IHRSA board member Alan Leach, CEO of West Wood Clubs in Dublin, stated emphatically, “As a group, we wanted to find a way to replicate that special IHRSA Congress experience with a virtual event.”
No other virtual events in the industry are offering language translation services so it was important for everyone in the working group that IHRSA continue to offer Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, and Russian.
IHRSA board member Anastasia Yusina, founder and CEO of FITSPACE Studios and Strata Fitness Holding in Moscow, agrees. “It was very important to us that IHRSA respond to the needs of the European marketplace especially now when club operators and industry suppliers need IHRSA the most.”
IHRSA board nominee José Teixeira of Solinca Health & Fitness in Portugal notes that there is one aspect of the program that he can’t wait to experience. “I’m particularly excited about the club tours as there are many interesting clubs globally that quite frankly people do not have the ability to visit, but IHRSA can bring the clubs to them.”
Henrik Gockel, founder and managing director of PRIME TIME fitness in Germany, who, along with Yusina, is a former recipient of IHRSA's European Club Leadership Award, commented that he is impressed by the thought and effort that has been put into the program and feels that "the return on investment (ROI), especially at only €99 for all three days, is a great value."
Interest from Latin America, Asia, & Other Markets
While the event will keep its European focus, historically it has also drawn interest from club operators from Latin America and as far away as Asia. IHRSA board member Monica Marques of Companhia Athletica in São Paulo, Brazil commented that the Portuguese language offerings will be a great interest to the Brazilian market, and is glad that the advisory group opted for afternoon start times so that club operators in the Americas would be able to easily join the event. The same is true for the Spanish-speaking markets as well.