Every year I troll professional journals to identify the trends that impact my primary market. I also feature them in my workshops because I think that marketing yourself is one of the foundations of a successful practice and that most massage therapists fail to employ or enjoy it. Following the trends and making them work for you is not just for spas and large businesses. Wellness professionals have to pay attention and adapt as well. This attitude not only supports client recruitment and retention but it also provides the creativity that I need to keep fresh in my work. I’m going to share with you how I am incorporating five of this year’s trends into my practice. In all fairness I should tell you that I’m accomplishing this in basically the same way: Using Wellness Events (formally known as Spa Parties) to create a Wellness Community.
Trend: According to some experts we are starving for actual human connection. Therefore people are embracing opportunities to combine fitness /wellness activities with social and community building. Just look at how successful Yoga/Pilate studios have been at developing this sense of community/family among their patrons. This year I will be providing a series of Wellness Events that are based on specific themes with lots of opportunities for clients to engage in healthy and fun activities with likeminded people.
Trend: There is a consumer trend that indicates that not only do clients want to feel and look better, they want to know better. They are interested in preventative and continued care rather than just treatments. They are looking for information and personalized programs that they can incorporate into their daily routines. Wellness Events are a great way to offer clients and potential clients targeted information about approaches to health and ways to take better care of themselves. Just think if you were to co-sponsor these events with other types of wellness practitioners, you could both benefit from combined expertise and client bases.
Trend: The consumer is looking for personalized products that they can feel good about. This includes products options that are organic and paraben free. Many luxury spas are investing in blending bars. The gambit runs all the way from the basic kitchen spa concept to haute couture. Sponsoring custom blending Wellness Events are a great way to allow clients to customize their self care products, try out new ingredients, and learn about the different options you conscientiously provide in the treatment room. BIOTONE, for example, has a number of products that are clearly designed to appeal to these particular desires. You can research some of BIOTONE’s archives for inspiration.
Trend: Clients are getting noticeably interested to the benefits of aromatherapy. Why not sponsor Wellness Events where they can learn about essential oils in a safe, interactive and fun environment. If you do not feel comfortable leading the event, recruit someone who is. Emphasize information that “supports wellness” and share some of your favorite massage medium or diffuser recipes. Here is one of my favorite for winter: 1 oz massage oil, 4 drops Orange EO, 3 drops Lavender EO, and 1 drop Sandalwood EO. Have participants smell this base and add up to 4 drops of any combination of these EOs to customize it to their taste. Remember that you can retail but the main purpose is to educate and connect.
Trend: The percentage of male consumers of massage and wellness treatments is still continuing to increase. Let’s face it; men are much more likely to attend a Wellness Event over a Spa Party.
I’m excited about this new adventure and by the time I present at the 2015 World Massage Festival this summer I will have put the transition from ‘Spa Party” to “Wellness Event” to the test.
Be well, Do good work, and write us about your favorite event idea.