The Magazine for spa and wellness in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America​

ISPA 2017

The 2017 International Spa Association Conference & Expo was hosted at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, on October 16-18. Almost 2300 leaders in spa and wellness from 31 countries gathered at the event to hear 40 speakers and see 220 exhibiting companies. 16000 meals were donated to children via the FEED bag partnership and over 100,000 USD was raised to support the ISPA Foundation.

Day one commenced with keynote speaker Amy Cuddy on the main stage. Cuddy’s research has shown how our body language can affect how others perceive us. However, more interestingly, it also affects how we see ourselves. By ‘power posing’ – standing in a powerful posture of confidence – for just two minutes we can boost our feelings of confidence, and increase our chances of success at whatever we are about to undertake. So, before your next meeting, job interview or speech, give this a try!

On day two, Colin McIlheney presented industry statistics and announced the inaugural spa workforce study including recruitment, retention and engagement. The aim is to get 10000 responses to the study: www.spaworkforcesurvey.com

Daniel Pink spoke about motivation from a scientific perspective. When you reward behavior, you get more of it; when you punish behavior, you get less of it. Or so you might think! It’s not as consistent as that. When you reward test subjects with money at three different levels, this works only with mechanical skills. Once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive thinking, a larger reward led to poorer performance. Rewards encourage focused attention without a lateral perspective; complex and long-term tasks require a broader span of attention.

Susan Harmsworth, founder of ESPA International (UK) Ltd. accepted the 2017 ISPA Visionary Award. Mary Wisnom, professor at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and leader of the ISPA Academy launch was honored with the 2017 ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award, and LaTesha Council, second-year Master of Tourism Administration student at George Washington University won the 2017 ISPA Foundation Mary Tabacchi Scholarship.

ISPA Innovate Awards were presented to:
Eminence Organics Skin Care
Innovative Spa Management
Kerstin Florian International
Lake Austin Spa Resort
Living Earth Crafts
Milagro Spa & Salon
Noel Asmar Inc.
Remede Spa at St. Regis Aspen Resort
Sanitas Skincare
The Spa at Meadowood
Touch America

2017 Innovation of the year: Zeel

Deborah Szekely spoke about the investment in health and fitness. Having suffered a heart attack earlier this year and recovered from broken bones, she values her years of health. “Our bodies are our greatest gift and responsibility – the miracle is not to fly in the air or to walk on water, but to walk on the earth.” The 2017 ISPA Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award, named in honor of the late spa pioneer Alex Szekely, was presented to Peyton Manning honoring his philanthropic work.

In 1999, Peyton Manning and his wife, Ashley, established the PeyBack Foundation to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk.

“Leadership is not handed to someone with a title, it is earned” Manning advised. “If you can’t influence a team, you cannot lead that team. Be prepared to pivot at any time. Business is ever-changing and a leader must be nimble. Approach setbacks as catalysts for change, drivers to do better.” Personal goals should align with the company’s goals What could move you towards those goals? Set bold goals that stretch the team, and be prepared to abandon old routines to attain these new goals. Leaders must have the audacity to believe there is something more out there to reach for!


Get Your Dream Job
ISPA recently announced its partnership with the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation to launch the “Get Your Dream Job” campaign. The professional beauty and spa industries have joined forces to elevate and celebrate careers in the spa industry. The initiative will be promoted by spas, salons, clubs and schools across the industry.

“With the spa industry’s continual growth, careers in the business offer stability and opportunity. This campaign will spread the message about the benefits of working in spas, salons and clubs.” said ISPA President Lynne McNees.

Partner organizations include:
American Association of Cosmetology Schools
Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
Associated Hair Professionals
Associated Nail Professionals
Associated Skin Care Professionals
Club Fitness and Spa Association
Club Managers Association of America
Green Spa Network
International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association
Professional Beauty Association


Sara Jones
Author: Sara Jones