Industry Events - 2014 ISPA Conference & Expo

Jewel gets ready to rock the room.

From October 13-15, around 2,500 people from the worlds of skin care, beauty and wellness converged on the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas for the annual ISPA Conference & Expo. More than 200 exhibitors were in attendance, including Dermalogica, Éminence, FarmHouse Fresh, G.M. Collin, HydroPeptide, Jurlique, Naturopathica and SpaRitual.

The overall theme of this year’s show was “create”, and innovative keynote speakers took to the stage each morning to share their knowledge and insights about the topic.

Day 1 featured graffiti artist, author and entrepreneur Erik Wahl, who wowed the crowd with his handiwork, including a lifelike painting of U2 frontman Bono, which Wahl gifted to a plucky audience member as a reward for volunteering to take a “risk”.

Day 2 continued the event’s theme with Mike Walsh, a self-described “global nomad” and “futurist speaker” who conducts research with business leaders. Walsh shared his opinion that spa owners should be brave enough to ask about—and learn from—their customers’ ideas, posing the question "What if your clients were in charge of innovation?" He also noted that the internet of the future will look nothing like the current one.

Mineral makeup pioneer Jane Iredale was presented with the 2014 ISPA Visionary Award, and went on to speak about our need to join forces for the sake of the planet.

Day 3 featured an appearance by spa and wellness veteran Deborah Szekely, who presented the 2014 Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award to singer-songwriter Jewel. The musician then took to the stage to talk—and sing!—about her upbringing and her charitable initiative Project Clean Water, which raises funds and awareness for global access to clean water. Her badinage was a hit with everyone—who knew the Alaska native could work the room so well?!

Education was a further highlight, with workshops such as Emotional Engagement—The How of Wow and Plan to Profit: Spa Menu Engineering. In addition to networking and business-building opportunities, attendees also got to sample facials, manicures, pedicures, massages and other treatments in the ever-popular Relaxation Area.

Also on the ISPA agenda:

* Josee-Ann Cloutier from Nova Scotia, Canada, and Nicole Meneveau from Baltimore, Maryland, were awarded the 2014 Mary Tabacchi Scholarship.

* The announcement that the second recipient of the Dr. Howard Murad Research Grant is Dr. Rashmi Mullur of Los Angeles, California, for her work on PTSD.

* The revelation of the U.S. Spa Industry Study “Big 5” statistics. The total number of spa visits reached an all-time high of 164 million in 2013 (2.5% higher than the previous year). Total revenues generated by spas in 2013 rose to $14.7 billion, an increase of more than 5% percent on the 2012 level.

We'll see you there next year!

Lesley McCave's picture