World Leisure Jobs - Patrick Huey and Lynne McNees share top highlights from ISPA summit...
25 Jun 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
Sign up for FREE ezine
Latest news

02 Jun 2021

Patrick Huey and Lynne McNees share top highlights from ISPA summit
BY Megan Whitby

ISPA board chair Patrick Huey and ISPA president Lynne McNees

ISPA board chair Patrick Huey and ISPA president Lynne McNees
photo: (L) Danielle Nowak & Nomadic Reverie

Throughout the pandemic, the International Spa Association (ISPA) has championed the strength of the spa community and strived to support, inform and inspire the industry as it grapples with the new challenges of operating in a COVID-19 landscape.

During 10-14 May, ISPA hosted its first virtual Stronger Together Summit in place of its annual in-person conference and expo, packed full of insightful keynotes, educational content, Town Halls and more.

After a busy week of content, Spa Business asked ISPA board chair Patrick Huey and ISPA president Lynne McNees for their favourite moments and key takeaways.

Lynne’s highlights

1. We really are stronger together
It’s now been nearly two years since we were able to gather in person at an ISPA Conference & Expo, but the Stronger Together Summit was a welcome reminder that our industry really is at its best when we unite with a common purpose.

2. Tough times haven’t curbed our industry’s generosity
For much of the last year, we’ve seen spas and resource partners support a wide array of inspiring causes and initiatives, and the ISPA community carried that spirit into our 2021 ISPA Foundation Spring Auction. More than 100 items were generously donated, and our bidders came through in a big way, raising US$54,000 for the ISPA Foundation, which funds ISPA’s research efforts, scholarship opportunities and other initiatives.

3. The pandemic has hit the industry hard, but there’s much to be optimistic about
Unveiling the “Big Five” statistics from the annual ISPA US Industry Study has been a joyous occasion for much of the last decade as the industry rebounded from the great recession and soared to new heights.

This year, the figures weren’t quite as happy, but to hear PricewaterhouseCoopers’s leader of global research Colin McIlheney say there is pent-up demand for spa services was highly encouraging. We’re confident in the rebound to come!

4. Talent and workforce issues remain top-of-mind across the industry
In nearly every session, our industry’s workforce challenges were a topic of conversation among panellists and attendees alike. Those challenges aren’t new, but they’ve been complicated further by COVID-19, and ISPA is currently developing a Talent Toolkit to provide members with additional resources to optimise their talent management strategies.

5. Don’t doubt the spa industry for one second
During his Power Session, Seth Godin shared a story about meeting Nel Armstrong, who glanced at the moon and said, “I’ve been there.” He encouraged us to remember that with less computing power than most of us carry in our pockets, NASA put a man on the moon. The impossible can be made possible, and after such a trying period, Seth’s story was such a welcome reminder of what people are capable of, no matter the scale of the task ahead of them.

Recovering from a global pandemic is a big task, but after a week of seeing our industry energised and ready to tackle the future, I wouldn’t dare bet against it.

Patrick’s highlights

1. The industry has changed, but the core of what we do is firmly intact and more important than ever
Starting with Seth Godin’s message on the opening day of the Summit, we heard again and again about the ways in which our world has changed. Marketing, hiring, scheduling, revenue management and so much more has been altered by the pandemic, but so has the way the world views mental and physical wellbeing. Spas bring relief and healing through human touch and a focus on holistic wellness, which, going forward uniquely positions us to bring the mission of spa to more people than ever before.

2. Value in the virtual space
Although we’ve all likely experienced moments where we wanted to swear off Zoom calls forever, the summit was a reminder of all the ways we’ve been able to leverage technology for good over the past year. In fact, ISPA’s virtual offerings have been so popular with members that we’re going to continue the virtual Town Hall series with monthly events starting on 17 June.

3. The pandemic challenged us, but there’s a lot of good to take away
In his Power Session, Seth Mattison urged attendees to “reframe the story” of our experiences over the last year and think about how everything we’ve gone through might be recontextualised and used to motivate us and drive us forward.

It’s such a challenging thing to do, but we’ve already seen so many in our industry turn an awful situation into something positive through their creativity and passion for people, and I’ve no doubt we’ll continue to be amazed by the ways in which our colleagues reframe their stories.

4. The ISPA audience remains hungry for quality education
The summit’s nearly 1,000 attendees were highly engaged in the Summit’s Knowledge Builder sessions, and it seems clear our industry is ready to step into a new phase armed with all we’ve learned over the last year.

5. The ISPA community is ready to be truly together again
We’re thrilled with the way the summit went, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. That said, I’m sure I felt the energy rise and mood lift every time a reference was made to the upcoming 2022 ISPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas and the opportunity to once again see each other in person. We are, of course, ready for that day to come as well, and we’re eager to pour everything we’ve learned over the last 15 months into a can’t-miss event next May!

To register for access to on-demand content from the summit, head to ISPA's official website.

Connect with
World Leisure
View issue contents
Sign up:
Instant Alerts/zines

Print edition

News headlines
Clinique La Prairie upgrades Bangkok flagship with new mediwellness technology and treatments
Clinique La Prairie upgrades Bangkok flagship with new mediwellness technology and treatments   24 Jun 2021

Luxury Swiss spa and wellness destination brand Clinique La Prairie has launched a new medical menu at its Bangkok Aesthetics & Medical Spa .... more>>
KAAN-designed renovation of Antwerp arts museum among winners of Architectural Heritage Intervention awards
KAAN-designed renovation of Antwerp arts museum among winners of Architectural Heritage Intervention awards   24 Jun 2021

The "respectful renovation" of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium is among the four winners of this year's European Award for .... more>>
Technogym launches new app with revenue-sharing option for gyms
Technogym launches new app with revenue-sharing option for gyms   24 Jun 2021

Technogym has launched a new app featuring an AI-powered digital coach. The Technogym App is designed for health clubs looking to tap into the .... more>>
Barry's signs content partnership with Forme
Barry's signs content partnership with Forme   23 Jun 2021

Forme has signed an exclusive partnership with boutique fitness operator Barry's, the latest sign of the blurring of boundaries between the at-gym and .... more>>
Company profile


Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment.

View full profile>>

Catalogue gallery

Featured Supplier

Increasing staff productivity with technology

Increasing staff productivity with technology

As spas reopen after more than a year of fluctuating restrictions, spa operators face a new challenge. More>>

in this issue

• Virgin gets right to wipe out rent arrears
• Fitness industry mourns passing of Jan Spaticchia
• STA offers mindfulness resources

World Leisure jobs

Operations Assistant (Dry Site)
Salary: Competitive
Location: Pickering, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Self Employed Personal Trainer
Salary: Competitive
Location: Scarborough, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Catering Assistant
Salary: Competitive
Location: Scarborough, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Deputy General Manager (Swimming)
Salary: £25,877.26pa plus benefits
Location: Newbury, UK
Company: Basingstoke Sports Trust
Diary dates
Powered by

01-04 Jul 2021


Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy

25-26 Jul 2021

The Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Conference 2021

The Houghton Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa

Leisure Management magazine 2018 issue 1
Leisure Management
2018 issue 1

View issue contents
View on turning pages
Download PDF
  Promotional feature: Alliance Leisure
The future of leisure in times of austerity More>>
  Interview: Katy Bowman
In her latest book, the biomechanist and author explains why we need to widen our spectrum of movement and connect with our inner hunter-gatherer More>>

Leisure Management magazine 2016 issue 1

Leisure Management
2016 issue 1

View issue contents
View turning pages
Download PDF
  Social good: Winds of change
Learn about the Change Foundation and the opportunities it creates More>>
  Tourism: Ireland’s wild side
The Wild Atlantic Way is helping tourists discover a whole new side of Ireland More>>

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd