Reflecting on ISPA 2017
I had the honor of being selected to present at the ISPA 2017 conference on October 18 at Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. My topic was “Introverts: The Secret of Increasing Retail Sales”
I had attended ISPA in 2013 as a blogger but it was my first time as a presenter. And with all of the controversy around investing in therapist training, I wasn’t certain how my presentation would be received. This was top of mind during my 26 hour flight from Bangkok.
Serendipitously, the first person I encountered was Todd Hewitt, Corporate VP of Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts and Vice Chairman of ISPA. He was rushing to a meeting but true to the ISPA culture took a moment to chat and wish me luck.
I decided to scope out the room where I would be speaking to get a sense of space. With seating for 200 attendees it felt like the perfect size.
It turned out that I had no cause for concern. The room was filled with about 150 attendees. The mixture of middle and senior spa management, product creators, distributors and marketers created great interaction and engagement. There was particular interest around why spa therapists don’t sell, how to create a no-fail training environment for introverts and my simple technique to boost sales.
I was extremely honored to have Sylvia Sepielli, an ISPA Visionary Award recipient and premier spa designer attend my session. Her resulting comment on social media “Great session by @lindaskindiva on cracking the nugget to retail sales for introverts and sharing your knowledge.” really made me feel that my message had resonated.
I had gone to ISPA with another mission which was to meet my benefactor Michael G. Tompkins. As the former chairman of ISPA and executive recruiter for Hutchinson Consulting he was always extremely busy. But when I contacted him months ago in a last ditch effort, he took the time to hear my thoughts about introverts and retail. He is the person who set everything in motion and I will forever be grateful to him.
I also had an opportunity to meet another former ISPA chairman, the lovely, gracious Ella (Stimpson) Kent who is now Spa Director at Sea Island resort in Georgia.
The rest of my time was spent connecting with spa-lebrities like Shel Pink, creator of SpaRitual and author of Slow Beauty.