The Club Industry conference and trade show’s move from McCormick Place in Chicago to the Las Vegas Convention Center was the topic of much conversation during the Oct. 10-12 show. Concluding its 27th year, the show’s change in location helped attract more West Coast attendees along with its Midwest and East Coast audience. Next year, the show will return to McCormick Place in Chicago, Oct. 23-25.

On the first day of the show, more than 50 people attended tours of the Zappos corporate headquarters and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Participants in the Zappos tour saw the company’s offices and heard about the brand, culture and employee benefits at Zappos while those touring UNLV got an inside look at its $55 million, 165,000-square-foot rec center. That evening, attendees escaped the unusually cold Las Vegas night to network at the show’s welcome reception at FIRST Food & Bar at The Palazzo Hotel.

On the second day, Club Industry presented its annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Joe Cirulli, founder of Gainesville Health and Fitness Centers, Gainesville, FL. Cirulli received the award for his passion for fitness and entrepreneurship and for establishing a leading fitness company despite many adversities in his early career.

Also on the second day, John DiJulius, president and owner of John Robert’s Spa and of consulting company The DiJulius Group, presented the keynote about how to deliver optimal customer service. DiJulius suggested that instead of setting rigid policies, club operators should set guidelines. Doing so allows staff to make exceptions when appropriate and to promptly respond to unique member demands.

CEOs from some of the most profitable commercial clubs, medical fitness centers and fitness management companies attended the second annual invitation-only CEO Summit. Though conversations were kept private, the summit attracted a group of 30 CEOs, including Mark Mastrov of New Evolution Ventures, Lafayette, CA; Chuck Runyon of Anytime Fitness, Hastings, MN; Gale Landers of Fitness Formula Clubs, Chicago; and Jim Snow of Gold’s Gym International, Irving, TX.

“The CEO Summit at Club Industry was an essential chance to connect and share insightful information with peers and discuss how to grow the industry,” Runyon says.