From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Body & Spa: Gain New Clients with Spa Parties,” in the July/August 2009 issue. Article summary: Spa parties allow clients to receive services in their own homes, in a celebratory environment. Offer these fun events and gain new clients.

Putting together a spa party menu requires creativity on the part of the massage therapist, as well as knowledge of various techniques.

First, spa party business owners need to determine what services to offer in order to attract the desired clientele. Massage is one of the most requested services, and various types of massage can cater to different types of clients. Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, aromatherapy and Thai massage are just a few examples of massage offerings, and you can pair these services with other spa treatments to create unique spa party packages at a discounted rate than if clients purchased each service separately.

Common spa treatments offered are salt and sugar scrubs, facials, muds, body wraps and paraffin treatments. You can also network with other professionals in the personal-services field to expand your menu to include manicures, pedicures, hair styling and waxing.

Next, work on fun themes for spa party packages and think of extras, such as candles or yoga mats for stretching, that may add to the spa experience.

“We try to keep it fresh and we try to stay with the latest trends,” says Jenny Schultz, co-owner of  Spoil Me! Spa Parties (www.spoilmeparties.com) in San Luis Obispo, California. “We also try to include an assortment of packages to try to fit most budgets.”

For example, Spoil Me! Spa Parties offers a Blissful Bride! package that includes a gift basket consisting of Spoil Me! robe and slippers and chocolate truffles; spa tinis, which are detoxifying spa water, tea or lemonade; a 60-minute hot-stone massage; a 60-minute purifying facial with ginseng mask; and a 35-minute spa manicure or pedicure. Among the company’s various spa party packages, it also offers a Slim and Sassy! package that includes a spa Superfoods salad and spa tinis; a 60-minute purifying facial; a 60-minute anti-cellulite body treatment; and a 35-minute spa manicure or pedicure.

Because spa parties allow you to be with clients in an environment where they feel most comfortable, you can use this opportunity to educate clients about massage for their health and well-being, as well as skin care.

“Skin care is something that would bring repeat customers once the products are incorporated in the daily routine of the end user,” says Brenda Stansfield, a licensed massage therapist and president of Clear My Head Ltd. (www.clearmyhead.com) , an herbal-care product company. “Aromatherapy products feel and smell luxurious, and are wonderful for busy moms and gifts.”

Clients may also be interested in anti-aging protocols for skin care—and because clients can experience firsthand the benefits of the products you use on them, offering products for retail is an option that can help boost your bottom line and make you be seen as a trusted source to your clients.

“It is imperative to promote professional brands used in the practice for several reasons. First, they are superior quality. Second, they are only available through the professional. You don’t want to promote something your client can get at the local retail store,” says Mimi Wang, executive manager at Golden Sunshine USA, Inc. (http://golden-sunshine.com). “It is all about building a healthy practice. The products you use and recommend reflect directly on you as a professional. Use only the best, not run-of-the-mill products that everyone else is promoting.”

You may also create spa party treatments based on a particular products, says Marie Scalogna-Watkinson, a licensed massage therapist and owner of Spa Chicks On-The-Go (www.spachicksonthego.com) in New York City. She says being original and innovative are key.

“There are plenty of clients, and what really makes you stand out in the crowd is being unique,” she says. “You can take [other people’s work) to inspire you, but you can’t take anyone else’s work.”

Once you establish a spa party menu, establish processes and protocols for each service, so you can deliver a consistently great experience each time for clients, suggests Ellen Palmer, owner of Spoil Me Spa (www.spoilmespa.com) in Simsbury, Connecticut. “Pretend you are a guest at the party and envision what you would think would be fun—and go with it!”

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