Reunited & it Felt So Good! IHRSA 2021 Ignites Fitness Industry Comeback

    IHRSA 2021 welcomed thousands of health and fitness industry professionals in Dallas, TX—and virtually—to celebrate the industry’s revival, learn business strategy, sample fitness equipment, and more.

    BOSTON, MA—October 22, 2021—After a daunting two year hiatus, last week, fitness industry professionals gathered for IHRSA 2021, the 40th Anniversary IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show.

    “It was great to meet so many industry leaders in person,” said IHRSA President and CEO Liz Clark. “They not only showed their commitment to the industry by being in Dallas, they came eager to learn and everyone greeted me with smiles and showed their genuine appreciation for all IHRSA has done to help the industry recover. It was amazing to receive such a warm welcome and experience firsthand what being part of the IHRSA family means to our members.”

    For the first time ever, IHRSA 2021 attendees were able to join in-person in Dallas, TX, or virtually to attend education sessions presented by industry experts, network, socialize with other fitness professionals, and experience cutting edge fitness industry equipment and technology during the Trade Show.

    IHRSA 2021 by the Numbers

    • Despite many travel restrictions, nearly 4,000 health club operators, suppliers, and fitness industry professionals traveled to Dallas to attend IHRSA 2021 in-person.

    • The vibrant exhibit hall, with 220 exhibitors, showcased a wealth of new products, services, and solutions throughout the two-day Trade Show and early morning workouts. Exhibitors were pleased with turnout and consistently highlighted the high quality conversations with key decision makers and buyers.

    • Attendees had access to over 100 education sessions, networking opportunities, exercise classes, and, new this year, IHRSA Skill Workshops, SPARK! Sessions, and special events like Talks & Takes, sponsored by ABC Fitness Solutions, and the IHRSA Think Tank. For the first time, many programs were offered virtually, streaming around the world!

    • People were excited to share their experience on social, posts tagging IHRSA and using the #IHRSA2021 received more than 110,000 social media impressions, reaching nearly 75,000 people. Take a look at the IHRSA 2021 Social Wall.

    Additional Convention Highlights

    • Liz Clark experienced her first IHRSA Convention, connected with many industry leaders, and noted that she considers this year's convention theme to be resilience.

    • With travel restrictions looming, international audiences gained a wealth of resources, education sessions, networking opportunities, and more by registering for IHRSA’s first-ever hybrid platform. If you didn’t take part, you can still register to experience IHRSA 2021 on-demand until December 31.

    • Keynote presentations from Diana Kander (sponsored by ABC Fitness Solutions), Dr. Kenneth Cooper (sponsored by MXMetrics), and Scott Stratten (sponsored by Matrix Fitness) were live-streamed.

    • The 12th Annual IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit (sponsored by Club Automation, Motionsoft, and CSI Spectrum) was headlined by Tiffany VanDeMark, founder & CEO of VanDeMark Partners.

    • The IHRSA Foundation VIP Reception (sponsored by Glofox, NASM / AFAA and Welld Health) brought the IHRSA Board of Directors and many industry leaders together to network and learn about the many important projects the IHRSA Foundation has embarked on over the past two years.

    • The Annual IHRSA Financial Panel moderated by Rick Caro focused on A Financial Perspective On The Return of The Fitness Industry and featured a distinguished panel of Wall Street experts.

    • New this year, IHRSA Premium Members and invited guests attended the IHRSA Global Think Tank: An Exclusive Leadership Forum (sponsored by Gympass) headlined by Bill McBride of Active Wellness, Blair McHaney of MXM and Worx Health Clubs, and Eddie Tock of REX Roundtables for Executives.

    • Live Spanish and Portuguese translation for virtual attendees with translation in Russian, Japanese, and Chinese taking place for their time zone viewing.

    • Alan Leach will serve as IHRSA Board Chair for the 2021/2022 year.

    • Four new directors were warmly welcomed to the IHRSA Board: Luke Carlson, Aaron Moore, Jose Teixeira, and Loni Wang. Steve Capezzone, Anastasia Yusina, and Ex-officio Jim Worthington were thanked for their Board service as their roles of advisors to the IHRSA Board come to a close at the end of 2021.

    2021 Award Recipient

    IHRSA debuted the Jim Worthington Advocate of the Year Award at IHRSA 2021. After the pandemic’s impact, advocacy and public policy are now, rightfully, at the forefront of IHRSA and its advocacy arm, the National Health & Fitness Alliance. This new annual award recognizes an individual who sacrifices and takes risks to advocate for the fitness industry and keep the fight going. This year, IHRSA honored the man who inspired the creation of this award, Jim Worthington of the Newtown Athletic Club.

    IHRSA 2021 Resources

    • Official show images are available for a limited time at, access code: ihrsa21press.
    • We’ll be posting more IHRSA 2021 videos, keep an eye out on our YouTube page.

    Join IHRSA in Miami Beach in 2022!

    For those who were unable to attend IHRSA 2021, or couldn’t get enough of this year’s event, another convention is right around the corner. In nine short months, the health and fitness industry will convene in Miami Beach, FL, from June 22-24 for IHRSA 2022! Visit to learn more and view the 2022 IHRSA Exhibitor Prospectus.

    IHRSA Premium Members

    IHRSA Premium members gain access to exclusive educational and networking events and a Premium Club at the Annual IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show. The "Premium Experience" is just one of many benefits of IHRSA Premium membership. For more information on Premium membership, visit or contact the membership team at

    IHRSA would like to thank all of its Premium members:

    acac Fitness & Wellness Centers, Applied Fitness Solutions, Athletic Apex, B/SPOKE, Body Zone Sports and Fitness Complex, Castle Hill Fitness, Chelsea Piers Connecticut, Chicago Athletic Clubs - Lincoln Park, Club Greenwood, Club Haus Fitness, Columbia Association, Corpus Christi Athletic Club, Cross Gates Family Fitness, Emerald Fitness Club, F45 Training - Kings Ridge, Family Fitness Center, Fit by Hyland Hills, Fitizens Holdings, Fitness 828, Fitness Formula Clubs, Fitness SF, FX Well, Gainesville Health & Fitness (Corp Office), Genesis Health Clubs, Hardwork No Excuses GYM LLC, Healthworks Fitness Centers For Women, Legends Fit, Little Rock Athletic Club, Longevity Fitness Charleston, mActivity, Memorial Athletic Club, Newtown Athletic Club, Powerhouse Gym, Pure Fitness, Riviera Fitness Centers, Rochester Athletic Club, Rosemont Health & Fitness, Sisters Athletic Club, Spearman Clubs, Inc., Spiece Fieldhouse, Sportsplex New Windsor, Stafford Hills Club, Styles Studios Fitness, Sunset Athletic Club, The Alaska Club Corporate Office, Universal Athletic Club, VIDA Fitness - Corporate Office, Vision Fitness LLC, Wisconsin Athletic Club, LLC, and World Gym Dale City.

    IHRSA 2021 Sponsors

    IHRSA gratefully acknowledges all of the sponsors that helped to make IHRSA 2021 possible:

    ABC Fitness Solutions, American Council on Exercise (ACE), Augie's Quest, BlazePod, Club Automation, ClubIntel, Club OS, Cryo Innovations, CSI Spectrum, Echelon Fit, EGYM, Fitness Brasil, Fitness Business Canada, Fitness Industry Council of Canada, Genevix, Glofox, GOJO Industries, Gympass, Helix, HydroMassage, Integrity Square, Intenza Fitness, Keiser Corporation, Les Mills International, Life Fitness, Management Around Sports, Matrix Fitness, Mercado Fitness, Mindbody, Motionsoft, MXMetrics, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), POUND - Rockout. Workout., PFP Media, TheraGun by TheraBody, Total Gym, Twin Oaks Software, UPshow, VanDeMark Partners, VFPnext, Wexer, and Zumba Fitness.

    About IHRSA

    IHRSA, The Global Health & Fitness Association, is a not-for-profit trade association that maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity with a mission to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry, while providing its members with benefits and resources. IHRSA is the publisher of Club Business International, the leading monthly magazine for the global fitness industry.

    IHRSA organizes and runs the fitness industry’s largest and most successful U.S.-based commercial fitness convention and trade show. The Annual IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show is the premier gathering of leaders and decision makers in the global health and fitness industry. Plans are already underway for next year’s event in Miami Beach, FL, from June 22-24, 2022. To learn more, visit

    Author avatar

    IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

    This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.