Spa Business issue 4 2020

Page 82

EVENT REVIEW

Reset… go This year’s Global Wellness Summit saw two US surgeon generals, leading spa stakeholders and wellness professionals look towards the role they have to play following the global pandemic. Katie Barnes and Lisa Starr report

I

t’s been a year since the world’s spa and wellness leaders last convened in Hong Kong at the annual Global Wellness Summit (GWS) to ‘join together to shape the future’ of the sector. And what a year it’s been. No one could have predicted the devastating effect of coronavirus and its impact on travel, hospitality and spas as flights the world-over were grounded, borders shut down and non-essential businesses closed. But with a number of potential vaccines in sight and the majority of facilities now up and running again (albeit at reduced capacity), there’s a chink

of light and the overall message from speakers and delegates was one of hope and optimisim (see p83). Given the need for social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, it was a controversial decision to still go ahead with a gathering such as GWS. Looking vibrant in yellow and wearing a face mask, GWS chair Susie Ellis took to the stage to welcome everyone and say: “We made the bold decision to stay the course because we thought the whole conversation about wellness is more important than ever.” Held at the The Breakers resort in Florida, USA, the summit saw just over 100 delegates attend in person and, for the first time, a virtual audience consisting of 500-plus attendees watch live-streamed and on-demand sessions depending on time zones. Such was the quality and breadth of virtual sessions that those viewing online, including the Spa Business head office team, felt very much like they were still there in person. On page 85, Lisa Starr, Spa Business’ contributing editor, shares her experience as a delegate on the ground, including the extra health and safety precautions in place. “This entire event is serving as a model for gathering in this very challenging time,” said GWS executive director and CCO Nancy Davis.

GWS chair Susie Eliis hopes the hybrid event will serve as a template for ‘healthy gatherings’

We made the bold decision to stay the course because we thought the whole conversation about wellness is more important than ever

82 spabusiness.com issue 4 2020


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.