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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 ISPA Conference & Expo By the Numbers

Thanks to the countless hours invested by ISPA member volunteers and our amazing exhibitors and sponsors, the 2014 ISPA Conference & Expo was a great success. Between the energy on the Expo floor, the innovative educational sessions and the always fun ISPA Foundation Auction, many memories were made and new relationships were built. Take a look at some of the numbers from this year’s Conference.


Be sure to save the date for the 2015 ISPA Conference & Expo which will be held October 19-21, 2015 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How Spa-Goers Use Social Media to Connect with Spas

The ISPA Foundation recently launched Volume V of its Consumer Snapshot Initiative at the 24th annual ISPA Conference & Expo. What can you learn from Volume Five? For starters, the importance of social media in the spa industry and ways consumers use social media to connect to spas. This research opens the world of social media trends, preferences among today's spa-goer and how they are using social media in relation to spas. This information can help you be more strategic with social media and decide which platforms relate better to consumers.

Here's a sneak peak at what's inside the new research report: 

ISPA members can download a complimentary copy in the ISPA Store at

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October Pulse + Cover Contest Winner

The October issue of Pulse is a special one, as it is our issue dedicated to all things related to the yearly ISPA Conference & Expo. This year, we decided to make it even more special by asking readers to submit their personal photographs and designs to be considered for the cover of our October issue. We were blown away with the number of creative, daring and bold submissions we received! So first, THANK YOU! to everyone who submitted a design. It was such a fun contest for us, and we hope you enjoyed participating as well.

With that, we are beyond thrilled to reveal the October Pulse cover and recognize our winner, Paul Heslop with Salt of the Earth.

We hope you have a chance to check out the issue and since we had so many wonderful submissions, we wanted to share a number of the submission for everyone to see.

Thanks again to all the wonderful participants and ISPA supporters and we hope you enjoy the October issue as much as we do!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Newly released 2014 Industry Study

ISPA is so proud to announce that the 2014 Industry Study is now available! As this year marks the 15th anniversary of the annual study, the 2014 report is packed full of invaluable data and important information for spa industry professionals.

To access the study, ISPA members can download their complimentary copy by logging on and visiting the online ISPA store.

The report is available for nonmembers for US$800 and those wishing to purchase may do so at the ISPA website.

We hope that you find the 2014 Industry Study as interesting and helpful as we did!

As always, if you have any questions about the Industry Study or ISPA, please contact a representative today.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Using Data in Decision Making

Making big decisions for your spa can sometimes feel like going on a woodland hike in the middle of the night. You might be nervous, disoriented and afraid of taking a wrong turn. Information is your flashlight and ISPA is your hiking buddy.

Did you know that the average number of spa treatments listed on a spa menu is 45? I didn't – until I read one of ISPA’s Snapshot Surveys last year. Whenever I'm working on a lecture or a project for a client, my first task is to gather research and industry data to support any topics or decision-making that needs to be done. Making choices or changes based on your intuition alone can work out absolutely fine, but I've found that your gut gets a lot smarter when you've been keeping up to date with what's happening in the industry.

I have to admit, I'm a little bit of a statistics junky. Tell me that your XYZ night cream is flying off the shelves, and I may look out for it the next time I'm at the Expo. But tell me that 60 percent of anti-aging facial clients buy it and I'll be knocking on your door, checkbook in hand. I want the numbers, the facts, the deets. So in terms of the organization and presentation of valuable information, the Snapshot reports really do a great job. The infographics and color-coded graphs help illustrate the numbers and make the takeaways of the data clear. The written answers at the end of each report are also great for inspiration. For example, in the May report, respondents were asked to share the most valuable lesson they've learned so far in their careers. There are hundreds of responses, each with a unique take on what's most important. Talk about inspiring pearls of wisdom!

I'd like to say that there are many quality resources available to us, as spa professionals. Unfortunately, that's just not true. Our industry suffers from a lack of available information in general because of the fragmented nature and newness of the spa business. One fantastic exception is the reports provided by ISPA to its members. It may be a nuisance to fill in the surveys every month, especially when you're apparently already spending almost four hours every day responding to the 84 emails in your inbox (per the May snapshot report profiling ISPA members), but the payoff is really exceptional. You get to know relevant, recent details about the spa business that you can relate to your own operations, and feel confident that you're not just staggering around in the dark.

Now, who wants to grab a flashlight and go for a hike with me?

Su Gibson
Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston

Snapshot Surveys are just one of the many benefits available to ISPA members. To learn more about these great resources or about membership, please click here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Preview of the 2014 U.S. Spa Industry Study

Did you know the inaugural International SPA Association (ISPA) Industry Study was launched in 1999 with research experts from PricewaterhouseCoopers? The latest installment of the industry study marks the fifteenth anniversary of this highly insightful study and is packed full of positive statistics for the sector as a whole.

Reflecting on the 2013 year, increases were noticeably visible in the areas of revenue, number of spa visits, number of spa locations and revenue received per visit. At year end, the spa industry reported record high revenue at $14.7 billion, a notable 5.1 percent increase over 2012.  The number of spa visits as well as the revenue per visit both increased at a steady 2.5 percent in 2013, with spa visits hitting a record-breaking 164 million. The number of U.S. spa locations also jumped from 19,960 in 2012 to 20,180 in 2013.

The spa industry continues to impact the U.S. job market with an overall 1.8 percent growth in the total number of employees working at a spa. While the number of part-time employees saw an increase of around 8 percent, this shouldn't appear as a huge surprise since the part-time share of the workforce has risen consistently since the launch of the original study in 2000.

Overall, it looks like the spa industry has much to celebrate. With record numbers posted in 2013 and a highly optimistic outlook for the months ahead, it appears the spa industry is now firmly back on a growth trajectory.

With a sneak peek inside this year's edition of the study, ISPA members can look forward to receiving the full copy of the 2014 U.S. Spa Industry Study on September 30, 2014. For those nonmembers who would like to purchase this valuable tool or become ISPA members, please click here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2014 ISPA Foundation Scholarship by the Numbers

After more than four months, 17 applicants, nine Scholarship Selection Committee members and four Skype interviews, the ISPA Foundation is pleased to announce Josee-Ann Clouiter and Nicole Meneveau as the 2014 Mary Tabacchi Scholarship recipients. This is the first time in scholarship history that two recipients have been awarded the prestigious scholarship.

Jeff Kohl, ISPA Foundation Chairman and member of the 2014 Scholarship Selection Committee shared, “We are pleased to have selected two outstanding recipients for the 2014 ISPA Foundation’s Mary Tabacchi Scholarship. The committee felt that both students were extremely deserving of the award. With the most applicants this year than ever before, this speaks volumes to the growth of the industry and quality of future leaders.”

Nicole Meneveau attends Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She is pursuing a Hotel Administration degree and her goal is to be involved in international spa development. Josee-Ann Cloutier attends the University of Tartu in Parnu, Estonia. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Wellness and Spa Service Design Management and her goal is to one day open her own community wellness spa in Canada.

                                   Nicole Meneveau                               Josee-Ann Cloutier

Nicole and Josee-Ann will accept their award during the General Session at the 2014 ISPA Conference & Expo this October. To learn more about this year’s Conference, visit