Massage Therapist’s Guide to Working at Private Spa Parties

Spa parties are a great way to make extra income as a massage therapist and they can be a lot of fun. From baby showers to birthday parties, in home spa parties are a popular way for friends to get together and relax in a special way. If you have massage clients who are thinking of throwing a spa party or are looking to hire you to provide massage at a private party, you can be prepared to handle the work with this simple guide.

spa-party

 

Planning

The first step in this process is planning. You’ll have several details to iron out and it’s best to know the answers in advance. Once some of these questions are answered it will be easier to plan and budget.

  • Who will be at the party?
    Is this a baby or bridal shower? A casual gathering? A group of women or men? A birthday party? How many people will be attending? Get a head count and understand who you will be working on.
  • Will you have your own room?
    You might request a separate room or your party host may only have room for you to set up a chair in the corner. Find out what kind of space you will occupy for the entire time of the party.
  • What equipment will you need to bring?
    Find out if you need to be bring your massage table or chair, linens, oils, music, etc. Offer ideas to your party host that will help keep the amount of equipment you need to a minimum.
  • What services will be offered?
    Chair massage, Thai massage, Reflexology are all great options because the guests can remain clothed or mostly clothed.
  • How much of your time will be needed?
    Ask about the location of the party, when the party starts and ends, and find out details to help you figure out how much time you’ll need for setup/tear down.

Take notes and get all of these details in writing. Write a contract or invoice stating all of the specifics discussed so that you and the client are on the same page regarding expectations for your services. Don’t forget to include a cancellation policy in case the party host needs to cancel.

Setting Fees

Your standard fees may not be the best way to charge for special services like working at a private spa party. There are additional expenses to consider, as well as optimal payment arrangements that make the most sense for the event. Start by calculating your expenses for the evening by referring to your information gathered during the planning process: how long will the party be and how much work will be in involved in setting up and tearing down? Add up time, expenses, and travel and figure out a fee that will make the event worth your time and effort. Keep in mind your client’s budget as well, if he or she has set forth a maximum budget amount.

You can go a couple of different routes for fees:

Recommended: Set an hourly rate if the party host is paying, such as $300/4 hours (increase if you need to add time for travel and setup/tear). You can either charge your normal hourly rate, or you can offer a small discount if there will be a lot of people. The key is to decide on a fixed amount you will be paid, since you will be at the party the entire time.

Not recommended: We know that some professionals charge per services, such as $1/minute for chair massage, but this can cause some awkwardness if someone changes their mind about getting massage or if scheduling conflicts occur.

One massage therapist said this about a learning experience with her first private party: “The hostess paid me my usual $1.00/minute with a $20 travel fee. The hostess promised me every guest would have a session and we agreed what time I’d arrive (to start massaging soon after). But her early arriving guests didn’t want a massage right away so I sat in the next room doing a lot of nothing for a long time, and not getting paid. I learned my lesson!”

Arrange payment up front (or at least a substantial deposit) and save yourself some headaches.

The Event

A few tips for the big day:

  • Make sure you are familiar with the party location. Do a drive-by before the day of the party so you feel confident about getting there on time.
  • Pack all of your supplies the day before the party.
  • Don’t forget business cards, brochures, your appointment book.
  • Arrange for extra travel time in case of traffic or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Don’t forget to schedule a break for yourself. 
  • Schedule plenty of time to include massage for the party host.
  • Enjoy the party and smile!

Extras

Make the day special for your client and guests by offering something fun and unexpected.

We found this idea from a massage therapist on LinkedIn who enjoys doing private spa parties:

“Set up a DIY spa bar that those not getting a massage can do while waiting. Set out some products with clear directions in an attractive way for facial masks, cucumbers, salt scrub for hands with gloves. Make it fun and they will never forget it!”

Another LMT on LinkedIn chimes in with this response:

“My philosophy … under-promise and over-deliver. Offer a dynamite package (charging your worth), and throw in an unexpected something that you will keep secret until the event, to be exceptional. You want to entice everyone at the event to want you for their own events in the future.” 

Marketing

This brings up a great point about selling products and handing out business cards to the guests. Be sure to talk with the party host and ask if she would either hand out your business card or allow you to give each guest a card when they have their massage.

Have products on hand to sell to party guests. If you sell retail items in your practice, bring them along and be ready to sell if the opportunity arises. Your party host may not appreciate any hard selling to her guests, but you can pre-arrange with her about having items on hand should anyone inquire.

Beware: You may not get many return clients from a spa party, which is a good reason not to discount your prices. However, a party can be a great marketing tool for pleasing existing clients and getting your name out to all of their friends.

Have you ever hosted or worked at a private spa party before? Share your comments, questions and experiences below in the comments!

 

Comments from original Massamio post:

Sassi Stones are a great way to enhance chair massage. They are slick enough to glide over clothes and they stay hot up to 2 hours for chair massage. They also save hands. — Posted @ Wednesday, December 25, 2013 2:37 PM by Dominic Orlando

A lots of spa provider offers spa facilities in hosting spa event. From small gatherings or meetings with mini-spa treatments, to a bachelorette party, to renting out the entire spa for the evening, to weekend mini-spa destination retreats. Full range of spa services for your event including massage, skincare, nails & more. — Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 10:57 PM by Thai Massage BVI