Global Spa Summit 2008: Spa Industry’s Key Questions Answered
by Susie Ellis
Want to know the #1 problem facing the global spa industry today? We know the answer – thanks to an instant audience response system technology which was used at the Global Spa Summit last month here in New York.
Here is a visual example of a keypad which was given to each delegate at the beginning of the Summit. It was used multiple times throughout the Summit to poll delegates. After seeing a question on the front screen, delegates punched in their votes and then the aggregated answers were displayed. More than 200 top spa industry professionals from 29 different countries around the world were in attendance at the Summit. Their answers are worth noting. Here is an example:
“What do you consider to be the #1 problem facing the global spa industry today?”
The answers appeared a few seconds later and we were even able to compare them with the answers given the previous year at the 2007 Summit. That makes for an interesting side-by-side comparison. Conclusions:
1. The industry’s labor shortage was the number #1 problem last year and is the #1 problem again this year. And it appears to be getting worse.
2. The issue of benchmarking and need for best practices which were major concerns in 2007 are still concerns – however their severity seems to have lessened.
3. Sustainability and environmental issues continue to round out the top three.
4. A major change from last year to this year is a significantly greater concern about low margins in the industry.
Viewing collective answers to some very important questions was a good way to start the Summit. I will share other Q & A later to give you a real “pulse” of the industry.
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