LA Spa Conference: A Medical Spa Insight, Touching Remarks from “The Godmother of the Spa Industry” and Excitement about Spa Booker
by Susie Ellis
Just returned from the Los Angeles Spa & Resort (and Medical Aesthetics) Expo & Conference. Highlights included hearing John Buckingham, the Founder and President of Solana MedSpas speak on “The Evolution & Revolution of the Medical Aesthetics Industry,” hearing Deborah Szekely share some of her life’s journey including the founding of Rancho La Puerta (60+ years ago) and the Golden Door (exactly 50 years ago this year), and seeing the energy surrounding the Spa Booker booth on the trade show floor.
The surprising thing I learned from John Buckingham, who has a network of more than 40 locally branded medical spa facilities, is that the real market for these services is NOT the aging baby boomer, but rather Gen X and Gen Y. They have an entirely different attitude toward these procedures – partaking with abandon, reasoning that it is worth the money they spend, and not caring who knows they are having “work” done.
Come to think of it, my husband’s niece (in her 30’s) is a perfect example. She pops in regularly for procedures like Botox®, laser hair removal, endermologie, and IPL, etc. I have to say she looks fantastic, has a lot of confidence and, as a mother of two with her MBA, enjoys “having it all.” Even her husband does a bit of spray tanning now and then.
John said that many baby boomers have become “comfortable couples” meaning that they are happily married and no longer feel the need to iron out every wrinkle, or cover up every bulge. Although there are still plenty of single baby boomers, and people who want to keep a youthful appearance to stay competitive in the labor market, he predicts that the Gen X and Gen Y will be the bread and butter of medical spas in the future.
Deborah Szekely at age 85 looks marvelous, her memory is as sharp as ever and, she is as informed (and opinionated) about today’s political scene as she was during the 17 years she worked in Washington D.C. Clearly…the Rancho La Puerta and Golden Door lifestyle she leads is working.
Spa Booker – the new software (that comes with leads) by SpaFinder – had a fun booth on the showroom floor. I loved watching the buzz from afar….so many of our young staff talking to new clients and demonstrating the product. It was an idea in Peter’s mind a few years ago, and now it is a reality. I marvel at how Peter’s mind works….he really is a visionary. With a single purpose – to bring more customers to our partner spas – he leaves no stone unturned. It makes me proud.
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