Wendy Solomon, owner of Flawless Day Spa in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, agrees.  “We’ve discovered that charging for our seminars actually increases the perceived value of our spa,” she reports.

Of course, it pays to set event fees carefully, taking into consideration instructors’ salaries, refreshments, product and general overheads, notes Solomon, who charges $30 per person for her spa’s meditation class.  She also takes in $75 per attendee for the spa’s Girls’ Night for Healthy Skin chemical peel “party”, which covers the cost of a peel and smoothie for each guest, as well as education and demonstrations.  Also on the agenda: a three-hour Beauty Playshop ($159 per person), which includes a seminar, instruction, makeover and headshots.

Although Solomon encourages guests to purchase products at her events, “It’s a soft sell,” se says.  “At our couples’ massage workshops, attendees can buy massage oils and body scrubs so that they can try the techniques they’ve learned here at home.”

“We always get fresh clients when we hold a class,” adds Solomon.  “The classes present us to new people in a positive light because the attendees have fun and enjoy the experience – plus, they get an unofficial tour of the spa.”

“At our events, we reach guests on a personal level,” says Solomon.  “So, these one-off customers are more likely to become clients who attend future classes, purchase treatment packages, cross over to more than one type of service, buy products and refer friends.  Our workshop guests are among our most frequent, devoted clients,” she notes.

Educational goals can be effective, inexpensive ways to get yoru name and brand out tho the community at large, and thereby expand your future customer base.  They can help establish you as a trusted resource, too.  “Workshops increase a spa’s visibility and credibility,” opines Solomon.  “They foster a friendly atmosphere that makes guests feel comfortable and open to receiving other treatments.  They create a sense of community and synergy.”

Don’t dismiss the power of a freebie, either:  Solomon frequently gives complimentary workshop tickets to specific local businesses, who pass them on to key clients.  “Doing this brings us a targeted audience, helps us fill seats and provides goodwill to both the attendees who received the gift and the referral partner,” says the spa owner.  “For instance, a business coach recently sent six people to one of our nutrition events.  They loved receiving free tickets, and had a great time at the event.”

As a result, says Solomon, “We’re not even four years old, yet everywhere we go in the community, people have heard of our spa, and that’s because of our classes.”

Day Spa Magazine - 2016, January