Pulse July 2018 - Page 62

NEtWorKiNg guidE vations for as-of-yet-unknown guests makes life easier for others; however, it’s also a great way to ensure you won’t head upstairs for room service when you could be making friends, memories and connections at a group meal. Beyond that, having great reservations near the hotel makes a good impression on others. Flip to page 52 for Phoenix restaurant recommendations. The daily lunches on the Expo floor are another oppor- tunity for professional networking. “There will be a lot of spa directors, managers and vendors eating on the floor, so make a point to sit next to people you don’t know,” advises Conte. “Have a few icebreakers ready, and don’t be shy to ask people where they’re from, how their week is going and if they’ve had a favorite Education Session or speaker.” 7. Don’t underestimate icebreakers. Try to pick out five topics or questions that you can keep in your metaphorical back pocket for when you’re at a loss for words. Here’s a smattering of ISPA-themed questions that Jeannine Sowers, owner of Fusions Spa in North Carolina, uses to break the ice: 1. “What’s your favorite spa product right now? 2. “Seen anything at this year’s ISPA Conference & Expo that you recommend I try?” 60 PULSE ■ July 2018 3. “What education sessions are you interested in attending?” 4. “What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever done at an ISPA Conference?” 8. Think outside the box. Finding people with 9. You’re not alone in being alone. similar personal or professional interests is a great way to network, but it can also keep your connections “inside the box,” so to speak. Push yourself to your limits and talk to people you might not usually speak to. There are numerous strategies for this; Clark recommends picking a color—say, green—“then [making] a point of seeking out people wearing that color.” Another recommended tip for connecting with people, particularly any subject-matter expert whose brain you want to pick, is to interview them. Whether for your spa’s social media, a blog, podcast or newsletter, asking a spa superstar for an interview frames your first interaction with them as “one of giving, because your interview will expose them to new audiences,” according to Clark. Sometimes it can seem like everyone else is at the ISPA Conference & Expo with someone but, according to Conte, that’s far from the truth. “Remember that there will be several