What is in this article?:
- Club Industry to Return to Chicago after Stopping in Vegas
- On the Show Floor
- Women in the Fitness Industry
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.
Women in the Fitness Industry
The Women’s Fitness Professionals Forum drew female industry leaders who shared their stories of persistence in the face of adversity. Sara Kooperman, CEO of Les Mills Midwest and SCW Fitness Education, Northbrook, IL, says the participants drew strength from within when facing obstacles but still shared a sense of humor.
“The sharing of the emotional side of being a woman in business was very rejuvenating,” Kooperman says. “You would not hear men being this open. Whenever we think of professionalism, we think of organization, strength and a lack of a passion. With women, we are so bound with our passion, and it was very fascinating to hear this openness from some very successful women in the industry.”
The Fitness Industry Technology Council panel session, moderated by FIT-C President Bryan O’Rourke, attracted a packed room of attendees. The panel consisted of Runyon, Graham Melstrand, vice president of corporate affairs for the American Council on Exercise, San Diego, and Kevin Laferriere, CEO of FitPro Services.
The second annual Fitness Industry Personal Trainer Summit, organized by Jay Del Vecchio, president and CEO of W.I.T.S. Education, Virginia Beach, VA, was held on the second day of the show. The panel of experts included Melstrand, Walt Thompson of American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, and Mike Bannan of the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, San Diego.
Another popular event on the second day was the Best of the Best Awards reception, where Club Industry recognized five club companies in six categories for their programming and gave its first-ever vendor awards. At the reception, the club winners took to the stage to share details about their winning programs.
The club program winners were: LifeStart Wellness Network, Chicago, for Best New Member Integration Program and Best Nonmember Program; Medical University of South Carolina Wellness Center, Charleston, SC, for Best Behavior Modification Program; Newtown Athletic Club, Newtown, PA, for Best New Member Sales Program; The Keller Pointe, Keller, TX, for Best Community Program; and Herbert Wellness Center at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, for Best Children’s Program.
The best club management software award went to ABC Financial, Little Rock, AR. The judges noted the product was easy to use and was innovative. The best elliptical award went to Octane Fitness for its Lateral X elliptical. One judge noted that its varying degrees of change made the product “incredibly unique.” The best stationary bike award went to the Woodinville, WA-based Precor RBK 885, which offered the best multiple options for aging and overweight members, according to one judge. The best treadmill award went to the Star Trac E-TRxe, which struck a happy medium between too much and too little, one judge noted.
To highlight the personal trainer sector of the health and fitness industry, Club Industry partnered with Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) magazine to bring the Trainer of the Year Award to the Club Industry show this year. PFP gave its 2013 Trainer of the Year Award to Valorie Ness of Catalyst Fitness Midtown, Atlanta, for her exemplary commitment to her clients, career and community and for her embodiment of the spirit of fitness and health.
The Club Industry Theater featured panel sessions and presentations, including a design Q&A session with designers in the industry and a media panel that consisted of Ashley Koff, a registered dietician and a member of the Fitness magazine advisory board, Jeanine Detz, deputy editor of Shape magazine, and Devin Alexander, TV chef and author of “The Biggest Loser” cookbooks.