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 IHRSA 2014 International Convention and Trade Show (110)


Growth In the Air

The total number of industry professionals who participated, including convention and trade show
attendees and vendors: 13,000.

Convention and trade show attendees: 8,000, a full 1,000 more than attended IHRSA 2014 in San Diego!

Exhibiting companies at the trade show: 388.

Space occupied by those firms: 178,000 square feet!

Countries represented: 84— an all-time record!

The number of educational, exercise, and networking sessions: 160.

As IHRSA explained in a press release, “Thousands of fitness industry leaders celebrated the successes of a thriving industry, showcased the newest and most innovative equipment, programs, and technology, and reinforced the industry’s commitment to increase physical activity levels across the globe.”

As accurate as that is, it doesn’t come close to describing the intense, overwhelming sensory experience evoked by the convention—the strong emotion, supercharged atmosphere, that enveloped those of us who were there. As at every IHRSA convention, there were countless personal interactions between those of us who feel called, compelled, to convince everyone on the planet to become, and remain, physically active. That conviction binds us together, confirming our enduring belief in the power of “success by association.”

Thomas Sowell, an economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, believes that central planning never works on a macro level; he estimates that no one knows as much as 1% of what would have to be known to an economy efficiently

And so, in a sense, it is with IHRSA on the micro level. We plan the convention agenda—the who, what, when, where, and how. But it’s the complex interaction of staff, members, speakers, vendors, association board members, and other stakeholders that provides 99% of the components that no one person, or group, could possibly understand or produce. Together, though, we’re able to create a uniquely rewarding experience, both intellectually and monetarily—for everyone involved.

And the convention and trade show were just the start.

During the coming year, IHRSA will host a num- ber of other valuable gatherings. Coming up soon is the IHRSA Institute, which will take place August 4–7 at the Rizzo Conference Center at the Univer- sity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Last year, this one-of-a-kind educational event attracted people from 24 states, the District of Columbia, and nine different countries. Everyone enjoyed a first-class learning and networking experience, and many attendees made friendships that will last a lifetime.

This year, the institute promises to be even better. (See “Executive Education for Club Professionals,” pg. 59.)

Next on the calendar is the 16th Annual IHRSA/ Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference and Trade Show, which will take place September 17–19 at the Transamerica Expo Center, in São Paulo. This edition promises to be the biggest and best ever. First held in a closed-off parking lot, the IHRSA/Fitness Brasil Trade Show has since grown into a formidable world-class event.

These are just two of the meeting highlights of the coming year. Check for news about others!


Congressional Fitness Caucus launched as part of #WhyGetActive

In June, in a first-of-its-kind event on Capitol Hill, members of the U.S. Congress, their staffs, and representatives of at least a dozen national health organizations gathered to spearhead a new IHRSA public-service campaign - #WhyGetActive.

Introduced at IHRSA’s 33rd Annual International Convention and Trade Show in San Diego, in March, this innovative, grassroots social-media-based program is designed to spotlight the countless benefits of regular exercise. It’s accepted that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the incidence of chronic lifestyle-related diseases that have increased healthcare spending in the U.S. and throughout the world ... and #WhyGetActive gets the message across.

Taking part is easy.

People can simply write why they choose to get active on chalk- board or dry-erase board with the hashtag #WhyGetActive, take a photo of themselves holding the sign, and then post it on social media.

The grand goal is to foster,feed, and energize a cultural shift toward wellness, which, in turn, will inspire and support individual initiatives to pursue active lifestyles.

During the Washington event, attendees jotted down their personal answers to “Why Get Active,” worked out together, took advantage of chair massages and blood-pressure and body-compo-sition screenings, and viewed health promotion exhibits.

Read the entire story in CBI.


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 2014: Notes on a Success

Each of IHRSA’s conventions and trade shows is a whirlwind of activity. Industry colleagues reconnect or meet for the first time; great speakers inspire attendees; fresh ideas are exchanged at educational sessions; new equipment and services are introduced. But IHRSA 2014 was something special. 

Touring the event's offerings is always fun, and, this year, new walking records were set. The trade show alone was a quarter-mile long—the length of a drag strip.

I found I could barely take a step without being told something positive about the trade show, or the convention, or our business in general. Folks seemed to express, in a variety of ways, the same sentiment: “The industry is back!”

The attitude, the feeling, was just as upbeat as it had been before the Great Recession.

IHRSA’s associate members made the optimism concrete with their elaborate displays, many of which were massive, and some of which were suspended from the ceiling. The trade show hall showcased some 372 exhibitors, who occupied more than 180,000 square feet of floor space; the room was packed with eager club professionals, who were examining, experimenting, experiencing—and buying!

Another comment that I heard repeatedly was, “The keynote speakers were the best ever!” and I agree. This year, all of them seemed to really understand our industry, and to be committed to helping us succeed.

On the first day of the convention, moments before Sally Hogshead was scheduled to go on stage with her presentation, “How to Fascinate,” she was querying me about the difference between “customers” and “members.” She obviously wanted to get it right. Her appearance was sponsored by SPRI.

On the second day, Dan Heath, who spoke on “Decisive: How to Make Better Choices,” reminisced about how he and his brother, Chip, had enjoyed presenting at the convention in 2010, the last time we were in San Diego. It was clear that he wanted to make a mark, too. His address was sponsored by Technogym.

On day three, about an hour before he received a standing ovation for his presentation, “The Thank You Economy,” I reminded Gary Vaynerchuk to use his “PG-13-rated” version—that versus the “R-rated” one you can find on the Internet. Vaynerchuk likes to be straightforward, a fact that the crowd appreciated. We owe his performance to Matrix Fitness.

The final keynoter, Luke Williams, who spoke on “Disrupt: Sparking Business Transformation with Innovation,” left everyone with much of importance to consider. Our thanks to MYZONE!

A number of announcements of upcoming IHRSA events also generated a great deal of interest and excitement on the part of attendees. Among them:

IHRSA 2014 couldn’t have been improved upon ... but, you have my word, IHRSA 2015 will be even better!  


Fitness industry struts its stuff at IHRSA 2014

The 33rd Annual IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show this past March in San Diego is one of those things that the phrase, "you had to be there," explains it.

Imagine 11,000 attendees from more than 80 countries, four top-notch general session speakers, two days of more than 370 exhibitors on the 1/4-mile-long trade show floor, scores of educational sessions, and numerous networking opportunities.

For those who were not there, and those who want to relive it, CBI magazine does a bang-up job with its round-up of the smashing event.

“IHRSA 2014 commemorated the finest of the global fitness industry, as we celebrated our collective achievements and substantial growth over the past three decades, and our efforts to encourage more people to adopt healthy lifestyles,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA CEO and president.

Check out CBI for a full round-up of the event.


Join IHRSA's #WhyGetActive campaign

Two IHRSA 2014 attendees tell the world why they get active.IHRSA hopes its simple question will go a long way to helping more people around the world live a healthier lifestyle.

This month IHRSA launched its #WhyGetActive campaign. It asks, “Why do you get active?", with the hope that the movement will show how the benefits regular exercise can benefit physical and mental health, productivity, economic stability, and general quality-of-life.

The inspirational movement had a soft launch during the IHRSA Annual International Convention & Trade Show in San Diego in March where hundreds of attendees shared with IHRSA why they pursue active and healthy lifestyles. They then shared it on social media using the hashtag #WhyGetActive.

For more on the campaign, read on.


IHRSA 2014 recap

The numbers are in, and they look mighty nice: 11,000+ industry professionals; 7,000+ convention and trade show attendees; 81 countries represented; and 372 trade show exhibitors.

Of course this was what we have announced as the final tally from IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show, held March 12-15 in San Diego.

Everyone involved in putting it together, sponsors and advertisers, and attendees had a wonderful time and felt it was one of the best, if not the best, in 33 years.

Click here for a full IHRSA 2014 recap.


Celebrity trainer lists favorites from IHRSA 2014 trade show

Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak was one of the thousands who walked the trade show floor at IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show last month in San Diego.

He has been attending for a couple decades but still is amazed at the advancement of products and equipment he sees every year at IHRSA.

He is a guest writer for People magazine's "Great Ideas" section and this week he divulged the favorite products he saw at the trade show.

Go to People magazine to see what they are.


Have you seen the CEO interviews from IHRSA 2014?

In case you missed it, for the first time at the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show, we put the camera in front of some of the biggest names and movers and shakers in the industry.

The likes of Alberto Perlman of Zumba, Randy Hetrick of TRX, Nerio Alessandri of Technogym, and more, talked about the industry - now and in the future.

Check them all out on the IHRSA blog.


There was much to learn from at IHRSA 2014

Gary Vaynerchuk was a highlight for many at IHRSA 2014.With hundreds of trade show booths, scores of educational sessions, dozens of workout opportunities and countless people to network with, it would be impossible to pinpoint the best part of IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show.

And if you ask 100 people what their favorite part of the event, which was March 12-15 at the San Diego Convention Center, you would get many different answers. The same would be true for what they were most surprised by or what they will take home and impart on their staff or implement in their club.

Keep reading to see what resonated with attendees.