Pam and I arrived in New York City safe and sound today. After a quiet and early flight (we left Kansas City at 7 a.m.), we ended up taking a limo with another New York City traveler (it was somehow cheaper than a taxi, go figure), and checked into our hotel. To save costs on this trip, Pam and I are sharing a room. Last year at IHRSA in San Fransisco, we also shared a room, although that room was much, much larger than our current living quarters. Thankfully, Pam and I are pretty easy-going and low-maintenance ladies, so we've made due with our itty-bitty room and bathroom without any incidents, except maybe bumping into each other every now and again.
After quickly setting up our magazine's booth on the trade show floor, Pam and I both hit up a seminar. She'll blog more about what she attended later, but I sat in on "Fitness Web Sites 101" with Tom Perkins. Perkins is an expert on start-ups, business, Web sites and blogs, and answered numerous questions from the attendees. Although he gave tons of good tips, including the musts on a fitness business Web site (directions, contact information, services offered, etc.) and how to make your site "sticky" (lots of fresh, interesting, short content that gets people into your site and helps them stay there), he also recommended that owners shop around for the best price and quality when it comes to hiring a Web site designer. Designers don't have to be local either, he said. Sites like www.guru.com can put fitness business managers in touch with talented people across the world to help them build their Web site. Perkins also spoke about blogs and how they're increasing in popularity. Unlike Web sites that usually have more stable content, blogs are more personal, and you need to update them frequently.
After the session, Pam and I shared a cab back towards our hotel. Pam went to the New York Health and Racquet Club (again, more on that from Pam later), and I visited Vanderbilt YMCA on East 47th St. Adam Gruberger was kind enough to show me around the four-story facility and answer my questions. I was most impressed with the newly renovated cardio and strength areas, and the staff members' customer service. You could tell that everyone there loved what they did and was happy to be there. Don't get me wrong, the trade show is great, but I love getting away from the convention center and seeing what our readers are doing first-hand. Plus, it's a good way to see more of the city and get more of an authentic New York experience. --Jennipher