Phoenix welcomes the International Spa Association, global leaders in sustainable spas & wellness

By Voncelle Mull Hunter

For the first time, the International Spa Association (ISPA) is bringing its annual conference and expo to Phoenix. The conference is the premier event for spa and wellness professionals from around the world. They are coming together to learn best practices to enhance the personal well-being of the global consumer. New to the conference is the Experience Center, a branded Experience Studios feature where conference attendees can meet personally with spa brands while receiving a relaxing service.

Leading with intention, ISPA made the decision to hold the 2018 conference at the environmentally friendly Phoenix Convention Center, a LEED silver certified green building.

According to ISPA President Lynne McNees, “ISPA and the global spa industry support sustainable living. By definition, a spa is devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a renewal of mind, body and spirit, which directly relates to the goals of sustainable living. ISPA’s research continues to show that the number-one reason consumers visit a spa is to learn to manage their stress. By reducing stress factors, we live longer and healthier lives.”

The ISPA conference and expo is not only a place to learn about the most up-to-date products and treatments. The organization is also committed to investing in research to provide insight into where the spa industry is headed. ISPA commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct a 2018 U.S. Spa Industry study that confirms the spa industry is, in fact, growing. A snapshot of the overall industry study is called “The Big Five Statistics,” which uses data from the 2017 calendar year. This report focused on five key performance indicators: total revenue, spa visits, spa locations, employee count, and revenue per visit. The Big Five indicates that there were 187 billion spa visits in 2017, a 1.6 percent increase from 2016.

The industry has plans to adequately support this growth. “With our Get Your Dream Job campaign, the spa industry is focused on sustaining our workforce as our industry continues to see record growth,” said McNees. “With more than 30,000 jobs unfilled and 500 new spas opening in the U.S. in 2017, we hope that job seekers will realize the incredible benefits of working within the spa industry.”

These types of forward-thinking initiatives and creative solutions are what set ISPA apart as proponents of global wellness. An example of the advancement in developing eco-friendly products is Dr. Vivian Valenty. Valenty’s company Dazzle Dry, located in Chandler, Arizona, is the recipient of the 2018 ISPA Innovate Award in the awards product category. The Dazzle Dry Nail System is known for its four-step process that quickly dries nails. It is also free from harmful chemicals and animal by-products and uses products that are not tested on animals.

ISPA has a history of great influential and powerful keynote speakers, and this year’s event will not disappoint. The general session will feature Shawn Achor, best-selling author of “The Happiness Advantage;” Sally Hogshead, creator of the “Fascination Advantage,” a communications assessment tool that measures how others perceive you; and Daymond John, CEO and founder of global lifestyle brand FUBU.

This year’s conference theme is CONNECT. It culminates the social economic and environmental value the spa industry illuminates throughout the world. Having the 2018 ISPA Conference & Expo in Phoenix is a natural fit. Some of the world’s most renowned spa and wellness facilities can be found throughout the state. The 2018 ISPA conference will be held Sept. 24-26. For more information regarding this event and how you can attend, visit

About ISPA: Since 1991, the International Spa Association has been recognized worldwide as the professional organization and voice of the spa industry, representing health and wellness facilities and providers in more than 70 countries.


Voncelle Mull Hunter, LE, is the owner of Well Served Media LLC. a boutique public relations firm that specializes in spa & wellness brands. As the co-founder of the Southwest Spa Alliance, she provides postgraduate education to spa professionals and hosts annual community wellness events throughout the valley. Voncelle enjoys creating rewarding experiences which provide useful health and lifestyle information for financially disadvantaged families and communities.

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