Pulse May 2019 - Page 31

“All of our events have an impact on our bottom line. Clients are able to bring guests to the events, and we’ve seen an increase in booking from both the participants and the guests.” —Jeannine soWers, owner, fusions sPa & Wellness TallGrass garb on. for us, it’s about giving back. The whole point is that we’re there, people see us and it inspires people to visit TallGrass.” secrets to success When designing an event, Prescott advocates a flexible approach, saying, “Sometimes we’ll start with a theme and build from there, but other times we may develop an event around a treatment that we like.” Prescott also views events as a way to “sample something or try something out that we’re considering putting on our menu.” it’s important to listen to staff, guests and outside sources when planning an event: all three iSPa members featured here cited brain- storming sessions with staff and direct discussion with spa-goers as regular contributors to their decision-making process. rackliff believes that an event must be aggressively marketed to be successful: “you have to put it out there in every way that you can, otherwise nobody will know about it.” She further added that all of their best-attended events have a philanthropic angle, a sentiment echoed by other iSPa members. The Biltmore hotel includes all of its events in its e-newsletter and markets them via social media. Says Prescott, “Events take time, and for them to be successful you have to market them, you have to plan for them.” Location is important, too: TallGrass aveda Spa & Salon has struggled to host successful seminars and classes for guests due to its relatively remote location, so it’s important that their events feel significant enough to make the spa a destination. any number of complicating factors can make an event unsuccessful, says Bowers. The least successful event at fusions Spa & Wellness, she says, was a meet-and-greet for a new staff member: “There wasn’t an agenda or targeted information, and inclement weather was also an issue.” Each factor added up to an event that underperformed. “Who you partner with is important,” Prescott says, “because they have to be engaging.” once your spa has found an ideal partner for the event, timing is everything. The Biltmore hotel threw a holiday bazaar one year that was a tremendous success. The next year, Prescott threw an almost identical event, yet it was poorly attended. The only difference was the date. “it came down to finding the right day to do it. it had to be early enough that people are still excited to shop for the holidays, but also avoid Thanksgiving and other events.” Prescott adds that she has had similar experiences when planning events around other major holidays. a successful spa event comprises many moving parts: a great topic, the right date, involved partners and sufficient marketing are all essential. Even then, some events may not go well due to circumstances beyond control. But when executed properly, as these three spas do more often than not, one-off events at your spa can be major revenue gener- ators and brand builders. n f e at u r e d s o u r c e s charlotte Prescott Director of Spa, Fitness & Retail the Biltmore hotel melissa rackliff Jeannine soWers tallgrass aveda fusions sPa & sPa & salon Wellness Spa Director Owner MAY ■ PULSE 2019 29