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IHRSA 2012! Snapshots of the industry event that surpassed all expectations By Patricia Glynn and Patricia Amend I n Los Angeles, the spotlight usually shines on the stars of stage and screen along Hollywood Boulevard and its Walk of Fame. However, for the week of March 14 through 17, members of the local paparazzi were chasing the stars of the global fitness industry, obtaining footage to document some of the most important moments of IHRSA’s 31st Annual International Convention and Trade Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Why the frenzy? Why the intense interest? Nearly 12,000 individuals from 80 countries attended IHRSA 2012, the fitness industry’s largest, U.S.-based gathering of health club operators, suppliers, fitness professionals, developers, and investors. This year, as it has for more than three decades, the event show- cased best practices, shared by the industry’s most accomplished leaders, as well as the newest and most innovative equipment, programs, and trends. Many attendees and exhibitors judged the two-day trade show “the best in years.” L.A. was a particularly appropriate venue since, over the years, the city and Southern California have given the world some of its most illustrious fitness icons (the late Jack LaLanne) and brands (Gold’s Gym International, Inc.). Given that, it was no surprise that one young actor who’s quickly accumulating both fitness and acting creds paid IHRSA 2012 a visit. Mark Wahlberg, who used Power Plate’s advanced vibration-training products to get into shape for The Fighter, his 2010 film, posed with fans and checked out the firm’s newest model, the pro7. “The show seemed naturally at home in Los Angeles,” says Chris Palumbo, the founder and brand director of elements for women, a 12-unit chain of women-only clubs based in Miami, Florida. John McCarthy, IHRSA’s executive director emeritus, agrees. “During my years at IHRSA, nearly every fitness trend that affected the worldwide industry originated either in L.A., itself, or in Southern California.” If you didn’t make it to L.A., or would like to revisit what you saw and heard, the efforts of editors, reporters, paparazzi, and other recorders of the event can be viewed on and ihrsa. org/live. Audio recordings of more than 60 convention sessions and video recordings of more than a dozen select sessions will shortly become available for purchase at > 46 Club Business International | JUNE 2012 |