A great turnout of 90 attendees representing consulting firms, hotel, day and destination spas from Asia, Europe and the Middle East highlighted the interest in the spa world at Cosmoprof Asia’s Focus on Spa last year. Mike Tan of the Organisers opened the day’s talks, highlighting how valuable it was to be able to gather together so many wellness experts in the same room for an opportunity to learn about the industry from the inside.
Wow-factor keynote speaker Susie Ellis, President of SpaFinder, CEO and Chairman of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) and spa/wellness trends guru, kicked off the presentations by speaking on her favourite topic. “Understanding trends gives us a competitive advantage,” she pointed out. She chose four macro trends to speak about; global interdependence, complexity, velocity and transparency. They were taken from a talk by Thierry Malleret, Co-founder of The Monthly Barometer, at the 2013 GSWS, who had commented that the modern malaises of stress and exhaustion caused by these trends bode very well for the spa and wellness industry.
Following up her predicted trends for 2013 she gave us a sneak peak at the ones she’ll be announcing in January for 2014, mentioning a differentiation between primary and secondary wellness tourists, a renaissance for hot springs, healthy hotels 2.0 and wired wellness.
Next up was a panel discussion on marketing for spas, emceed by Melinda Yon, Senior Academic Staff of Republic Polytechnic in Singapore. Lisa Starr, Senior Consultant of Wynne Business underlined the importance of digital marketing, Laksuree Detrerkpan, Marketing Communications Director of Bhawa Spa said the story and culture behind a spa is still of utmost importance, Sara Codner, Director of Spa for the Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou expounded the importance of Weibo, and Vivienne Tang, Editor-in-Chief of AsiaSpa magazine, said that digital marketing is crucial. All panelists agreed that targeted events are key, also mentioning support from skincare suppliers, retailing, partnerships with like-minded businesses, e-booking and finding the most influential bloggers to help promote your spa.
Lisa Starr took to the stage solo to talk about brand essence, USPs and sales, mentioning design, differentiators, strategy and tracking marketing results, saying at the end, “Doing a good job is the best marketing possible.”
And that was just the morning of the hugely successful day-long 2013 Cosmoprof Asia Spa Conference. To attend the event this year, look out for the upcoming announcement of the 2014 Cosmoprof Asia Spa Conference, which will be held on the 13th November 2014. Stay tuned to the fair website, www.cosmoprof-asia.com
By Catharine Nicol
Freelance writer, editor, photographer