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    5 Reasons You Can’t Afford to Miss the IHRSA Innovation Summit

    On September 17, we’ll (virtually) come together with the best minds in the fitness industry to innovate, connect, and thrive. Here are five reasons you can’t afford to miss it.

    To innovate, by definition, is to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. 2020 has flipped our world upside down, and as a result has driven us to come up with creative and unique solutions to problems that had not previously existed. New ways of thinking, doing business, and maintaining relationships–both business and personal–have resulted in new experiences and even new opportunities.

    As we move forward, we must continue to innovate–to push ourselves to create new experiences, new methods of providing services, and new ways of staying connected.

    “2020 has flipped our world upside down, and as a result has driven us to come up with creative and unique solutions to problems that had not previously existed.”

    This is why the IHRSA Innovation Summit is the must-attend event for fitness industry professionals this fall. On September 17, we’ll (virtually) come together with the best minds in the industry to innovate, connect, and thrive in the new economy.

    Here are five reasons you can’t afford to miss it.

    1. Spark Innovative Thinking at Sessions & Panels

    Since the pandemic began, there has been a flood of creative and innovative thinking by fitness industry leaders, shared in articles, on social media, and in webinars. It has been a truly impressive effort—but it can be a lot to sift through. At the IHRSA Innovation Summit, you’ll have access to the best thinking by a diverse group of leaders all in the same day.

    During the Summit, you’ll participate in timely and engaging education sessions and panels with these high-level speakers who will present on topics like innovation strategy, the future of the industry, finance, member retention, and leadership.

    For example, “IGNITE!”—the perennial favorite—is back with an innovative theme. In this fast-paced, 60-minute event, guest speakers will have 5 minutes to convey a concept they are passionate about. Paula Neubert, president & general manager of Club Greenwood will present “Planning for the Future,” Brent Gallagher, owner of Avenu Fitness, will discuss “How Team Innovation Will Keep Your Gym From Crashing,” and Shanel Anderson, founder of Soul City Yoga, will explain “How to Create & Foster a Diverse Fitness Community.”

    And those are just a few of the IGNITE! topics! See the full agenda to learn more about sessions, panels, and speakers.

    2. Be Inspired by Keynotes on the Art of Resilience & the Future of Tech

    During two keynote presentations, we’ll take a step back to look at the world through a different lens—and get inspired.

    First up, Futurist, Technology Strategist, and Author Crystal Washington will keep us looking forward as she discusses innovative ways technology can impact your business in her address, “Imagine the Future.”

    As we move into the fall–and beyond–technology will continue to be a vital tool to connect and communicate with your members. You could continue to do what you are currently doing and maintain the status quo...or you could gain new insight from Crystal’s presentation. She will help you to tap into your customer communication preferences, and understand generational differences and how they will continue to impact your business.

    Later in the day, Best-selling Author and Paralympian Josh Sundquist will give a powerful keynote address that blends clean stand-up comedy with soulful storytelling.

    Josh is no stranger to overcoming challenges. After losing his left leg to a rare form of childhood cancer he learned how to ski, and ultimately competed in the Alpine slalom and giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Paralympics.

    Now more than ever, Josh’s lessons will resonate as we struggle against circumstances that are largely out of our control. His life story is a reminder of how all our stories are interconnected, how even our smallest actions and decisions impact the world around us. You’ll walk away with a fresh perspective on everything you have to be grateful for, with resolve to overcome personal and professional challenges, and with a commitment to do "One More Thing, One More Time" to reach your fullest potential.

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    3. Make Invaluable Connections When You Need Them Most

    This event isn’t just one long webinar. You won’t be sitting in front of your computer all day, listening to someone talk at you. Through our digital platform, you’ll have the opportunity to interact in real time with other attendees, speakers, and suppliers.

    Join a conversation and meet some new people in the public lobby area. Send a private chat to an old friend that you’ve been meaning to catch up with or a new contact you want to make. Ask questions to session speakers during the live Q&As. And stick around for the creative social hour! Throughout the day you’ll be able to move around on the digital platform and experience the energy you’ve come to expect from an IHRSA event.

    4. Discover New Products & Solutions to Help Navigate the Crisis

    Do you miss going to trade shows? Wandering the floor, checking out what’s new, and stopping into a booth to chat with the exhibitor to learn about their new product?

    While nothing can truly replace that experience, the IHRSA Innovation Summit Sponsorship Marketplace is the next best thing. Industry suppliers have come up with a variety of solutions to help clubs navigate the crisis, and you’ll be able to check out the cutting-edge products and services in virtual showcases throughout the day. Stop in, ask questions, and find out what’s new.

    5. Invest in Yourself by Earning CECs/CEUs

    No matter your current situation, one thing you can control is your education. Continue to learn and educate yourself so you are prepared for whatever comes your way. When you attend the IHRSA Innovation Summit, you earn CECs/CEUs to keep you going strong.

    So, are you as excited as we are? We hope so. Learn more about the IHRSA Innovation Summit on the event website. We hope to see you there on Thursday, September 17!

    Author avatar

    IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

    This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.