Spa Life Ireland returns

Networking event celebrates its return at Galgorm Resort, Northern Ireland


By Mark Smith

18 October 2022

Spa Life Ireland returned for its first in-person event in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic. Hosted at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Northern Ireland, delegates were treated to a unique programme of inspiring speakers partnered with time to network and enjoy the facilities at the award-winning spa.

Spa Life Ireland returns

Exclusively for spa professionals, delegates came from across the island of Ireland with some travelling from mainland Britain. Designed to motivate and inspire both the country’s leading spa operators and the wellness brands that support them, the event began with a series of one-to-one appointments between brands and spa operators.

Headshot of Andrew Hammond, founding director Spa Life Ireland

"Spa Life Ireland 2022 was an unprecedented success. The Irish spa community showed up in force and engaged whole-heartedly in every aspect of the Convention.”

Andrew Hammond

Founding director, Spa Life Ireland

Business networking

The event began with a speed networking session, connecting spa operators and suppliers. This was followed by a healthy lunch and spa time for everyone attending the event. Organised by Tara Moore, Galgorm’s head of spa operations, the afternoon wellness session was a unique opportunity for attendees to experience the indoor facilities, treatments and the recently expanded outdoor Thermal Village which includes new saunas, infinity pool, hot tubs and the walled Serenity Gardens.

women smiling at a conference
The Elemis team at Spa Life Ireland

Mehmet Er, international sales manager for Gharieni showcased the MLX i3 Dome detox concept which works as a stand-alone heat therapy. Carly Chamberlain, trainer and business development expert at OTO offered mini CBD trhttps://otocbd.comeatments and Christina Salcedas, global director of education, Aromatherapy Associates presented a moment of reset with an aromatherapy-led mindfulness meditation. The sessions proved very popular and offered everyone involved the chance to relax and enjoy a moment of wellness. “The additions of the immersive spa experience and the two-day ticket option were extremely popular. I think this formula will provide a blueprint for future Spa Life events,” said Hammond

The evening’s celebrations continued with a pre-dinner drinks reception sponsored by Floreat. The Gala Dinner, sponsored by Core by Premier and Skinbrands concluded with live music and dancing.


Women smiling at gala dinner
Sarah Ronchetti, head of spa, Temple Spa with Caroline Newton, spa manager, Aqua Sana Spa at Centre Parcs Longford Forest, Ireland

Day two: Spa Life Ireland

Day two of Spa Life Ireland began with an introduction by Andrew Hammond and featured an opening session featuring Colin Johnston, managing director, Galgorm Collection. Interviewed by Mark Smith, deputy editor, European Spa, Johnston discussed the growth of the business and how it responded to the pandemic. He explained the importance of the spa operation to the Galgorm Resort, where spa accounts for 18% of the overall resort revenue. It is a successful model with resort occupancy sitting at 93%, treatment room utilisation at 72.5% and therapist utilisation at 94%.

men speaking on stage at a at conference
Mark Smith, deputy editor, European Spa interviews Colin Johnston, managing director, Galgorm Collection

The conference programme featured inspirational thought leaders, offering their business insights. Dr Glenda Riovallan, founder of multiple wellness brands including We Talk Wellbeing, presented a lively session on resilience, authenticity and finding your purpose.

Linda Moir, founder of Putney Red translated her experience in customer service management at Virgin Atlantic and with the London 2012 ‘Games Makers’ into how spas can elevate the guest journey and experience. Using anecdotes from her career, the engaging session presented many inspirational highlights.

Trans awareness trainer and British Beauty Council and HABIA DEI committee member, Sam Marshall opened people’s minds to the topics of diversity, equity and inclusivity. Social media expert, Ashleigh Watson, founder of Copper Square discussed how to make a spa more social media savvy.

woman speaking on stage at conference
Dr Glenda Riovallan speaks about resilience and authenticity

Spa Life Ireland Expo

Some of the industry’s leading brands presented their latest product and treatment offerings at the Spa Life Ireland expo arena, which included a range of Christmas gift sets and a preview of new launches for 2023.

OTO CBD is set to launch a menopause spa experience delivering the benefits of CBD to clients in need. It also teased the launch of new ampoules which will form part of a new facial launching soon.

Presenting its range of Christmas gift sets for 2022, Gaia Skincare offered an insight into its new product development pipeline which includes a new eye cream.

Temple Spa used the event to showcase its range as it enters the Irish market and referenced the imminent launch of a menopause treatments, slated for early 2023.

Introducing its new skincare serums, Voya also used the event to present its Cancer Wellness training.

Bellezi shared its current collection of treatment beds and demonstrated the new pregnancy therapy bed which can transform, allowing pregnant clients to lay face down on the bed.

BC Softwear used the Expo to promote its swimming ponchos, pillow and duvet covered and its full range of luxury towels and robes. Other brand showcasing at the event included Gharieni, Floreat, Natural Spa Factory, Good Spa Guide, Murad, Hennessy, Premier Software, One Journey, Skinbrands and Opatra.

Declaring the event a success, Hammond concluded, “Everywhere you looked, from the speed-networking and Expo arena to the conference programme to the social activities, there was the quiet buzz of delegates sharing, collaborating, and re-connecting, which was so gratifying to observe.”

Be inspired...

For more information on future Spa Life events, please click here


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