ISPA and how each of its leaders has contributed to the organization. I have been involved with ISPA almost from the very beginning (1991), and I feel that each of its chairpersons has left their imprint on the organization – and that, in turn, has affected the entire industry. I am sure that every ISPA member would have their own interpretation, but this is how I remember each of their contributions:
Werner Mendel – let’s get things started
John Korpi – let’s think bigger
Alex Szekely – let’s live the vision and think long-term
Jerry Katzoff – let’s make this profitable
Jane Segerberg – let’s get more professionally organized
Thad Hyland – let’s get our priorities in line
Gayle Brady – let’s run this like a business
Jeff Kohl – let’s set accounting standards
Kate Mearns – let’s listen to our members
Jim Root – let’s become more of a community
Each leader’s contributions were important and, in retrospect, might have been exactly what was needed at the time. “From industry to community” might be a very spa-like way toward greater health.