Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks

WSAW Trade Associations


How can spas get involved with industry associations and why is it something they should consider? What are the main benefits, for their business and for the industry? 

Trade Associations are non-profit organisations that unite small, private and independent industry competitors together, making many little voices into one big ‘shout’.

Trade Associations are trusted and central to an industry and uniquely able to provide a wide range of information and services to the industry that individual and often competing business could not or would not do, including collecting sensitive information for statistic or benchmarking reports or implementing codes of conduct.

Made up of representatives from private business with extensive knowledge of their shared industry, Trade Associations communicate a collective view to a range of interested stakeholders including government departments, agencies, regulators, media and other key opinion formers. They know the issues moving up the agenda of the policy makers early enough to take a communal stand should national, regional or local legislation threaten to harm small businesses. Equally, they can also help identify any emerging issues and develop solutions to problems.

Businesses pay a subscription fee to become a member of a Trade Association. In return the Trade Association provides a range of products and services to help their members innovate and create winning strategies that impact the bottom line.

These include conferences, networking, training, workshops, educational materials, specialist/technical/legal or commercial advice, publications, newsletters, blogs, and other forums that create opportunities to share ideas, solve problems and spot trends.

Trade Associations also help members make personal connections and give access to new customers in addition to improving the purchasing power of members by offering discounts on products and services such as insurance or advertising. They may also run specific projects to benefit the whole industry e.g. consumer awareness campaigns.

Above all they are leaders on sector thinking and standard setting, promoting best practice and improving industry reputation through self-regulation and by building proactive policies and long term strategic plans.  Most Trade Associations will also have a member’s code of practice or certification to help build consumer confidence in industry products/services, and are also there for members to turn to should things go wrong; acting as mediators between businesses and customers.  As membership grows so too does a Trade Association’s authority and influence.

The UK Spa Association (UKSA) is the official Trade Association for the UK spa industry. To find out more about the membership benefits available visit


About Lisa Barden

Vice Chair of the UKSA and Founder of Barden Spa Ltd, Lisa has over 20 years experience in the spa and wellness industry. Nominated as a top 50 industry influencer (Professional Wellness Conference 2016), Lisa is a Reiki Master Teacher and Practitioner, Holistic & Beauty Therapist and qualified Teacher in Adult Learning. She also practices Ayurveda, Thai, TCM and European treatment techniques.

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

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