Top takeaways from the Spa Life UK 2023 convention

Delegates gathered at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel in Gloucestershire from July 3-4 for the annual Spa Life UK event


By Wendy Golledge

11 July 2023

Spa Life UK 2023 set out to inspire resilience and reinvention in its 476 delegates.

As well as a day of dedicated one-to-one meetings, there was an educational speaker programme, networking and the Good Spa Guide Awards dinner.

Winners of the 2023 Good Spa Guide Awards are revealed here.

Spa industry news and new launches

The International Institute for Active Ageing (iiaa) was at the event, showcasing its new et al make up range, while BC SoftWear was previewing its newly launched SupremeSoft Deluxe range.

New to the wellness market, Zooki shared its supplements and collagen ranges, while Elemis was highlighting its newly launched Pro-Collagen Rose Micro Serum.

A room full of people having meetings
Delegates at Spa Life 2023 held scheduled one-to-one meetings on day one

Brands new brands to Spa Life this year included epigenetic skincare line Hydropeptide and recent CEW award-winning brand, Grown Alchemist.

Other brands showcasing at the event included Germaine de Capuccini, Temple Spa, Ashmira Botanica, OTO, Ellisons, Gerrard International, Journey, JK Group, Sothys, VOYA and HydraFacial.

Andrew Hammond, co-founder and director of Spa Life International

Thought-provoking takeaways

European Spa spoke to delegates during the two-day event to find out their thoughts on trends and the direction the wellness industry is taking, as well as what they feel is missing in spa right now.

#1. Dr Glenda Rivoallen on taking responsibility

During her keynote session, speaker, author and wellbeing strategist, Dr Glenda Rivoallen said: “Development of resilience is critical to the sustainability of any business. It’s time to stop and fill our own cup first; you cannot fill from an empty cup.”

She urged delegates to become more aware of where they are in the moment and then set an intention to begin noticing the small things.

“We spend so much time telling people what they’re bad at, but not what they’re good at,” she said. “Build your teams up. Notice their strengths but allow them to be vulnerable, to fudge it up. Bring respect, celebration and fun into your business and people will want to perform.”

Dr Glenda Rivoallen talked to the Spa Life audience about being "resilient as fudge"

#2. Tiffany Harding-Aucott, spa director at Odyssey spa, on current trends

“We have seen a surge in demand for non therapist-led treatment options.

“We are looking to install at a suite of Gharieni’s new mind/body offerings including the MLX Dome and the RLX Satori, as well as being the first in the UK to offer the new G-Vac, which combines negative pressure wave therapy with compression treatment.

“Our teams will also be able to have sessions on these beds too, as part of our investment in staff wellness.”

#3. Sonal Uberoi

On building resilience through wellness

“The harsh truth is, if you invest all your energy in creating a specific wellness product for today’s market, the pandemic has shown us it that could vanish and become irrelevant overnight. The wellness offerings you’re creating now must be built to adapt, not built to last.


“A one size fits all model for wellness will no longer work. Hyper personalisation is a trendy word but it will be fundamental to success. Hyper personalisation is where the world is going and if we do not shift our models we will find in a decade there will be no place for us in our own industry.”

Angela Maloney, Natural Spa Factory at Spa Life 2023
Ashmira Botanica founder, Tracey Smith at Spa Life 2023

#4. Lara Morgan, CEO of Scentered, on simple sustainability

“Customers need to be educated to help them bridge the gap between what’s beautiful or perfect and what’s the right thing to do.

“Sustainability isn’t a project. Its forever, a continual evolution. Very small things can change your customers’ mindset.

“Think through the waste you’re collecting and creating, then tell the story of your sustainability progression and be transparent.

“It’s easy to build momentum in your own environment by doing small things again and again.”

#5. Sara Last, founder of at Hauora Wellness, on educating customers

“What’s clear from conversations at Spa Life is customers still want a standard spa day, ideally discounted, and don’t yet feel sustainability or novel wellness features are as important as price.

“Spa providers and brand partners, however, want to deliver new treatment concepts and experiences, from sounds baths to cryo and LED.

“An education piece is needed to bridge that gap, so that when exciting new wellness concepts are introduced, consumers are more inclined to pay to experience what forward-thinking spas have to offer.”

#6. Freddie Moross, Myndstream CEO

On sonic branding

“Audio plays a huge role in establishing environment and sonic branding is a way to convey your spa’s brand and message by using music, sound, vocals or all three.


“Sonic branding can create an emotional and personal connection with your customers; it helps with consumer stickiness and brand recall. In fact, studies by Leicester University show your brand identity is likely to be remembered by more than 90% of consumers if you’re using sonic branding.


“What if your spa’s signature massage had a sonic element that was unique to you? Music correlates to revenue and has the capability to increase spend; the possibilities are endless.”

#7. Cornel Lobont, spa director at Monart Day Spa

“Finding experienced staff that are still passionate about therapy and able to change the way a guest feels from the very first touch remains a struggle. And new staff members from college seem to be lacking the ethic of what it is to be a therapist.

“How do we get round that? I think spa directors need to be meeting with colleges as that’s where our future lies.

“It’s also important for us, as leaders, to acknowledge that shortfall and put time into moulding new staff into fantastic therapists. We have the power to shape staff to be what we want.”

Amy Roberts and Maggie Griffiths from Grown Alchemist at Spa Life 2023

#8. Arif Isikgun, founder, AI Beauty Training, on trends

“The most noticeable trend is the focus on personalised wellness, with spas offering tailored treatments to address individual needs and goals.

“The industry is moving towards a holistic approach, emphasising mental and emotional wellbeing alongside physical health. This is key, as an understanding of customer drive is of fundamental importance for growth.

European Spa's Wendy Golledge talks to Elemis at Spa Life 2023

“An area to develop is retail education. There is a huge missed opportunity with product sales during a treatment. What’s missing is the tools to support, engage and empower therapists to achieve their maximum potential.

“The current conversion rate is 6-12%. There are tools we can create to support therapist confidence to replicate the much more successful luxury retail conversion rates of 40%.”


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