Report on the 2009 ISPA Conference & Expo
in Austin, Texas Part 1 of 3
by Julie Register
along with over 1,800 spa professionals and over 150 exhibiters, attended the
19th annual ISPA
Conference & Expo October 5-8, 2009 at the Austin Convention Center in
Austin, Texas. It was smaller but more intimate. The quality of the conference
and expo remained at the high levels of previous years. This year"s theme
"simplicity" was woven throughout the outstanding keynote speeches and
valuable educational sessions. ISPA presented awards, discussed the work of the
foundation and presented spa industry statistics. The expo and the relaxation
area offered opportunities to talk to exhibiters and sample products and treatments.
Unfortunately, I could not stay to hear Lance Armstrong on the 8th. This report
is divided into three parts. The following chart shows the highlights of the event.
I share my notes for most of the sessions I attended. This is Part 1 of 3.
In order to get to the next level of performance,
we have to manage emotions intelligently. That is where is our edge is to be found.
Emotions drive behavior. 86% of all illness is stress induced.
a leader, you must hold everyone accountable. Underperformers affect the entire
team. Do you need to hold a though conversation? Are you willing to get tough
feedback? Only 14% of us can hold difficult conversations with effective results.
We can get paralyzed when things don't go right. There is a fear of rejection.
We work to be liked. We have "identity quakes" when we hold tough conversations
because it doesn't fit our idea of our nice selves.
need to understand how our brain works. The amygdala allows us to learn for the
first time. It's the source of emotional memory. It's where human survival lives
- "Do I eat it or does it eat me?" The neocortex is the IQ brain and
the site of working memory.
Emotion comes before thought.
This knowledge unlocks everything for a leader. We must manage emotions. If not,
the amygdala hijacks us, limits working memory, and we can't think straight. An
amygdala hijack is: 1. Sudden/ unexpected, 2. Against your will and 3.
Forceful. You feel it in your body. Your shoulders go up. You sweat. Complex
thought stops. You don't know it's happening cognitively. The effects of an
amygdala hijack include: 1. We make more errors. 2. There is a decrease
in working memory. 3. Brain neurons erode. 4. Cortisol levels become toxic. 5.
There is a lack of sleep.
Some tips to avoid an amygdala
hijack are: 1. Don't hold though conversations when someone is in HALT - they
are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. 2. Get more information. We jump to conclusions
based on <5% of available information. 3. Don't confuse impact with intention. 4.
Don't judge. 5. Build bridges from the other person back to yourself. When
you see behavior out of character, think about why it may be happening. Do they
not feel valued? Do they not like what they are doing? Building bridges gives
your employees a voice, makes them feel valued and allows them to give feedback.
you realize there is an amygdala hijack, remember SOS: Stop - actuate your
pause neurons Oxygenate - take a deep breath Seek more information. What's
on their side of the bridge?
Have two 15-minute conversations. 1)
Ask your employees (one at a time) for help because you want to be a better leader.
Get ideas, and decide on one thing. Ask them to observe and assess how well you
do the task in the following week. 2) Have a follow up meeting to discuss the
results. There are a number of good effects from this: 1. It reminds you
to do better as a leader. 2. It provides a pattern interrupt when you are going
down the hijack road and allows you to reconsider how to react to the situation. 3.
The other person feels more valued. 4. It will make others open to feedback
Marshmallow Study is a better indicator of future performance than IQ and other
tests. A marshmallow was placed in front of a four-year-old child. The child was
told they could eat the marshmallow, but if they waited until the researcher returned,
they could have two. 1/3 of the children at the marshmallow right away, 1/3 licked
it or nibbled on it (counted as being eaten) and 1/3 waited and got two. The children
who waited demonstrated delayed gratification. They had learned to control their
amygdala. Over time, these children demonstrated increased impulse control, increased
ability to reduce stress and increased ability to focus. They were able to form
closer relationships and scored an average of 210 points higher in their IQs than
the other children.
ISPA Visionary Award: Dr. Howard Murad
Murad, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA and founder of Murad,
Inc., was recognized by the International Spa Association (ISPA) and the ISPA
Board of Directors with the 2009 ISPA Visionary Award to acknowledge longstanding
excellence and significant contributions to the world of spa and a positive influence
on the health and wellness fields on a global level. Murad, Inc. was founded in
1989 by Howard Murad. M.D., one of the world's foremost authorities on skin health
and a pioneer of the clinical skincare movement. All Murad products are based
in The Science of Cellular Water, Dr. Murad's unified theory of health and
aging. The Murad brand includes 88 consumer products and 45 professional products
sold in 45 countries. Upon receiving the award, Dr. Murad said that now is an
opportunity for another revolution. Something is missing in patients' lives. "We
are a society that is overfed and undernourished." Even so, there is still
a void. Inclusive health - looking at the whole person both at the cellular level
and the global view - is necessary. A new type of care giver is needed to recommend
appropriate treatments and products based on science. There is an opportunity
for spas to make a difference in patients' lives.
SILK - Service in Love and Kindness. Creating a Service Environment
by Holly Stiel
I attended a talk by Holly at ISPA a few years ago. I
was happy to have an opportunity to listen to her again. She said she had been
discussing the attributes of excellent service with a friend. Excellent service
provides a feeling of safety and makes you feel protected. Excellent service is
consistent yet flexible and sustainable. It's strong but not heavy. Her friend
said, "It's kind of like silk." and gave Holly a tangible way to represent
excellent service. It's beautiful and valuable (used as currency in China). It's
strong (used in parachutes and sutures). It's safe (used in armor). In this way
silk is used as a metaphor as it applies to delivering exquisite and beautiful
service. It is also used as an acronym: S - Signature - What is distinctive
and memorable about you to create an experience for others? List them out. I
- Innovative Thinking - Customers want us to be innovative. Innovation is the
ability to look outside the box, create novel solutions and develop improved ways
of doing things even for ordinary tasks. It's being able to turn an ordinary experience
into an extraordinary experience and making it memorable. L - Legacy
- Take the best of the past and personally build on it to pass something better
into the future. What legacy have you been gifted and what is your personal responsibility
to carry it forward? Standards are needed. Passion is needed. Align with something
that is bigger than you so that you personally align and can articulate it to
your customer. Silk feels good. In order for good feelings to endure, it must
be cared for. Service must be cared for in the same way. K - Kindness
- The ability to connect and engage and in so doing create positive feelings.
Connectedness is huge in service - giving love and receiving love. Think in your
head "I receive your love." All of these are built on a foundation
of integrity and values. Personal values should be aligned with company values.
Do your people know what your values are? Do they practice them? SILK together
with values is where strength lies.
Service is a feeling. It's esoteric.
You know it when you receive it. It is only what a master craftsman can create.
Take every creative aspect and elevate the craft to an art. Weave it together
into a fabric - a fabric of spas, technology, place and connections. Fabric is
woven together with many threads. Without an individual thread, the fabric is
weaker. Inspire customers to trust their experiences with you. Elevate it to a
work of the heart. Artists take their heart and put it on the outside to share
with others. It leaves them vulnerable, but they share their art regardless of
the consequences. It is important to understand that exceptional service providers
incorporate their whole selves - interests and values. They share their souls.
It's not about the function of the job. It's about sharing one's whole self.
can't fake SILK. It may be tempting to substitute in times of stress. Resist this
urge. This is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. We learn and
grow in the most challenging situations.
Holly gave a number of examples
of extraordinary service.
This presentation is
available on CD from MobileTape.
I heard Bryan Williams last
year and was happy to see him again.
To engage means to
connect with your customer in a memorable way. It's beyond performing service
steps. It's about creating an experience. There are seven principles to fully
engage your customers: Principle 1: Be eager to serve. Being eager
to serve your customer is more about perception than anything else. It's having
the team in the "ready" position when the doors open. Articulate what
the "ready" position is to make it memorable. Standards of service must
be in place. Remember the 10' 4' rule - Acknowledge at 10', speak/engage in dialog
at 4'. This principle is about being prompt in every sense of the word. The customer
should not have to wait ever. If they do, it is your responsibility to apologize
for the delay. You and your staff's actions should state, "I am at your service". Principle
2: Be welcoming. True service does not begin without a warm welcome or
greeting. Let your customer know you are happy they chose you. After receiving
your welcome, the customers should instantly feel they made the right choice to
patronize your business. They should be excited after the initial greeting because
you want them to believe that the rest of the service experience will be one hundred
times better than the welcome. Make it genuine. Personalize it. Be in the moment.
A function is a task. The purpose is why you do it. Engage your team in a discussion
about their roles and revisit it often. Principle 3: Create an inclusive
atmosphere. Challenge yourself to find out your customers' preferences,
create a way to capture them (database), act on them and share them. Create a
relationship with the customer. Ask questions to get to know them. To be inclusive
means to involve the customer in the service they are receiving. The customer
is more than just the recipient of the service; they can be an important part
of how the service is delivered. Principle #4: Create a total experience. Creating
a total experience begins with having the right people in the right roles. A total
experience is comprised of many touchpoints. Pay attention to details at every
touchpoint, every interaction between the guest and business. Know about deposits
and withdrawals (refer to last
year's presentation). With your team, create a list of all the main touchpoints
in your spa. Ask for specific feedback at the close of the experience. Your staff
probably knows about defects. Empower your team to detect them. Make it an expectation
that they find defects, report them and be part of finding the solution. This
creates passion for the job. Principle #5: Turn customers into ambassadors. Turning
customers into ambassadors is about fostering loyalty. Measure your success by
customer loyalty. Everyone on the team is an ambassador. Tell the team. Make sure
they understand it. Build repeat business by creating excellent memories. Don't
spend all of your time with what's wrong. You can get rid of everything that's
wrong and still not engage the guest. Create a list with your team of what things
can be done to delight your customers. Ask your customers if there is anything
else you can do. Write it all down and pick one every day. Capture good stories
and share them with your team. Communicate your appreciation. Let customers know
you look forward to serving them again. Principle #6: Offer a gracious goodbye Every
customer should be reassured that their decision to spend their money with you
is greatly appreciated. This step is often missed. Exceed expectations. Have sincere
appreciation - thank you. Ask if there is something more you can do for the customer.
The purpose is to ensure nothing has been missed and tells the customer "I'm
there for you." your customers should feel like your job's main purpose is
to not just meet, but exceed their expectations. It makes the experience more
memorable. This step differentiates the 5 star from 4 star. Everyone on the team
must have the above and beyond mentality and believe in teamwork. This is where
culture comes in. Be sure to follow up. Principle #7: Earn your customers'
confidence reap the rewards Make a positive impact. Build trust. Have
integrity - keep promises. Be competent - do what you do well. Have confidence.
Follow through. The rewards are not just repeat business and referrals but knowing
you have made a positive impact on someone's day. Thank customer for complaints.
Validate what they say. If they say the complaint to someone else, empower them
to do something about it. Guests don't care about why. They just want to know
about the resolution. Listen openly. Apologize - be empathetic (sympathy = sorry,
empathy = understand the feeling). Get additional information. Take ownership
to fix the issue and follow through (example from last year - towel boy). This
is a big area of failure. "The purpose of following
up is to ensure the guest is happy with the resolution." Make it all about
the customer. Are issues sporadic or chronic? Involve the team in solution. This
all results in loyal guests "service is not what one does; it is the way
one is." If you take care of your customers, value their patronage, and
provide them with memorable service, then they will return to give you more business.
presentation is available on CD from MobileTape
Morgan Collection The
Andrew Morgan Collection
introduced an aromatherapy-infused, eco-friendly textile collection. Tiny
polymeric microcapsule shells containing unique fragrances are infused into sumptuous
throws, scarves, robes, wraps and towels. Movement or touch breaks the capsules
and releases the fragrance over a period of time. The result is a personal sensory
experience without overpowering the room with scent. There are three fragrances
to choose from. I thought the rosemary on display was lovely. The textile products
are initially infused with the scent, which lasts approximately 25 washes, after
which they can be re-infused with stand-alone fragrances, which will come in a
variety of sizes, including travel sizes, so that customers can bring the comfort
of their home or spa on the road with them. Andrew Morgan Collection will also
be able to work with locations that might have a signature fragrance to infuse
that scent into the products, ensuring a full branding experience for their customers.
The aromatherapy scents will be infused into Andrew Morgan's Ami-Vert fabric as
well as the luxurious Samoa-Juno microfiber blend. Fully-sustainable and featuring
the softest hand and luster imaginable, Ami-Vert (Friendly-Green) is a proprietary
fabric constructed from post-consumer and post-industrial waste. It is recyclable,
anti-microbial and anti-abrasive so the fabric will not pill, stain or fade. It
is also fast-drying and oil- and bleach-resistant. Samoa-Juno is an earth-friendly
microfiber polyester that is breathable, light and easy to care for, with a soft
and plush feel. Designed for maximum stability, the yarns are spun to resist shedding
or pilling and are more stain resistant than natural fiber such as cotton, rayon
was introduced to Poo-Pourri at last year's
ISPA expo. Just a few squirts of the original citrus blend of lemongrass, bergamot,
grapefruit and other natural essential oils offers a more upscale and "spa"
way to deal with undesirable bathroom odors. This year I spoke with Suzy Batiz,
the founder of Poo-Pourri, and she introduced me to their new products: - Karoma
auto aromatherapy diffusers, which are available in 4 attractive locket styles:
Hope, Peace, Love and Faith and 6 aromatherapy scent cards. - Love, Me Scents,
a solid take anywhere fragrance, is offered in 4 different compacts featuring
3 different fragrances in each. Hundred of combinations can be made by mixing
and matching to create a custom layered scent. - Blessed Bracelets have been
infused with blessings across the world. Wear this traditional string bracelet
until it naturally falls off. Wear it as a reminder of how blessed you are in
any given moment. A portion of sales is donated to support various humanitarian
efforts. Other items in the product line include: - No. 2 - Featuring a
sweet blend of mandarin, bergamot and orange, and enhanced with hints of peach
and berries, No. 2 is adorned with a rhinestone cell phone charm with each bottle.
- HeavenScent - This dreamy scent features a divine blend of white jasmine
florals and natural essential oils to create a celestial aroma in your lavatory.
- Atomizer Gift Set - Refillable rhinestone-embossed atomizer comes complete
with a black velvet bag and squirt nozzle that fits on all Poo-Pourri bottles.
- Royal Flush - A must for all distinguished gents, who are mindful of their
followers Royal Flush releases a refreshing, masculine blend of eucalyptus spearmint
that eliminates even the most choking odors. - Pooch-Pourri - Safe and effective
on all pet odors, this blend of bergamot, lemongrass and citronella neutralizes
odors at the source. - Poo-Pourri Jr - A diaper deodorizer blended with lemongrass,
bergamot and grapefruit, simply spray on the dirty diaper. Each Poo-Pourri
product includes a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee.
New Spa at Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Guests who book a stay of five-nights or more can also take advantage of a $1,500 Resort Credit , which can be used on room upgrades, spa and beauty salon treatments, golf outings, romantic dinners, and more. Palace Resorts all-inclusive accommodations start at $171 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. To reserve your Palace Resorts stay, please visit www.PalaceResorts.com, call (800) 635-1836 or contact your preferred travel professional.
Lantana Spa at JW Marriott San Antonio
Farm to Treatment Table Lavender Experience
This package is available Saturdays only, May 12 – July 14 (excluding June 8), must be booked one week in advance and requires 48 hours notice for cancellation.
Hill Country Lavender Farm tour,
a bottle of organic lavender massage oil made at the farm,
lunch at Replenish Spa Café with items featuring lavender, and a lavender-based spa treatment featuring the organic lavender massage oil from the Hill Country Lavender farm.
You can clean your home, fruits, vegetables and meats with the same 'Aqueous Ozone' that spas and other companies use.Tersano's ‘Aqueous Ozone’ Cleaning Systemt is the world's most effective chemical-free cleaner. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ quickly oxidizes (kills) viruses and bacteria (including E.coli, Salmonella, MRSA, C-Difficil), mold, mildew and other contaminants on any item or surface - from toilets to bedspreads - before changing safely back into water and oxygen. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ is 3000 times faster and 50% more powerful than bleach and chlorine-based cleaners. It is 100% chemical free - no toxins, carcinogens or chemical residue - and safe for babies, pets and people with sensitive skin or those with strong reactions to normal cleaners. ‘Aqueous Ozone’ has long been used in water treatment, food sterilization and medical therapies for its remarkable anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. It sounds too good to be true, but the data show how effective the system works.
I'm a believer.
Hearth Health Month at mySpaShop including the best in health and wellness products from companies that give to those in need.