There's No Business Like the Club Business

The bad thing about being in a great business is that everybody, as the late, great comedian Jimmy Durante used to say, wants to get in on the act. Consider this. In the year that ended July 2000, the growth of commercial health clubs climbed at a faster rate than the total number of people exercising at fitness facilities. And the number of exercise facilities being added to everything from apartment complexes to religious recreation centers is providing consumers with more fitness options than ever before.

To maintain a competitive edge in this more crowded business environment, thousands of fitness professionals will attend Club Industry 2000 next month at Chicago's McCormick Place. The annual conference and trade show provides attendees with the most comprehensive series of business-building seminars. And on the trade show floor, fitness professionals will find the newest products and services from the market's leading suppliers.

Reflecting the technological changes reshaping many industries today, Club Industry 2000 spotlights the Internet-age innovations and computer systems that are helping many fitness professionals grow their business. Free seminars include a panel discussion on how to purchase the right high-tech equipment and systems to meet the needs of a club and its members. A second seminar will offer down-to-earth advice on using the Web to help build membership, provide better service to existing members and create new revenue streams.

The Internet technology seminars and special programs are not the only new components of Club Industry 2000. Because the industry is constantly changing, the Club Industry trade show team continually updates its seminar program. At Club Industry 2000, more than half of the seminars will be offered for the first time. Plus, Club Industry 2000 keeps up Club Industry magazine's "War on Obesity" with a group of six seminars all targeted to weight management issues. "The War on Obesity" track, like the special series of articles published this year in Club Industry, is sponsored by Precor USA and FitLinxx.

Club Industry 2000 will also feature a free seminar on the use of automatic external defibrillators. Sponsored by Medtronic Physio-Control, the seminar will review several topics related to the use off AEDs, such as their live-saving capacity, their use, and liability issues, including Good Samaritan legislation. The session will be held on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Approximately 250 exhibitors will fill an estimated 950 booths on the trade show floor. In addition to all of the new Internet and other technology products available to clubs, attendees will be able to shop for the hottest new cardiovascular and strength training products, free weights and plate-loaded gear, nutritional products and programs, software technology, lockers and locker rooms amenities, fitness assessment equipment, flooring and other products and services.