What if life was just like a musical, and everyone wore lavish costumes and proceeded through the daily grind to the beat of a hit soundtrack? Christa Walsh recently made that fantasy a reality at Rituals Spa and Medical Aesthetic Center in Guilford, Connecticut.
Inspired by the 2010 film Burlesque, the facility’s marketing and events manager teamed up with Smashbox Cosmetics to design an evening of socializing and vaudevillian style at the spa during December. The allure of cocktails, snacks, free sessions with makeup artists, spa treatment raffles, sexy décor and music from the movie was enough to entice 35 women to brave the cold and participate in the open house-style event.
“Smashbox sent three representatives, two of them professional makeup artists, who also showed four of our estheticians how to give clients looks reflecting those featured by stars Christina Aguilera and Cher in the movie,” Walsh says. “The party was free, but guests were encouraged to book 30-minute makeup sessions ahead of time to better facilitate flow,” she adds.
Nearly all of Rituals’ staff members were on hand to give guided spa tours and book future services throughout the evening. About a month ahead of time, Walsh began publicizing the event. “We sent out an email blast to our client lists, but we really relied on social media for this one, as it allowed us to post daily updates, revealing a little more information at a time,” she says. “Since most women saw this as a fun excuse to enjoy a girls’ night out with friends, we saw a considerable amount of new faces at the party. A few younger guests even stopped by to scope out makeup artists for their upcoming weddings.”
The spa partnered with a local beverage company, RIPE All Natural Cocktail Mixers, to provide themed drinks as well as non-alcoholic fare in the reception area. For décor, they stuck to hot pink and black. The theme extended to striking flower displays that were donated from a neighboring florist.
The idea was born of a desire to attract a younger set of spa-goers, and according to Walsh, it worked. “A lot of 20- and 30-somethings came in groups, right before heading to the theater to see the film.” The staff blasted the Burlesque album throughout. “It was a great way to drum up excitement, and to show that the spa can be a fun and social place,” Walsh says.
Does your facility ever cash in on the fervor surrounding highly anticipated movie releases? We’d love to hear about it. Write to [email protected].—Katie O’Reilly