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 General Session Speakers (12)


Spectacular IHRSA 2014 all around

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.

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Attendees: what's not to love about 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.

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Final general session speaker suggests shaking things up

Luke Williams, the fourth and final general session speaker at IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show, isn’t like many other speakers. He doesn’t suggest small, incremental changes, or trying new things in addition to what you are already doing.

The Australian-born professor and author's talk, "Disrupt: Sparking Business Transformation with Innovation," instead suggests shaking things up. He believes in disruptive behavior in which you think way outside the box in order to do things much differently than your competition.

The general session was sponsored by MYZONE (fellow Aussies, by the way).

One example he gave was LittleMissMatched. This company sells not two but three socks in a package and none of them match. Can you imagine that idea in a boardroom? Of course not, that is why the founder suggested it, was denied, and then decided to open his own company, which has sales in the hundreds of millions.

Williams explained that if a company does not consider disruptive thinking and ideas than it could turn into a flavor of the month and be forgotten very quickly.

Read on to see how you can shake things up.

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Vaynerchuk urges crowd to stop marketing in the past

Gary Vaynerchuk’s message was pretty clear – get on board or else. And getting on board meant catching up with successful companies and industries that are marketing in the now and not 10 years ago. 

He said that prior to coming to IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show as Friday’s general session speaker, sponsored by Matrix Fitness, he did some homework on the fitness industry.

“I researched a bunch of businesses (that are here) and the biggest takeaway is this room is marketing like it is 2004,” he said. “You are like many other businesses. You need to market in the year you are in. I actually market 18 months ahead.”

The energetic 30-something whose immigrated to the United States with his family as a child and was a young entrepreneur with lemonade stands, selling baseball cards and adding profitable features to his father’s liquor store before he graduated college, had some sobering numbers, ideas and suggestions for the crowd.

Read on to see Vaynerchuk's suggestions.

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Take time to think about the difficult decisions

Dan Heath, in his general session discussion on Thursday sponsored by Technogym, made the crowd really think about the decisions they make on a daily basis. Because, as we all know, a bad decision can doom a business.

His talk, “Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, showed the IHRSA 2014 33rd Annual International Convention & Trade Show audience how to pinpoint when a bad decision might be made and what alternatives to making the mistake again.

“Think of your business as a decision factory and your business outcomes result in the decisions you make,” said Heath, who with his brother, Chip, has written three books.

He started with pointing out the Four Villains of Bad Decisions and then countered them with four options to reverse them by using a process, which he called WRAP, for the first letter of each option.

Read on to see how to use WRAP to avoid the Four Villains.

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