After the keynote presentation, I made my way to the Hard Rock Hotel, where Club One was hosting a reception in the Float Lounge, a swank and moodily lit location. I had a chance to meet to speak with Sal Pelligrino of Les Mills, who was excited about the company's "The Future of the Fitness Industry" white paper. Pelligrino was speaking with Karen Woodard-Chavez, consultant and owner of Premium Performance, Boulder, CO. Woodard-Chavez is one of our columnists, so I picked her brain for ideas about upcoming stories related to what U.S. clubs can learn from clubs in other countries. We also talked about the reasons women entrepreneurs don't grow their businesses like male entrepreneurs do and what good customer service really is.
At a little after 8 p.m., we dropped by the IHRSA reception back at the Marriott. The room was packed with attendees and manufacturers. After grabbing some food, I made my way to a table and butted into a conversation between two people from Columbia Lake Health Club in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. They told me their three-year-old club, a corporate fitness center, is attracting members with its personal training, small group training and sports-specific training. They are not feeling the effects of low-priced clubs in their market, but they said that group exercise instructors in Canada don't seem to be taking to the pre-choreographed group exercise class formats that are becoming popular in the United States. According to them, Canadian group ex instructors prefer to make up their own routines, and their followers prefer the variety that individually choreographed workouts can provide.