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April 16, 2008

The new business convention launches for growing spa sector

The booming spa market announces a new and innovative international convention, Future Spa 2008. Hosted in the celebrated spa town of Baden-Baden in Germany, the hybrid event will fuse a cutting-edge congress and exhibition alongside social networking events, when it premieres in December 2008.

The Heilbäderverband (Association of Spas) and German Central Organisation for Tourism (DZT) have both expressed support. Both organisations have great hopes for this new-format event, while the British International Spa Association (BISA), in addition to lending its support, has scheduled its annual general meeting to take place at the event.

“The spa sector needs its own event to capitalise on its increasing importance as beauty, fitness and medical worlds adopt spa treatments rapidly,” says the BISA chairperson and co-founder of Future Spa Marion Schneider. “Because of the fantastic growth rates in customer demand the spa market needs clear contours, and we need to start with the professional market. Popular trends like sustainability and the search for deeper meaning or ‘selfness’ make it evident that we need to sharpen these terms and concepts to clearly anchor them in our language usage.”

As a business convention, Future Spa has been conceived as a communicative forum with a compact exhibition alongside. The organisers stress that it is not their intention to overwhelm delegates with vast stands, but provide “an environment conducive for professionals to network, interact, learn and exchange ideas”. As Schneider’s UK partner Mark Moloney explains: “We have deliberately limited the maximum space for each exhibition stand to 27m2 to keep the trade fair aspect of the convention to an appropriate size and to keep the cost for exhibitors very attractive. We have all-inclusive packages for less than €3,500. The Future Spa programme is scheduled in such a way so that visitors can attend all of the conference sessions without the feeling that time is running short to explore the exhibition.”

So far this idea seems to be working, receiving widespread acclaim from all sectors of the industry. Both the German Association of Spas and the German Central Organisation for Tourism welcome the addition of Future-Spa to the calendar, while local companies are looking forward to the expected tailwind that follows the Baden-Baden event.

The organisers are hoping Future Spa becomes a must-attend annual convention for all decision makers across the spa management and the hotel business. They also so predict that “innovative managers and entrepreneurs of newly forming clinics and hybrid conglomerates with hotels and wellness programmes will also be knocking at the door” not only to meet the sector’s trendsetters, but also pick up on current trends at first hand.

So who are the organisers expecting as exhibitors? “Every service provider or manufacturer who has concrete products with a focus in the fields of baths, wellness and spa, will definitely benefit from Future Spa” says Moloney. “This includes architects, shop fitters and technical services providers, from lighting specialists to sauna installers; but also the suppliers of the professional beauty and food sectors. Future Spa has been exclusively conceived by professionals for professionals and end users will not be admitted, so that during the convention no compromises will be made. We are greatly looking forward to it.”

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