Hosting an open house or spa event is an excellent way to grow a spa business, especially at this time of year. An open house can be a great way of drumming up business, even for established spas. And, while the holidays are a reason to host a party, creating special events should be part of the yearly calendar to create awareness and build excitement, and should be budgeted into expenditure planning.
THINK BEYOND THE SPA
The first step to creating an event is to devise a strategy. Begin by coming up with a guest list. Think beyond the box and the established clientele. Invite the press and local celebrities, as well as distinguished members of society within the community. When joining forces with other local high-end businesses, merge e-mail invite lists, reaching far more than the established clientele. Contact other businesses that possess the type of client base that is desired, such as designer boutiques, bistros, caterers and restaurants, florists, home décor, and local clubs, to grow the e-mail database. One way to do this is to offer to host a trunk or fashion show featuring a high-end boutique’s new collection, highlight the fare of a new caterer, or feature designs from a local interior designer.
What kind of party would the target clientele like? Go beyond offering the standard wine and cheese. Make this party something people will be talking about for weeks. Be innovative in building the spa’s identity. Whether the open house is a laid-back daytime event or a formal evening affair, take advantage of the opportunity to showcase the spa’s services.
DO IT NOW!
With the holiday season just around the corner, it is time to start planning a special event for the spa to introduce holiday offerings. ‘Tis the season for gifting and shopping and a spa event is a great way to get clients in to purchase gift certificates and retail products and schedule spa services for themselves or their loved ones.
A lot of work goes into planning a successful event and, if not prepared, it will show. Below is a timeline to use to keep on track for a successful holiday spa event. This will help create a flawless and successful event, as well as abundant holiday revenue.
EVENT PLANNING TIMELINE
Six weeks prior to the event:
- Save the date and brainstorm to see if there is an organization or other local business to partner with to make this event extra-special.
- Schedule a date, time, and concept for the event.
- Brainstorm a fun theme and design save-the-date invitations around this theme.
- Schedule a staff meeting. This will ensure that employees are up-to-date on protocols and know what is expected of them for the event.
- Update the client database. Double check that the correct client e-mails and addresses are on file, as well as the correct spelling of clients’ names.
- If partnering with another business or organization, be sure to share e-mail lists.
- Stock up on inventory. Check that there are enough backbar products and that retail shelves are stocked.
- This is also the time to order holiday gifts and displays. Remember, not only are clients going to be shopping for themselves, they are also going to be looking for gifts for friends and family.
- Create service menus. Have service menus available or create customized service menus for the services to highlight.
- Think about food and drinks. Work with a caterer (or be your own) to create a customized menu of hors d’oeuvres and holiday cocktails.
- Create a fun, enticing invitation to both mail and e-mail potential guests, as well as post on social media.
- Make an announcement on social media. Once a date and concept are determined, start spreading the word.
Four weeks prior to the event:
- Send out invitations. Send e-invites to all clients and physical mailings to VIP clients.
- Post on social media. Continue to get the memo out by posting throughout the week on all social media platforms.
Two weeks prior to the event:
- Deep clean the entire spa. Be sure to have clean, fresh testers, product directories, and tissues. It is better to have too many than not enough.
- Follow up with clients. Re-send e-mails and contact those who have RSVP’d to remind them the date is approaching. Also contact those who have not yet RSVP’d to see if they will be able to attend.
- Pick music. Select the kind of music to be played at the event. Choose music that best suits clients’ tastes and preferences. Also, make sure that the audio system is working properly.
- Hold another staff meeting to explain the goals of the event.
- If able, offer staff incentives. This will keep employees ambitious and they will really work the crowd. It will create a lively environment for the event and also help the spa make money.
- Continue posting on social media. Post, post, and post again. Keep reminding clients about the event they do not want to miss.
The day before the event:
- Clean and sanitize the spa. Make sure from the floor to the ceiling that the spa is immaculate.
- Check inventory again. Remember: retail, retail, retail.
- Put out sales and marketing tools. Have shelf talkers, posters, and signage on display to create further excitement.
- Decorate. Set up holiday gift displays and make the spa look festive with floral displays and holiday-appropriate decor.
- Send out a last reminder e-mail. Remind clients that tomorrow is the big day.
The day of the event:
- Have a brief staff meeting to review each person’s assignments.
- Take one more complete walk through and make sure everything is in its place.
- Set up food and refreshments.
- Go live on social media. During the event, go live on Facebook or Instagram to show clients what they are missing.
- As guests arrive, greet them at the door, thank them for coming, and offer them refreshments.
- Now that the event has finally arrived, get to work and sell. As I always say, “Show and tell and you will sell.” Following the treatments, make sure aestheticians are recommending retail products and explaining exactly how they work.
- Do not forget to follow up.
- Phone and e-mail attendees to thank them for participating in the event, ask how their products are performing, and assist with booking a future service.
- Evaluate the success of the event. Collect feedback from all staff and discuss how to better improve results.
- Consider the following:
- Number of attendees versus invitees
- Products sold
- Number of future treatments booked
Using this event planning timeline, any spa can host a successful event during this holiday season.
Lydia Sarfati is a master aesthetician and the founder and CEO of Repêchage. She is an international industry leader and the developer of the world-renowned Repêchage Four-Layer Facial. Together with her husband, Sarfati oversees a 50,000-square-foot, ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturing, research, development, and training facility in Secaucus, New Jersey. She is the recipient of the 2019 CIDESCO Medaille du Merit and appears nationally and internationally at aesthetic tradeshows. Sarfati attends and conducts overseas conferences in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central America, and South Africa. She has produced 17 step-by-step instructional videos, as well as published “The Repêchage Book of Skincare Science & Protocols.” Sarfati was a contributing author to the “Milady Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals, 12th Edition,” and also authored “Success At Your Fingertips: How to Succeed in the Skin Care Business.” repechage.com