The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.

 

 



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Tuesday
Jun252013

A great Gathering

The atmosphere was electric during IHRSA 2013 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Virtually everyone who participated—some 11,800 industry professionals—was excited and inspired by the quality of the presentations, the commercial buzz on the trade show floor, and the endless, enthusiastic networking. This was the Great Gathering of global health and fitness industry.

The Great Gathering also served as a showcase for innovations and grand achievements - more, this year, than eer before. Equipment, entertainment, old records broken, new apps introducted-this event had it all!

Walking the trade show floor offers a unique, once-a-year opportunity to see and consider the thousands of ways that IHRSA associate member companies enhance and help grow our business. There was an impressive number of launches of new equipment and services—products that will help clubs thrive by allowing them to better serve their members.

The trade show is the embodiment of the vibrant economic cycle that drives our industry: associate members selling their improved wares; club owners purchasing them; club operations becoming more efficient and profitable; and clubs continuing to reinvest in their future—it’s a process that goes on ad infinitum.

Yet, the trade show is more than a place where buying and selling take place. It’s

also a dynamic forum in which information is exchanged, partnerships are forged, and friendships cemented. It’s one of the true focal points of the extended convention.

The energy, momentum, and accomplishments continued to accrue during the 8th Annual BASH for Augie’s Quest, which was hosted by CNN News reporter Suzanne Malveaux. (See “CBI Interview,” pg. 32.) Augie’s wife, Lynne, provided a heartfelt narrative of the struggles and successes the two have experienced since he was diagnosed, eight years ago, with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Augie then stunned the nearly 1,000 people

in attendance by performing 25 leg presses with 120 pounds!

Not only did everyone have a good time, but the BASH also raised more than $1.6 million for ALS research, surpassing the record set in 2012.

It’s difficult, perhaps impossible, to wrap one’s mind around everything that takes place at the convention and trade show, but, fortunately, this year, technology came to the rescue. The new IHRSA app helped attendees understand, navigate, and appreciate this enormous event, giving them a better sense of what was happening hour by hour. Now, post-show, it continues to connect users to the industry with news, notes on special events, the digital edition of CBI magazine, and more.

If you weren’t able to attend IHRSA 2013 or missed some sessions, I suggest that you visit ihrsa. org/blog/category/ihrsa-2013. There you’ll find a wide range of interesting and instructive stories and videos. Most of the sessions also were recorded and can be purchased at ihrsa.org/store.

Now the crowds have departed. People have returned to their homes and their businesses feeling both exhausted and exhilarated, with new information, ideas, and dreams that, in the days ahead, will help make the industry even better. Then, next year, the Great Gathering will assemble once more at IHRSA 2014, which will be held March 12–15, in San Diego, California.

It will be bigger and better than ever. Again!

Trust me—we’re already working on it!

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