Just returned from Budapest where I represented Raison d’Etre at SPATEC Europe – a meeting forum for the European Spa, Beauty and Wellness Industry. A really good turn out of close to 120 people – operators, consultants and suppliers from not only the EU but also from USA and the Middle East. We spent two days solid having 20 minute meetings with each other – like ‘speed dating’ (not that I would know!!) which was actually quite productive as when you limit a meeting to only 20 minutes you immediately cut out most of the sales pitch and you just get down to the facts…. thank goodness for that.
Some interesting ‘highlights’ from my meetings were the increasing emergence of oxygen treatments ( I have to try one ….. and soon!), many new exciting spa product brands coming out of eastern Europe ( I am testing some right now!!), an interactive exercise bike where you can race 6 people at once while watching yourself race on a screen, some very funky, uber elegant new spa equipment coming out – one for you therapists out there – a massage table head rest with built in ipod dock and speakers!! …and a massage table that has a remote controlled air bubble system for lumbar, knee and ankle support, no more bolsters, how good would that be!!
The only thing missing for me was a real focus of spa product companies (notably the natural, organic lines) to have a dedicated MALE spa product line. This is now a massive market globally which product companies are neglecting!! You can probably tell that this is a real ‘hot button’ with me…. And believe me I told the companies all about it!!
Just so you all know it was not all work, as part of the conference we got some time to see the sights of Budapest – a world famous spa destination in its own right. A stunning city along the banks of the Danube with beautiful architecture which is also home to many very famous bath houses, not surprising when you learn they have 120 thermal springs within the city. The most famous bath house in Budapest is the Gellert which opening in 1918 – worthy of a visit alone just for the stunning architecture!
So, all in all a great trip. Productive meetings, some insight into the world of Budapest bath houses and some great networking (with the odd glass of champagne!) with spa folk from around the world.