I recently had the pleasure of attending the Manhattan edition of SpaExec, a networking event for spa professionals. The event was a fun way to connect with friends and to get some ideas for building business in the midst of the current recession. The evening kicked off with a vendor showcase, featuring the latest offerings from Akhassa, Blinc, Clarisonic, Comfort Zone, Davines, Éminence Organic Skin Care, Gehwol, Germaine de Capuccini, Harms Software, Infinity Sun, Intraceuticals, Oakworks, Ready Care Industries, Somme Institute, Sothys, and Yon-Ka Paris. Next up was a truly informative keynote presentation on Creating Customer Value in a Down Economy by Leo Renaghan, chief marketing officer, Revenue Management Solutions, and Emeritus Professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, followed by a fabulous panel discussion on Best Practices in Spa Operations. Suzanne Holbrook, executive spa director at the Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes Orlando; Mia Kyricos, director of spa development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts; and Teresa McKee, chief operating officer for Red Door Spas were led by moderator, Nancy Griffin, and had some excellent insights into savvy spa marketing and retail practices. Infinity Sun then did a presentation and a demo on How to Profit from Sunless Tanning, and the evening concluded with a cocktail party, where we all raised a glass to another successful SpaExec. Visit www.spaexec.net for details on up-and-coming SpaExec events, which will take place June 12 in Las Vegas; July 14 in Cancun; August 4 in Chicago; September 1 in Paradise Valley, AZ; Oct. 20 in Newport Beach, CA; and Nov. 9 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.