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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Entries in educational session (32)


Are you a digital native or immigrant?

Christian Pierar, president of De Fitness Organisatie in Belgium and a member of the IHRSA board of directors, presented at the 15th IHRSA/Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference & Trade Show on Thursday. 

He asked the audience, during "Innovations & Technologies in the Digital World, How to implement them in your business," if they were digital natives or immigrants. He said natives are those who grew up with the Internet and are familiar and accustomed to using it. And that they are not deterred with changes and upgrades. Immigrants on the other hand are “the rest of us trying to keep up.”

The important thing to consider, for both, is how to implement technology into your business because marketing strategies 10 years ago are now fading. But with a wide gap with what marketing managers know and the possibilities with technology it is vital they get training.

“Reconsider how you are going to apply your resources from print to digital,” Pierar said. “Look at what you have and then implement technology with what you need.”

For more on IHRSA/Fitness Brasil, visit


Are you up on the legal side of your business?

Helen Durkin, IHRSA's executive vice president of Global Public Policy.Educational sessions at IHRSA events are a great way to help you with almost every part of running a health club. Sales, membership, programs, marketing, social media and more are offered at almost every convention or gathering run by IHRSA.

It is also a chance for us to delve deeper into some of our offerings. As the organization that grows, protects and promotes the health and fitness industry, IHRSA, too, has many offerings that can help in running a gym or club.

Helen Durkin, executive vice president of Global Public Policy, and Tom Richards, senior legislative counsel, hosted an education class, "Day-to-Day Legal Issues," during the IHRSA Institute earlier in August to explain some of the bigger and more prominent legal issues for clubs. They went over specific scenarios their department often runs into while also taking questions from the crowd, providing the best answers.

Read on to see what they talked about and some sample issues.


Day Two at the IHRSA Institute


Build Your Business Library for Less

Did you miss IHRSA 2014 altogether? Or did you attend, but find yourself unable to make it to every session that piqued your interest?

Either way, you’ll be pleased to learn that audio recordings from more than 70 IHRSA 2014 educational sessions are now available. 

From now through June 30, when you spend $50 in the IHRSA Store, you’ll save 15% on your entire order. You’ll also receive free shipping within the continental U.S., if applicable. Use the promo code SPRING2014FS at checkout for your savings. 

Read more about other popular publications to check out during IHRSA’s spring sale.


IHRSA Institute brochure is available for download

The IHRSA Institute, back after a five-year hiatus, is rapidly approaching. And you certainly do not want to miss out. 

IHRSA has finished the brochure and it is ready for you to download. Learn about the faculty, the educational sessions and more.

But don't delay. Regster by June 25 to save more than $150. Close to 50 attendees have already signed up.

For more information on the 2014 IHRSA Institute, visit or read the recent stories on the event, faculty and more.


They are here - IHRSA 2014 educational session MP3s

There are many reasons why you may be interested in purchasing one, or more, of the IHRSA 2014 Annual International Convention & Trade Show education session MP3s that hit the IHRSA Store this week. 

Whether it is for a present, training or just bolstering your club or business library, there are many options in a variety of subjects. You can pick from 69 options from the following tracks: Customer Service & Retention; Fitness & Personal Training; Health Promotion & Wellness; Human Resources; Innovations & Opportunities; Leadership; Legal & Legislative; Management & Operations; Marketing; Membership Sales; and Programming.

Subjects cover retention, social media, attrition, management, personal training, relationship with medical community, technology, youth programming and much, much more.

For more on IHRSA 2014 MP3s, read on. 


IHRSA 2015 speaker applications due May 31

IHRSA's Annual International Convention & Trade Show continues to be the most important event of the year for industry leaders worldwide. This annual gathering of club professionals is a dynamic, open forum for the exchange of ideas, strategic planning, and peer-to-peer networking, and is highlighted by the industry's largest exhibition of products and services for business operations.

This premier event is also your opportunity to offer your expertise and professional experiences by submitting an application to present an education session in Los Angeles, March 11-14, 2015. Share your knowledge at IHRSA 2015 and help shape the ideas and strategies that will influence over 3,000 top industry professionals.

Applications that will receive priority consideration are those that will provide all attendees - whether they are new to the industry or are seasoned industry professionals - with the following:

  • New information that is timely, relevant and actionable 
  • The latest trends, concepts and solutions that may be immediately implemented within their clubs and companies 
  • The knowledge to develop growth initiatives and become a catalyst for innovation  

Submit our application prior to May 31, 2014 at


Real-life duties call for IHRSA 2014 speaker

Despite the importance of his session at IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show, Dr. Edward Phillips knew he had to leave for his first job - a doctor.

The assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, who was in San Diego to present on the progress in the medical and fitness worlds of prescribing exercise as medicine, actually had to pull out his "doctor's bag" when he was informed someone at the conference was having a seizure.

As it turned out, it showed the importance of primary prevention and how having trained professionals nearby can be the difference between life and death.

Read more in the story



A new approach to hiring: the group interview

Cheri BertelsenIn a session rich with tips and tools for hiring the right employees, Cheri Bertelsen and Jillian Moseley suggested that clubs try an approach that has proved successful for them at their club, Xcelerate Fitness in California - a panel interview.  

The session was on Thursday, March 13, at IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show in San Diego.

The panel interview involves no more than three or four managers/interviewers and three to four candidates. This efficient approach helps managers see how candidates interact in a group setting, and results in more objective hiring decisions, contends Bertelsen.

Candidates benefit, too. They can see how managers work with one another and get a sense of the workplace culture.

Bertelsen and Moseley start by asking each candidate for a two-minute bio: who are you?  Each interviewer does the same, sharing their hobbies, how long they have worked for the club, and why they like working there.

They recommend asking open-ended questions based on core values. All questions must be asked to each employee for equality and fairness laws; switch up the order so the same person doesn’t always have to go first.

Then, let the candidates interview the managers.

Bertelsen and Moseley note that candidates report that they really enjoy this process. It provides them with a better idea of whether the club is a good fit for them. And, of course, the managers get a better idea of whether the candidate is a good fit for the club.

This session is available for purchase in both audio and DVD formats at the IHRSA Store in the Spring.


Download IHRSA 2014 session handouts before you leave

IHRSA has posted many of the session handouts securely online for you to access and review prior to traveling to San Diego. Please print your handouts in advance by visiting Login: handouts. Password: ihrsasd (case sensitive).

Handouts will not be distributed onsite, so please plan accordingly. There is a business center located within the San Diego Convention Center if you need to print any handouts or other materials during your stay, however, the center is not associated with IHRSA and will charge a fee to do so.