03 Mar 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
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Spa Business
2020 issue 4

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Leisure Management - ISPA: Lead, inform, inspire


ISPA: Lead, inform, inspire

It’s been quite a year for ISPA, with its firm commitment to supporting members through the pandemic, as president, Lynne McNees explains

ISPA research highlights issues, challenges and solutions in spa training andresr/iStock
ISPA carried out Snapshot Surveys on COVID-19 hygiene protocols Varavin88/shutterstock
ISPA research highlights consumer trends, such as a more urgent focus on health Jacob Lund/shutterstock
Pulse magazine is delivered digitally each month via the Pulse App and will return to print in 2021 Flamingo Images/shutterstock

ISPA is the source of some of the most useful spa industry research in the world today. Can you tell us more about it?
ISPA’s spa and wellness research efforts, which have been ongoing for 30 years, are central to so much of what we do.

The research we produce supports members in understanding the state of the industry, by providing them with crucial context and business insight.

Our major research initiatives – the annual ISPA US Spa Industry Study and the consumer research we conduct with PricewaterhouseCoopers – are supported by the ISPA Foundation.

The annual US industry study is useful in different ways to different spa operators. When you consider that it includes everything from performance indicators and financial figures to information about industry trends – including retail, treatments, the workforce, technology, etc – you can see that the actionable data it contains allows spa leaders to make decisions with a clear-eyed perspective.

ISPA Snapshot Surveys keep the industry up to date with vital metrics – critical in the current crisis. Can you tell us more about this valuable service?
Our Snapshot Surveys, which we launched in 2008 in response to the great recession, are conducted each month and typically highlight a particular topic that’s important to our members’ success and operations.

Because we conduct these surveys quickly and produce a results report for everyone who responds, just a week after the surveys close, we’re able to provide real-time feedback about the trends and experiences our spa and resource partner members are seeing day to day.

In 2020, most of our Snapshot Surveys focused on the impact of COVID-19, including surveys focused on sanitation and hygiene protocols, on spa performance and on staffing challenges.

The benefits are two-fold. Firstly, we’re able to share data that provides members with greater clarity about what’s happening in the industry and gives them an opportunity to assess their own practices in light of that information. Secondly, the survey responses allow ISPA to develop resources tailored to the needs of members, which is more critical now than ever.

What have you been doing to develop the ISPA research portfolio?
We’re always looking for additional ways to support members through research and the experience we’ve gained conducting consumer surveys has allowed us to be responsive to the industry’s needs in that area as well. In April, we quickly got a consumer-focused survey into the field to equip members with a better understanding of how guests view spas in the time of COVID-19 and what they would expect when they returned to spas following pandemic-related closures. That kind of direct relevance is key.

ISPA’s Pulse magazine shares important news and educational material with members. Can you tell us more?
ISPA publishes Pulse magazine ten times a year and each issue includes features on a range of important industry trends, news from around the spa world, data and research analysis and educational content.

None of this would exist without the invaluable feedback we receive through interviews, surveys, emails and conversations with our members.

We want Pulse to be an enjoyable read, of course, but we also strive to also make it a practical resource spa owners and operators can use to gain new perspectives, spark their next great idea and improve their spas.

Engaging with members is essential to making that kind of tool a reality. We’re also excited to have recently launched the Pulse app, which is available for iOS and Android. The latest digital edition of Pulse lands on the app each month, giving members convenient access to the entire issue on their mobile phones or tablets.

With the magazine also returning to print in 2021, there will be more ways than ever to see what’s happening in the world of spa and discover new innovations.

Find out more: www.experienceispa.com

Pulse magazine is the voice of ISPA and is published ten times a year

Originally published in Spa Business 2020 issue 4

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