NOV 2014

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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86 DAYSPA | NOVEMBER 2014 MARKETING SAVVY Are Spas the New Community Centers? To gain a competitive edge—with hopes of alluring new customers—spa owners open their doors for community education opportunities. By Carrie Borzillo In growing numbers, local spas are beginning to offer educational seminars whose topics run the gamut from climate change to burlesque dancing techniques. Hosting these forums allows spas to remain an active part of their local communities while staying relevant in an increasingly competitive market. Different from spa events or parties that guests may pay to attend, community education seminars, classes and discussions are typically free and open to the public. They can present a win-win opportunity for owners, benefi tting communities as they encourage potential clients to walk through your doors. "In my opinion, you really can't offer enough educa- tional seminars. You just need to target each one to the right demographic," says Nancy Trent, president of New York City-based consulting business Trent & Company. Trent believes that making your spa a hub of the com- munity, where consumers are compelled to go for infor- mation, can only propel your business. "In that sense, I think of spas as the new town hall!" she says. Although inviting locals in for seminars is an increas- ingly useful vehicle for spreading the word about your spa's services, the approach should be subtle, and in the spirit of community contribution and improvement. "Owners shouldn't be blatant in terms of promoting their spas at these events. You want to do something good for the community in an honest and sincere way and not make it an overt marketing tactic," says Bruce Schoenberg, president of Oasis Day Spas (oasisdayspa in New York City and Westchester, New York. Usually, the results naturally follow. "These events do get people talking about us and, as a knock-on effect, they draw in new clients," explains Schoenberg. As for topic ideas, the sky's the limit. Clients already know you're an expert in health, wellness and skin care—speaking events could showcase your spa staff's expertise, or enable you to share important or unique information on lesser-known topics. THINK GLOBALLY After a trip to South Africa—during which he learned about climate change from former U.S. PHOTO COURTESY NITESPA

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