Girls Only

Forget the golf course. Skip the steakhouse. Leave the sporting events to the guys. A growing number of professional women are booking salons and spas for get-togethers where they can talk business, entertain clients or connect with colleagues while indulging in a little pampering.

Monique Bertsch, director of the Adolf Biecker Spa and Health Club in Philadelphia, is well aware of this growing trend. She recently helped a group of female executives from a local accounting firm plan a special networking and client-appreciation day at the spa. "Unlike traditional male venues, salons and spas provide a climate where women feel appreciated, relaxed and welcome," Bertsch says. "It's a concept that has really taken hold in Philadelphia."

With its cozy nail room and large reception area, Adolf Biecker is an ideal spot for networking and interacting outside of the work environment. The executives and their invited guests could choose four beauty treatments from a set menu, which included massages and facials, as well as hair, nail and makeup services. They also enjoyed tea, trail mix and lemon water in between services, had a group lunch and stayed well into the evening drinking wine by candlelight on the spa's sundeck. "The event went beautifully," Bertsch says. "They're even talking about making it a quarterly event."

If you're thinking of making your salon or spa available for similar events, Bertsch suggests you plan carefully and consider inviting a representative from the group to tour the salon beforehand. "Ask how she would like the day to go, and what she wants her group to get out of the occasion," she says. "The preparation and scheduling takes quite a bit of time, but it's worth it."