Business Meetings: From Wellness to Manicures February 29, 2016 09:56

Visiting a spa might sound like an indulgence incompatible with a business meeting. But spas get plenty of bookings these days from corporate clients and organizations, whether for team-building, wellness education or even “manicure meetings.”  

BodySense Luxury Spa Products

Some groups send employees for guided meditation classes in hotel spas, or to tackle outdoor challenge courses at destination spas. Other companies offer staff spa credits for a private massage or sauna time. 

Spafinder Wellness 365 Research Director Beth McGroarty estimates that corporate meetings and executive retreats account for 4% of day spa revenue and 11% of revenue at resort, hotel and destination spas.  

Eve Salon and Haven Spa in Manhattan have hosted “manicure meetings,” including one recently at Eve for Jenee Naquin’s staff. Naquin, a handbag designer and branding consultant, recalls working in places in the past where people “would cut out for a quick pedi when things were slow. So I thought, just make work more productive by combining the two. I also think working moms, like myself, can really appreciate this,” so they don’t have to arrange for child care to get their nails done.  

BodySense Luxury Spa Products

Sara Daly, who owns a wellness company in Vermont called a’chromatherapy has taken her staff of eight women for spa days a number of times. “When we put on robes together, we create a uniformity to our ideas,” Daly said. She said the shared experience bolsters creativity and problem-solving in a stress-free environment where her employees have “moments of quiet and reflection and then moments of brainstorming all in the same day. You can accomplish much more this way.”  

Dena Roche, editor of  The Travel Diet and a wellness speaker, attended a program at Miraval a few years back for entrepreneurs that explored how to “create your business as part of a healthy lifestyle.” She says it’s a misconception to regard spas as a place where people go to get pampered. Today, she says, it’s more about stress relief and promoting wellness, goals that many employers actively promote for their workforce.  

At the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, Cheryl Smith is manager for health and wellness tourism, which includes assisting meeting planners who want to incorporate spa, fitness and outdoor options into group itineraries. Las Vegas is home to 50 spas, with options ranging from a rock-climbing wall at Canyon Ranch to candlelight yoga at the Mandarin Oriental.  

“If you’re a large organization depending on what your industry is, chances are you’re already talking about health and wellness in some way,” said Cheryl Smith. “It stands to reason they’d want to incorporate some of those attributes into their meetings.”