"The ability for attendees and vendors to stay at the same hotel where the event occurred led to a more intimate atmosphere at this year's show," said Pamela Kufahl, director of content for Club Industry. "I heard from attendees that they had a much easier time networking with people. They also raved about the conference program and the speakers, which was great to hear since we increased our emphasis on education and networking."
Attendees from top facilities, such as Fitness Formula Clubs, Active Wellness, Crunch, Gold's Gym, Sparrow Michigan Athletic Club and Gainesville Health & Fitness, joined with a variety of YMCAs, university rec centers, Kroc Centers, and parks and rec facilities to explore the newest fitness products from returning vendors, such as Life Fitness, Core Health & Fitness, SportsArt, as well as 36 first-time exhibitors.
The conference featured a robust education program including ten tracks and 85 sessions with a strong focus on educating fitness facility owners and operator. It was standing room only in most sessions of the Leadership track (chaired by Bill McBride, CEO of Active Wellness), Marketing track (chaired by Casey Conrad, president of Communications Consultants) and Operations track (chaired by Eddie Tock and Will Phillips of REX Roundtable).
In looking forward to where the fitness and wellness industry is heading, the show again offered its popular Wellness track, sponsored by Cigna Health, a health services provider that is seeking partnerships with health club operators for wellness initiatives across the country. Other track sponsors were Genavix Wellness Network and the American Council on Exercise.
Allison Flatley, chief strategy officer for Corporate Fitness Works, said, "I just returned from Club Industry and I'm even more excited about the future of our industry and the role clubs can play in the medical continuum and helping communities thrive to be healthier!"
Annbeth Eschbach, CEO of Exhale Enterprises, received the Lifetime Achievement Award where shared her thoughts on how the industry has changed since she began working in it more than 30 years ago. Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Bo Burlingham offered the keynote presentation, "Big or Small: Take Your Club from Good to Great," which focused on the six qualities that give great companies the "mojo" that make them great.
Co-located with the show was the CEO Summit, which drew 60 CEOs from some of the largest revenue-generating clubs in North America. In its sixth year, the event expanded to a day and a half upon the request of attendees, who wanted more time to learn and network. Attendees heard a presentation on technology and health clubs from Jeffrey Cooper, senior business development manager at Samsung. Dr. Peter McCauley, northeast regional medical director at Cigna, offered a presentation about wellness opportunities for health club operators. Back by popular demand, Steven Rogers, Harvard Business School professor, led an interactive case study on how to determine whether a company is worth purchasing. The CEO Summit was sponsored by Motionsoft, MyZone, Good Earth Distribution, Cardio Ready, HMR and str.
Visit clubindustryshow.com to learn more or read coverage of this year's event at www.clubindustry.com. The Club Industry Show will return to Chicago Oct. 4-6, 2017, at its new venue, the Hilton Chicago.
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