Directrice associée de Spa Collexion
Well-being has added a new touch to the classic seminar even though the current offerings are still a little conventional. However, an alliance of seminar and Spa seems very obvious and has beneficial virtues on participant morale and results in more effective and relaxed meetings. Seminar organisers are increasingly interested in the offerings on the market, while bemoaning the lack of originality. One player clearly sets itself apart in this fast-evolving market - Active Meetings, created by Spa Collexion, the leading Spa, thalassotherapy, and thermal Spa marketing network. Let’s find out more...
Céline, with more than 15 years’ experience of running seminars for Carlson Wagonlit Travel in France, and your in-depth knowledge of the business environment and the hotel industry, can you give us a quick overview of the seminar market in France?
Céline GUERTON: The Bedouk-Coach Omnium Barometer presented at the 2011 Bedouk trade fair showed a 4.2% increase in the volume of company expenditure on events. The main business sectors identified are banking/insurance/finance, followed by industry, and then commerce/retail. The chemical/pharmaceutical/cosmetics sector, despite organising numerous events, has lost ground by dropping more than 10 points. Even if there is no longer room for ostentation in such events, we can see increasing interest in projects that make a big impression on people and symbolise economic recovery. In terms of destinations, the trend towards proximity explains why France is still widely chosen (88%). The Paris-Ile-de-France region leads (60%), followed by the Provence- Alpes-Cote d’Azur and Rhône-Alpes regions. Despite a reduction in duration and the reduction of the average budget, 56% of businesses offer extra activities.
Why was the Active Meetings department set up within Spa Collexion?
Céline GUERTON : With Active Meetings, we hope to offer not only solutions aimed at optimising seminar budgets but also offer fulfilment to everyone in the work environment, as we know that this is a key factor to success. Moreover, we checked this in our own operations and saw immediate benefits. The team is more focused, available, and more productive than at a ‘classic’ seminar. Employees are more active and motivated to take up new challenges. With Active Meetings, we also guarantee a privileged work environment and catering, prepared by each of our chefs, which combines a balanced diet, flavours, and energy regulation throughout the day: Vitamin-rich breakfast, tonic breaks, a “Saveurs et Equilibre” lunch, dinner selected according to the location, in order to be in phase with the well-being dimension, which must be a reality, and not just a promise, for the duration of the seminar.
You have also promoted the business and wellness alliance by creating the Pause Spa® concept. Can you tell us about that Céline?
C.G.: As a complement to, or instead of, a coffee break, we offer attendees the chance to discover the benefits of an original break providing dynamism, balance, and new energy. The Pause Spa® easily fits into your seminar programme as it is organised around your schedule and budget.
Among the packages you have developed, one particularly attracted me - “Pause Spa® & ENERGY”. How does it work?
C.G.: We have developed themed offerings which allow us to offer an original coaching session-type system, organised with a format of educational workshops supplemented by a made-to-measure activity. The coaches, whether top sportsmen or health professionals, ensure the smooth running of the seminar and support employees in order to further knowledge of their own personal resources and improve their performance for the group.
For example, “Pause Spa® & ENERGY” provides a personalised welcome, a fully- equipped conference area, the ‘Saveurs et Equilibre’ catering, a Pause Spa®, an exclusive evening, a ‘balanced-diet awareness’ coaching session organised in the workshop, and supplemented by a workshop on essential energy using Qigong. We also offer bonding and motivation, stress management, or recuperation programmes.
You have already attracted some big names in the hotel industry as well as more exclusive ones. Can you tell us what the hoteliers appreciated?
C.G.: Our mission is to support members of the Spa Collexion network in their sales development by creating valued-added offerings. We are contributing to increase the occupancy rate in bedrooms, conference rooms, and treatment cabins. Our portfolio of clients, essentially made up of large accounts, is obviously an additional bonus for the establishments constantly looking for new clients. Finally, they benefit from the strength and expertise of the Spa Collexion network in the optimisation of their marketing: a shared marketing activity plan and made-to-measure operations, a quality database, dedicated customer service, and multi-channel marketing…. And a lot more besides!
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