A review of Club Industry's Chicago show

While the slogan for Club Industry 2000 was "Hotter Than Ever," "Bigger Than Ever" would have been more appropriate. Attendance and exhibit space were up over last year's show in Chicago.

Those who came to the show had an opportunity to check out products and services from 230 exhibitors. These companies took up more than 950 booths and 95,000 square feet. In fact, in terms of square footage, this was the largest Club Industry ever.

Club Industry 2000 was also a big success in terms of people walking the show floor. The show drew 7,485 attendees to the Windy City, approximately 700 more than last year.

And these attendees didn't just come from the Chicago area. The show drew people from all around the country - some who were attending for the first time, others who have been loyal attendees for years.

"In this industry, technology is always changing," said Pat Brown, owner of World Gym Fitness Center in Mishakawa, Ind. "To stay on the cutting edge, you've got to come to a place where you can find out about new equipment. That's Club Industry. This is our seventh year of running a 21,000-square-foot operation. We come every year for both the seminars and the trade show. We're also pleased to see new additions on Internet technology and group fitness. We think those will really take off."

Newcomers also spoke highly of the show. "I came to Club Industry to attend the highly informative seminars on Internet marketing and sales management," said Chris Brookes, general manager of Pinnacle Fitness & Training in Oklahoma City. "We're also looking at the latest elliptical training equipment. This is my first time at the show. It's simply awesome. Being here really gives you a step up on the competition."