One of the biggest events in the global spa calendar, the World Spa & Wellness London Convention 2022 returned to ExCeL on April 3–4, featuring an exceptional conference agenda and speaker line-up that covered the biggest challenges and opportunities facing operators today.
More than 200 registered delegates from every corner of the world came together to gain insight on the important issues affecting the industry at the two-day conference, as well sharing best practice and making contacts in the numerous networking opportunities.
Highlights included a keynote from Michael Newcombe as he embarked on his new role as vice president of wellness at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. He shared vital insights into the ways in which technology and medical wellness are shaping the market, including his experiences of “virtual spa”, describing, “Imax-style large screens in a traditional studio bringing high-quality video – so you may be in a rainy city, but it’s dialling you in to Bali”, he added,
“Virtual reality (VR) is really transporting you now in spas, wherever you are in the world.”
A meeting of minds
Emlyn Brown, global vice president of wellbeing at Accor, also delivered an informative keynote on how the spa sector can make the most of the pent-up consumer demand for experiences and travel, and shared valuable insight into how spa businesses can effectively tap into this demand for long-term gain.
Meanwhile, Dr Franz Linser, chief executive of Linser Hospitality, spoke on “The rise of transformational wellness travel”, and Mia Kyricos, chief executive of Kyricos & Associates, spoke on “The business of wellness”, assessing how the landscape has changed in the past two years.
The industry was excited to be back together face-toface, with many citing the importance of attending the spa convention for their business. John Nielsen, general manager at Fivelements Retreat Bali, says: “It’s the centre point of the industry. When you get here and connect with everybody it takes it to another level. Using Zoom is fine but being here is another ball game. There is also so much to take away –the people you meet, and connecting with individuals in person.”
Kent Richards, corporate operations director at Six Senses, agrees that the World Spa & Wellness London Convention is a must, stating that hearing from other leaders helps him to refocus. “You’re able to hear what other brands are doing and share best practice on what worked and what didn’t work as well,” he says. “When I come to the conference I leave with a more open mind.”
Meanwhile, Newcombe says the convention enabled him to strengthen his business partnerships. “You gain a lot of trust by sitting down and connecting with someone in person,” he says. “It helps build on relationships.”
The next World Spa & Wellness London Convention will take place on March 5–6, 2023, at ExCeL London. Find out more at professionalbeauty.co.uk/wswlondon
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