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The forum is here. What to look for in a vendor, how to navigate a trade show succesfully.

I can hardly believe it! The Day Spa Expo and Business Forum starts this weekend. Before I share a few tips on making the most out of the trade show and conference, I want to remind you about a few other exciting events and details we have on tap this year.

Business Forum classes kick off on Saturday March 13th.  For the first time at any spa business event, through a new partnership with Patti Biro and Associates and SpaClique, attendees will have the option to earn continuing education contact hours recognized by the NCBTMB! You can earn up to 9 (nine) CE contact hours during the live event and leave with your certificate of completion for only $90 additional.

In the midst of the forum, we’ve added an exciting bonus Lunch and Learn session sponsored by Milady and the Day Spa Association. This year’s topic The ONLY Three Ways to Grow Your Spa will be shared by Ana Loiselle of Milady and yours truly. It’s going to be a power packed information session with some great bonuses for everyone who attends. Click here to learn more or sign up.

We’ll begin each day of the Expo itself with a deep breath – literally. Morning meditations will be held on Sunday March 14th from 8:00 – 8:30 AM with Kellye Davis author of The Bliss Principle and on Monday March 15th from 9:00 – 9:30 AM with Angela Gerkin, Wellness Manager of the Canyon Ranch Spa Club. These complimentary sessions will help you start off your morning with a clear head and calm focus that will carry you through the rest of the day. To learn more about these relaxing offerings, click here.

And as a fun end to the day on Sunday, come quench your thirst at the Meet and Greet professional networking event with a specialty cocktail – the Hibiscus Healer. It will be served alongside organic, fresh and healthy bites from the renowned Canyon Ranch Grill menu. There will also be awards, music and a little dancing to top off the night. We hope you’ll join us for this fun celebration!

In order to make the most of your trip to Vegas, the DSE and the Business Forum, you’ll want to begin by looking over the schedule and descriptions for the speakers and classes to determine what interests you most. If you see two classes that both speak to your needs, know that it is OK to split your time between them. Just be sure to make a quiet transition between the two classrooms so as not to disturb other attendees or the speaker.

In the classes, be prepared to take notes, ask questions and be a part of the discussion. Keep your questions topic focused and general enough that they can help all in attendance. If you have a question that is very specific to your business or needs a longer answer than the presenter can give, stay after the session to meet the speaker. You may also want to set up a consultation with them later in the day or once you return home.

In terms of the trade show, know what types of items, products or equipment you are looking for BEFORE you walk onto the trade show floor. Then look through the directory and show floor guide to note which vendors and companies can help you with those needs. Be prepared to take notes about the products you like and want to follow up on at home.

For a successful show in general, go prepared to meet new friends, gain some knowledge, and have a good time. Take this opportunity to speak directly with Day Spa Association board members, industry experts and colleagues from around the world.  And of course be sure to have plenty of business cards on hand to help those you meet have an easy way to follow up with you after the show.

 See you in Vegas!

Felicia Brown, LMBT
Spa Consultant & Trainer 
NCBTMB Approved Provider
Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach
www.Spalutions.com
www.SmartSpaMarketing.com 
http://blog.spalutions.com
http://blog.spaclientele.com 

To our blog followers:

We are taking a little break in blogging during this busy tradeshow season.
Our blog will again feature top industry experts beginning in April!
Thank you for reading and following our bloggers!
The Day Spa Association

DSA/IMSA Annual Award Nominations

At last year’s Day Spa Expo, I was incredibly fortunate to receive the  Spa Person of the Year Award from the Day Spa Association. I cannot begin to tell you what getting this award meant to me at that particular moment…but I’ll try.

As a fifteen year veteran of the spa industry, I got this honor at the absolute hardest moment of my professional career. Literally three days before I flew to Las Vegas for the Day Spa Expo, I was forced to close my own spa after many months of suffering through the sharply declining economy and the unexpected departure of two key staff members. The timing was crazy and made the whole experience seem surreal!

Though I almost felt guilty for receiving this incredible recognition at a time where I felt like such a failure for closing a business, I knew that the initial award nomination had been made in honor of my years of dedication to the spa industry. Over my entire time as a massage therapist, spa owner and business consultant, I’d made countless efforts to mentor students along with fellow professionals and spent hours of my free time volunteering in one way or another for numerous trade organizations, publications and associations, including the Day Spa Association.

The fact that I received the majority of the votes by the industry and thus became the Spa Person of the Year 2009 at such a difficult time in my career made the whole experience even sweeter. It also inspired me to move on with a positive attitude and refocus my coaching and consulting practice to help other spa, massage and wellness professionals succeed. What an incredible start to a new chapter in my life! I am truly honored and blessed to have been given such an opportunity by the DSA and Hannelore Leavy, the head of the DSA and woman who nominated me for the honor.

As a Day Spa Association or International Medical Spa Association member, you too have the opportunity to be recognized for your dedication and hard work in the industry. Each year, awards are given out by the Day Spa Association in the following categories:

  • Spa Philanthropist
  • Healing Hearts/Hands
  • Spa Person of the Year 2010
  • Distinguished Day Spa 2010
  • DSA Leadership Award
  • IMSA Leadership Award

Nominations are accepted from current association members for the Spa Philanthropist and Healing Hearts Awards and then voted upon, also by the DSA Advisory Board. In the case of the Spa Person of the Year, recipients of the Spa Person of the Month Awards (nominated by the industry) are automatically in the running for the Spa Person of the Year Award. In the Distinguished Day Spa category, spas must be a accredited members of the DSA; they get invited to enter this annual competition; the winner is determined  through a vote by current board members.

Generally speaking, the way to get noticed for these awards is to get involved in the DSA and the spa industry at large. Whether you decide to provide sponsorships to spa-related causes, join a DSA volunteer committee, or apply to become an accredited DSA day spa, each venue can provide you with a path to personal and professional growth and satisfaction as well as the possibility of being recognized by your industry peers and your association. I encourage you to take the first step and become a volunteer in any area of the DSA (including the Day Spa Expo.) If you are ready to give back , please contact me at Felicia@spalutions.com.

For more details on accreditation, please click here.
To read about the past winners of the Spa Person of the Year Award, please click here.

Felicia Brown, LMBT
Spa Consultant & Trainer 
NCBTMB Approved Provider
Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach
www.Spalutions.com
www.SmartSpaMarketing.com 
http://blog.spalutions.com
http://blog.spaclientele.com

Book Signing Event at the Day Spa Expo

Every year the Day Spa Expo and Day Spa Association host a book signing event for spa industry authors. This year is no exception and will provide attendees the chance to conveniently meet and speak with several authors inside the trade show at the DSA Booth (201).

Here’s a brief summary of the featured books at this year’s Book Signing Event which will take place on Sunday March 14, 2010 from 1:30 to 3:00 PM: (Stacey Hall) is such a powerful book because it points to what is possible. It starts with defining you and your mission and then moves on to helping you to identify the characteristics of your perfect customer.  It challenges you to believe that your perfect customers are really out there waiting for you to let them know you exist. You’ll create your own Strategic Attraction Plan by creating a vision of your ideal client, discovering what makes your perfect customer tick, what your perfect customer expects you to deliver, and where you have room for improvement. This book is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Attracting Perfect Customers

The Bliss Principle (Kellye Davis) – “My clients come from all walks of life, “ says Davis. “They are executives, single parents, nannies, nurses, judges, teachers, stock brokers, college students and CEO’s.  In one way or another, they all express what I call the peace urge: an inner desire to find balance, restoration, happiness, and peace.”  In her book, Kellye guides you through her Bliss Principle Program in the following stages:

    Bliss Breathing – useful techniques that instantly ease tension and quiet the mind.  
    Bliss Moves – an easy to do restorative yoga and meditation routine Kellye calls her Relaxation Workout.
    Bliss Maintenance – tips for creating a tranquil environment at home and the office, including recipes that nourish and promote well-being from the inside out. 

The Reluctant Spa Director and The Reluctant Spa Director: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Skip Williams) – Using many of the same characters from “The Reluctant Spa Director and the Mission Dream” Skip Williams’ new sequel takes place in a Resort Spa and weaves the lessons of successful Spa Management into a story that will excite the readers imagination. Follow John Tyler while he learns the unique challenges that Resort Spas face each day and turns just another Resort Spa into a unique and well oiled machine.  Meanwhile Steve Wilson literally fights for his life and reputation while sitting in a Las Vegas jail.  All the while we learn about the Hotel world and how to make a Spa that is highly profitable, easy to run, and a better Guest experience.

The Spa Encyclopedia (Hannelore Leavy and Dr. Reinhard Bergel) Everything you ever wanted to know about spa treatments and more, can be found in the pages of The Spa Encyclopedia. Beginning with a brief description of spa history and the current state of the industry description, the book moves right into treatments. From specifics on treatments such as what to expect, what to look for, and how each treatment benefits the mind and body, to cautions on when not to seek certain treatments, this is a complete delight for the spa enthusiast as well as the health and beauty professional. (Dr. Bergel regrets that he will not be able to be present at the book signing.)Please take a few minutes to come by the Book Signing Event at the DSA booth. The authors would love to meet you, answer your questions and sign your copy of their book.

Felicia Brown
Spa Consultant & Trainer 
NCBTMB Approved Provider
Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach
Felicia@spasolutions.com
www.Spalutions.com
www.SmartSpaMarketing.com

Cause related marketing is both a hot trend and a huge help to charities and organizations that do good in the world and industry. Getting your spa, staff and yourself involved with causes that you care about provides a number of opportunities besides just doing something good.

1)     It gives your staff  a way to have fun and grow together as individuals and a team.

2)     It can provide your clients an avenue to contribute while taking care of themselves and feeling good about your business and their purchases with you.

3)     It can bring your spa a lot of local (and sometimes state-wide or national) goodwill and publicity.

In my own previous spas, we donated gift certificates to many area charities, events and civic groups. We also delivered Mobile Meals as a group or with a partner, collected relief supplies for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, and participated in various Christmas “Adopt an Angel” programs to name a few. And we regularly participated in fundraisers for causes such as the Red Cross and Breast Cancer Research.

But in my experience, the joy and gift of volunteering doesn’t end with charities. Getting involved in professional organizations and trade associations can provide a whole different set of benefits to you personally and professionally. Groups like the Day Spa Association and the American Massage Therapy Association depend heavily on their volunteers to bring life and ideas to their efforts. Whether volunteers help to create mentoring programs for new members, stuff gift bags for tradeshow fundraisers or simply review articles for upcoming publications, there are ample opportunities to get involved. All move towards helping the collective membership in one form or another and supporting the profession from within the profession.

At the upcoming Day Spa Expo, there are a number of volunteer openings available for DSA members and non-members alike. I’ve found that volunteering at events like this can be a great way to meet new people, really learn about the organization and show, and chance to go home with something more than a bag full of product samples and brochures. I’d like to invite you to really be a part of the show by giving a few hours of your time in one or more of these areas:

  • Day Spa Association Booth Set-Up (Saturday March 13 – various times available)
  • Day Spa Association Booth Volunteer (Sunday and Monday March 14 and 15 – various times available)
  • Day Spa Association Booth Tear-Down (Monday March 15 – after the trade show floor closes)
  • Lunch and Learn (Sunday and Monday March 14 and 15 11:30 – 1:30 )
  • Meet and Greet Party Set-Up+ (Sunday March 14 5:30 – 7:30)
  • Meet and Greet Party Clean-Up+ (Sunday March 14 7:30 – 9:30)

And if you aren’t headed to the DSE but are interested in getting involved in the Day Spa Association, there are numerous opportunities available in all areas including Membership, Social Media, Research and others. I encourage you and all spa professionals, be it vendors, consultants, spa owners or individual practitioners to get involved and do something. Be a part of this wave of “conscious capitalism” and you’ll do a lot of good for those in need, the industry, yourself and your business.

Interested in volunteering at the Day Spa Expo or for the Day Spa Association? Contact Membership Chairman Felicia Brown at Felicia@spalutions.com with questions or to discus your area(s) of interest.

 Spa Consultant & Trainer 
NCBTMB Approved Provider
Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach
Felicia@spasolutions.com
www.Spalutions.com
www.SmartSpaMarketing.com

Networking for success

I guess you could say I am always networking for success. That is I am constantly trying to meet new people at events, trade shows, classes and online in an effort to pique their interest in my business and learn about theirs. It is also one of the main reasons I like going to the Day Spa Expo every year.Unfortunately, one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about networking is from folks who aren’t comfortable meeting new people or being in group settings. In fact, I was one of these people many years ago when I first became a massage therapist. But as necessity mandated that I build my practice, I learned to look at a room full of strangers as a room full of potential clients. It became a lot easier to talk to people everywhere about what I did after that attitude adjustment.

Now as a business consultant that helps other service-oriented professionals (such as spa owners, massage therapists, yoga instructors, estheticians, chiropractors and even computer technicians) I try to help people find marketing tools and vehicles that suit their personality best. Perhaps not everyone is cut out for joining a leads group or other structured networking organization. But they would work well and enjoy serving in a volunteer position that complements what they already do or puts them in touch with people who can use their services. And in my opinion, spa professionals of all kinds can benefit tremendously by networking with their peers at trade shows and conferences like the Day Spa Expo.

To me networking is just about spreading the word about what you do and making business connections that can be of help to you and others you know down the road. You never know what solutions or opportunities may come just by meeting one or two new people. So I encourage networkers to always be prepared to share their business with others wherever they go and to be open to the many possibilities that can come from “planting” and “watering” the seeds of their business along the way.

The bottom line is that networking is good for your business. At the Day Spa Expo and Business Forum there will be lots of opportunities to meet and interact with other industry professionals, vendors, and consultants. Carry plenty of business cards with you at the Expo – wherever you go really – and be ready to tell people what you do and to ask what they do. Invite them to be part of your circle of contacts and begin a mutually rewarding relationship of business support and friendship.

Networking: Just one of the reasons I love going to the Day Spa Expo and Business Forum. Hope to see you there!

 Spa Consultant & Trainer 
NCBTMB Approved Provider
Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach

Felicia@spasolutions.com
www.Spalutions.com
www.SmartSpaMarketing.com 

 

WRAPPING UP THE MANTRAS

Wrapping up the Mantras

In closing this blog post on my three personal mantas for the coming year I hope to share just a few thoughts on how to move from the “chanting” stage to the “acting” stage. The three mantras I have shared over the last blogs are: ABM-Always Be Marketing, DSD-Do Something Different, and RNBFF- Research is my New Best Friend Forever.

Ideas!

Do a new take on the open house theme

Let’s face it-day spas are not the most welcoming of environments for a new comer or a novice spa-goer. Trend research tells me that people like to try “spa-ing” in groups. It is less threatening, requires less of a commitment and has built in “support” when a group gets together. Rather than just inviting everyone you know or anyone who has ever visited your spa-try targeting an open house to a specific group-maybe a drop in spa open house after school if you are trying to target the high school prom market. Perhaps a daytime open house just for “Silver Spa-ers” if that is one of your new targets. You can tailor the entire event from timing, service demonstrations, invitations, and other details to the specific group.

I’ll be talking in depth on this topic at the upcoming Day Spa Business Forum & Expo in March and I hope you will take advantage of this excellent educational opportunity. You’ll get a chance to practice all three mantras at once if you attend!

Tailor your marketing plan to help you practice the mantras

When I mention marketing strategies in my classes-I frequently get a response such as “Oh, I used to do that when I first started in business”. In today’s economy doing something old-can be new again. This might include seeking out local groups that would welcome a speaker or lecture demonstration on the benefits of spa and wellness services, or volunteering at a local walk, bike, and golf or fitness event to promote your business. Research your local options-what are the best attended events? What kinds of activities are your current clients involved in? That is where you want to be.

Seek new partners who can help you as you help them

New potential partners are everywhere! Take a few moments to really read your local community paper. Small community newspapers are still widely read. Ask yourself who in this paper-either an individual or a group is targeting the same market you are? Call or e-mail them. You may discover the synergy of a partnership that re-energizes your marketing efforts and your business.

Best wishes for a successful and healthy year ahead. Practicing your new mantras will give you a fresh approach to the challenges and successes ahead!

Patti Biro
Patti Biro and Associates
EM: biroassociates@aol.com
www.biroassociates.com