Now that we're a week removed from the IHRSA show in San Diego, I want to offer a few leftover thoughts.
The show floor had some excitement, and there was some promise for the industry at the show. The products weren't necessarily the stars of the show, but it was encouraging to see many of the same companies exhibiting.
Vibration technology products seemed to be in more supply around the floor. I saw Power Plate and its booth (with model Joanna Krupa—didn't get her autograph!), and I bumped into a familiar face as well as a fellow Missouri Tiger in the efi Sports Medicine booth (lattes and hors d'oeuvres should be mandatory at every booth on the floor—that goes for our shows, too). I also saw a buddy from my hometown who has a new job with Technogym.
I also saw San Diego Chargers linebacker Larry English at the Celsius booth. I kidded him about this dinner he bought for his teammates last year as a rookie. He's still smarting from that $14,500 bill!
I didn't get a chance to blog about two of the sessions I attended, but I want to give a shout out to both of them. I sat in on "Ask the Industry Leaders: Member Service for Lifetime Members," moderated by our good friend and Club Industry columnist Karen Woodard-Chavez. The panel was made up of Kelley Bubolo of Town Sports International, Lisa Gorsline of the Corpus Christi (TX) Athletic Club and Club One's Bill McBride, who sits on our advisory board.
I also attended "Ask the Industry Leaders: Reducing the Reliance on Membership Sales by Increasing Non-Dues Revenue," moderated by another of our good friends, Sandy Coffman, who has written for us in the past. On the panel were Bob Esquerre of the Esquerre Fitness Group (who writes a Step by Step column for us with his wife, Jolyn), Bonnie Patrick Mattalian of The Club Synergy Group and Pete Keady of Club One.
We had fun at the Nautilus get-together Friday night. We spent time with director of marketing Mary Suhr and met Dean Sbragia, whose Med-Fit Systems company recently bought Nautilus' commercial assets. This was a much calmer Nautilus party than the one it had three years ago at IHRSA, which included a Nautilus One sharing a stage with a rock band.
I hope you enjoyed our coverage on Twitter and Facebook. We'll try to do more of that at future shows, and we'll definitely have to learn how to twitpic. This was a first for us, but it really gave us an opportunity to do some real-time news and views, without having to wait to blog about it. We got a chance to tweet from Augie's Quest on Friday night. That's always a fun event.
We loved Tin Fish across from the convention center, by the way. The kids order was like an adult order, and an adult order was like a whale order. I must be a whale, I'm afraid to say.
Did anybody else have trouble crossing the train tracks in the Gaslamp district Thursday night? One train had trouble making up its mind going forward or backward.
We can't wait for the show's return to San Francisco next year. It's No. 30 for IHRSA.
And for a final thought, three sets of Club Industry people ended up eating dinner Friday night at the same Sloppy Joe's/Nicky Rotten's pizza/burger place on Fifth Street at three different times�without planning it. Amazing.
Next time, guys, do you all want to go together?